05.21.21

Peters Discusses PFAS at Wurtsmith, a Strong Future Mission at Selfridge with Air Force Nominees

DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, met with President Biden’s nominees to serve as Air Force Secretary and Under Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall and Gina Ortiz Jones, to discuss priorities for national security and the people of Michigan. Peters released the following statement on the meeting: 

“I appreciated the opportunity to speak with Frank Kendall and Gina Ortiz Jones, President Biden’s nominees to lead the Air Force, which is vital to protecting our national security and advancing priorities critical to Michiganders.

“I stressed the urgent need for the Air Force to expedite PFAS remediation at Wurtsmith Air Force Base and ensure meaningful, substantive engagement to address the concerns of the Oscoda community. I’m pleased to have received their commitment to ensuring a transparent process if confirmed. I made it clear that I will continue to press for both nominees’ commitment to work together to address PFAS in Oscoda, prevent further spread of contamination and engage with the community in good faith.

“We also discussed Selfridge Air National Guard Base being a finalist for a new international F-35 training mission, and I reiterated that Selfridge and Macomb County are well-positioned to host this new mission and emphasized the importance of the Air Force making a fair and transparent decision.

“We also discussed other defense issues including the future of warfare and how to ensure we are innovating and developing technologies to keep our military on the cutting edge and safe — and I look forward to continuing these conversations further during the confirmation process.”

In March 2021, in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Peters initiated a call with Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth to encourage the Department of Defense to select Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township as the new location for an F-35 training center for our international partners. Earlier in March, Peters joined Senator Stabenow in leading the Michigan delegation in outlining the benefits of selecting Selfridge for the mission in a letter to Acting Secretary Roth. The delegation also made a similar push to former Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett in a December 2020 letter. Throughout his time in Congress, Senator Peters has been a strong advocate for providing additional resources and support for Selfridge, including to be a potential host for a new F-35 mission. 

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