Granholm Makes Case for Jobs at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. Meets with Lt. Gen. Blum about possible new mission for base
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today met with Lt. General H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, to make the case for a new mission at the Battle Creek Air National Guard (ANG) Base. The Governor is fighting to preserve hundreds of jobs that could be affected by upcoming changes approved by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC).
Blum was in Battle Creek at Granholm's invitation. The Governor made the case in a meeting with the National Guard chief that the Battle Creek facility provides an excellent strategic location for homeland security and national defense operations.
"Michigan has a strong tradition of supporting the nation's defense, and the workers in Battle Creek are strategically positioned to continue that tradition," Granholm said. "Our position as a border state and proximity to all of the upper Midwest metropolitan areas, combined with Battle Creek's infrastructure, make the base a prime candidate for future missions."
Granholm is advocating Battle Creek as a site for a number of possible missions under consideration by the Department of Defense, including the Air Force's Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) mission.
Currently the Air Force is in the process of determining possible locations for their JCA mission, which could place new aircraft at Army and Air National Guard aviation unites in each of the 10 FEMA regions nationwide.
The JCA mission is intended to provide a rapid-response, intra-theater mobility mission with cargo, equipment and soldiers. For example, in the event of a regional natural disaster, these aircraft will be able to quickly move personnel or equipment to the area in need and will also be able to land on short runways (i.e. runways as short as 2,000 feet). This mission will also provide airdrop capability.
In her meeting with Blum, Granholm reminded the National Guard Bureau chief that not only is Michigan a major border state, but the state is located in the middle of our FEMA region. A JCA mission at Battle Creek would provide the Air Force the ability to service most upper Midwestern metropolitan areas. The Governor noted that Battle Creek is located in close proximity to roughly 40 military units and has the infrastructure the Air Force needs to support this mission, including adequate hanger and ramp space, which would save the Air Force time and resources.