O’Brien Resolution Urges Selection of Fort Custer for Major Missile Defense Program

LANSING, Mich. – State Senator Margaret O’Brien is urging the Missile Defense Agency within the U.S. Department of Defense to select the Fort Custer Training Center for its forthcoming ground-based interceptor ballistic missile defense mission.

The 7,500 acre Michigan National Guard facility, located in Augusta, is one of four sites under consideration.

“Fort Custer is the ideal location for the defense department’s new ground-based interceptor ballistic missile defense mission,” said O’Brien, R-Portage, who introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 9. “The selected location will rely heavily on its ability to support the mission but also to protect the environment. Given its numerous awards and accolades for environmental stewardship, its world-class facilities, and its economic competitiveness in terms of cost to taxpayers, I believe Fort Custer is the best choice. I strongly urge the Missile Defense Agency to choose it for the mission.”

According to the agency, the ground-based interceptor ballistic missile defense system provides the capability to engage and destroy limited intermediate and long-range ballistic missile threats in space to protect the United States. The system employs integrated communications networks, fire control systems, globally-deployed sensors and Ground-Based Interceptors that are capable of detecting, tracking and destroying ballistic missile threats.

While protecting the state and nation from ballistic missile attacks is the main purpose, there is also a major economic impact. The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research estimates the project would contribute $3.2 billion to the region’s economy and support more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“The placement of the ballistic missile defense system near Battle Creek would leverage Fort Custer’s strategic location and security, and Michigan is prepared to support its construction, operation and personnel,” O’Brien said.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 9 can be read in its entirety by clicking here.