WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) helped advance the bipartisan annual national defense bill to the full Senate, and led the charge to secure nearly $128 million in investments for military facilities across Michigan. He also led or supported provisions to strengthen our national security and give our servicemembers a pay raise.
“Michiganders play a critical role in our national defense, and I was proud to secure significant investments and resources for military installations across our state. This is vital to supporting local jobs, utilizing our unique defense capabilities and ensuring a strong future at Michigan’s military facilities,” said Senator Peters, a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I’m pleased this bill also includes a well-deserved pay raise for our troops and strengthens our national defense.”
“Michigan is fortunate to have Senator Peters as an advocate who works to advance our priorities and ensures the Michigan National Guard receives the federal investments necessary to support all of our missions,” said U.S. Army Major General Paul D. Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “His work on the NDAA will ensure Michigan is well positioned to continue to grow as a premier destination for military training and next generation mission sets.”
The National Defense Authorization Act, which sets annual policy for the Department of Defense (DOD), has been enacted into law for 60 consecutive years. The following provisions Peters led or supported were included in the Senate Armed Services Committee-approved bill:
Investing in Michigan Military Facilities:
- Secured Authorizations for Nearly $128 Million in Funding for Military Facilities Across Michigan Including:
- $23 Million for Alpena Aircraft and Maintenance Facility & New Testing Designation: This bill authorizes $23 million in funding that Peters fought for to go toward a new, state-of-the-art, 5th generation hangar aircraft and accompanying maintenance facilities at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center. This funding will ensure that Alpena is capable of hosting the most modern aircrafts and that the facility can continue to serve as a premier training venue for our servicemembers and play a vital role in our national security. Additionally, it includes a special designation for Alpena that Peters pushed for which will ensure that the Air Force and the Army continue to utilize Alpena and have it serve as a testing ground for the latest in defense technologies. This language coupled with the infrastructure investments will guarantee that Alpena continues to serve for decades to come as the venue of choice for the Air Force, Air National Guard and foreign partners who need access to wide open airspace, the finest ranges and the best capabilities.
- $28 Million for Selfridge Hangar & Maintenance Facilities: Peters secured $28 million in funding for a new A-10 hangar and maintenance facility at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township. This investment will help keep A-10s flying at Selfridge for decades to come by ensuring that we’ve got the state-of-the-art infrastructure necessary to fly, maintain and train on A-10s.
- $12 Million to Enhance Southfield Army Reserve Facility: Peters pressed for and secured a $12 million authorization to help construct new maintenance facilities at the Army Reserve unit in Southfield, which will allow servicemembers who serve as mechanics to maintain and extend the lifespan of military vehicles and enable them to utilize the latest equipment and facilities.
- $59 Million to Enhance Battle Creek Facilities: This bill includes a $49 million authorization that Peters fought for that will go toward constructing a new, state-of-the-art training facility at Battle Creek for Marine Corps reservists as well as a new vehicle maintenance facility, which will help extend the life of the vehicles they house. This funding will help ensure a Marine Corps presence at the Battle Creek unit for decades to come. Peters also secured $10 million to construct a new main gate and entrance facility to Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. The current base setup causes traffic congestion and presents a security risk during a drill weekend by creating a build-up of vehicles attempting to enter the facility. This new construction will ensure that Battle Creek meets the most up-to-date facility security and anti-terrorism protocols.
- $5.7 Million for Construction of Power Generation System at Camp Grayling: Peters pushed for and got a $5.7 million authorization to construct a 650kw gas-fired micro-turbine power generation system at Camp Grayling. This new power generation infrastructure at Camp Grayling will help improve the facility’s capabilities by allowing more equipment to be utilized as well as the integration of cyber and space into their operations.
Supporting Michigan’s Defense Sector and Advanced Technology:
- Prohibits the Retirement of the A-10 Warthog: This bill includes an amendment Peters cosponsored to prohibit retiring the A-10 in Fiscal Year 2022. The A-10 still plays an important role in counterterrorism and combat search and rescue missions, and the bill prohibits divesting of that aircraft in the coming fiscal year. Selfridge Air National Guard Base hosts an A-10 fighter mission.
- Funding for Manufacturing Research: The bill secures $3 million in funding to further research additive manufacturing, as well as $7 million in funding for research into composite production practices, to keep American manufacturing at the forefront of producing cutting-edge defense technologies.
- Protecting KC-135 Re-Fueling Tankers: This bill also prohibits the Air National Guard from getting rid of any KC-135 aerial refueling aircrafts. These tankers housed and maintained at Selfridge Air National Guard Base provide critical capability and security for our servicemembers.
- Electric Light Vehicle Reconnaissance Program: The bill includes a provision that authorizes the research and engineering of electric and alternative fuel vehicle development for the electric vehicle program, which is conducted in Michigan. This funding will help ensure research and development for these vehicles is conducted in Michigan, helping to create good-paying jobs and keep us at the forefront of mobility. Michigan is home to extensive advanced vehicle system development.
Supporting Our Troops and Their Families:
- Pay Raise for Troops: This bill includes a 2.7% pay increase for all servicemembers that Peters supported.
- Improve Access to Medications for Servicembers, Veterans and Their Families: This bill includes a provision Peters requested and secured for a 3-year pilot program that enables TRI-CARE beneficiaries to receive their medications from an in-network, retail pharmacy rather than being required to obtain them from pharmacies at military bases or relying on the Postal Service. This pilot program will give servicemembers, veterans and their families more freedom to choose where and when they get their medicine and at their convenience.
- Promoting STEM Education Through STARBASE: Peters supported efforts to secure $15 million in funding for STARBASE, a DOD Youth Program that promotes STEM education. Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township is home to the first STARBASE program, which specifically provides K-12 students unique experiences in experiential learning, simulations and experiments in aviation and space-related fields.
Strengthening Our National Security:
- Strengthening the U.S.-Israeli Defense Partnership: This bill includes an amendment Peters sponsored to mandate that the Secretary of Defense create a U.S. Israel Operations Technology Working Group, in order to foster cooperation between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Israeli Ministry of Defense in the area of defense technologies and advanced research and development. As a close ally and friend with a cutting-edge tech sector, closer collaboration with Israel in this space will ensure that our warfighters are the best equipped on the planet.
- Strengthening Ties With Allies in the Asia-Pacific Region: The legislation continues to fund and develop the Pacific Deterrence Initiative to support our allies and maintain a robust presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Cybersecurity Grants for Research and Development: This bill includes an increase of $10 million in funding for cybersecurity research and development for naval vessels—that Peters pushed for — which would be help highlight the tremendous capabilities like that of Michigan Tech University and what a critical asset the Great Lakes are to our national security.
- End Military Spending That Supports Saudi-Led Attacks on Yemen: Peters led and secured a provision in the bill to ensure American’s tax dollars are not going to support any offensive operations conducted by Saudi Arabia against Yemen. The conflict in Yemen has led to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world – this provision will ensure our taxpayer dollars are not supporting the Saudi-led coalition. Peters has repeatedly spoken out against American involvement in the Saudi-led coalition.
- Funding for Environmental Restoration, PFAS Cleanup: The bill includes $300 million in environmental restoration funding for the Air Force to help with environmental remediation at sites across the country, including for PFAS cleanup.