Senators, representative lead delegation for missile defense sit - WNEM TV 5

Senators, representative lead delegation for missile defense site in Michigan

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WASHINGTON (WNEM) -

Michigan senators and a representative led a delegation letter to gain strong support for the Fort Custer Training Center to become a missile defense site.

US Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) sent the letter to the Director of the Missile Defense Agency asking for his consideration.

The letter comes as a new defense legislation that was signed into law earlier this month.

The legislation requires the Secretary of Defense to designate a preferred location for a new missile defense site within 60 days of completing a Ballistic Missile Defense Review.

This review is expected to be completed by next February.

“North Korea poses an increasingly substantial threat to our homeland, culminating in the recent launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that flew higher and longer than previous launches,” wrote the Senators and Representatives. “Fort Custer benefits from excellent existing infrastructure, including efficient access to two major interstate highways and a nearby 10,000-foot runway. The fields at Fort Custer are shovel ready and it is our understanding the CIS can be constructed at the lowest cost with the least environmental impact.”

In addition to Peters, Stabenow, and Upton, the letter was signed by the entire Michigan Congressional delegation:

  • Sander Levin (MI-9)
  • Tim Walberg (MI-7)
  • Bill Huizenga (MI-2)
  • Justin Amash (MI-3)
  • Dan Kildee (MI-5)
  • Mike Bishop (MI-8)
  • Debbie Dingell (MI-12)
  • Brenda Lawrence (MI-14)
  • John Moolenaar (MI-4)
  • Dave Trott (MI-11)
  • Jack Bergman (MI-1)
  • Paul Mitchell (MI-10)

The letter was written as follows :

Lieutenant General Samuel A. Greaves, USAF

Director, Missile Defense Agency

5700 18th Street, Bldg 245

Fort Belvoir, VA 22060

Dear Lieutenant General Greaves,

As you know, the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act includes a requirement for the Secretary of Defense to designate the preferred location of a potential Continental Interceptor Site (CIS) within 60 days of the completion of the Ballistic Missile Defense Review. As you prepare to assist in fulfilling this statutory requirement, we would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our strong support for the full and thorough consideration of Fort Custer Training Center as the preferred location for the CIS.

Fort Custer is strategically located and provides superior coverage to protect the west coast of the United States. North Korea poses an increasingly substantial threat to our homeland, culminating in the recent launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that flew higher and longer than previous launches. A missile defense site at Fort Custer would be well-placed to respond to threats like this and the location offers strategic and operational effectiveness.

Fort Custer benefits from excellent existing infrastructure, including efficient access to two major interstate highways and a nearby 10,000-foot runway. The fields at Fort Custer are shovel ready and it is our understanding the CIS can be constructed at the lowest cost with the least environmental impact. The cost to operate such a site at Fort Custer would be competitive as well. Fort Custer was recognized in 2010 by the Department of Defense and the Army with awards for environmental stewardship, reflecting investments made in energy efficiency, including solar fields and a wind funnel to generate electrical power.

We remain committed to supporting your agency’s critical mission given the increasing threat facing our nation. As the congressionally-mandated deadline for the selection of the preferred location of a Continental Interceptor Site approaches, we strongly support full and thorough consideration of Fort Custer Training Center.

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