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Michigan congressional delegation supports Fort Custer missile site

Sep 19, 2016

All but one member of Michigan's congressional delegation have sent a letter of support to the Missile Defense Agency to show their support of the proposed new missile site.

Both Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate sent Vice Admiral James D. Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, a letter urging his agency to select Fort Custer as the new missile site. 

Fort Custer, which is in Battle Creek, Mich., is being considered along with Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center in Ohio and Fort Drum in New York.

"It’s our understanding that you have completed your assessment of the environmental impacts for a missile defense Interceptor Site at Fort Custer Training Center, one of three remaining locations under consideration. The assessment showed that the environmental impacts for placing an interceptor at Fort Custer would be minimal and that unlike the other sites, Fort Custer would not require additional surveys or cause significant harm to protected species or habitats," the delegation writes in the letter.

More from the letter:

Locating the interceptor at Fort Custer would bring a welcomed $3.2 billion in economic impact, including $700 million in new construction. It would also employ 300 jobs directly and up to 1,800 support jobs. Given all of these considerations, we strongly support Fort Custer Training Center as the preferred Continental United States Interceptor Site and look forward to staying engaged as the selection process continues.

 

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Twp., was the lone holdout. His communications director Corie Whalen said this in an emailed statement:

Representative Amash has always believed Fort Custer should be given full consideration as a potential location for the proposed missile defense site. He declined to sign this letter because it treats the matter not as a national security initiative, but as a jobs program. While increasing employment in Michigan's Third District is a priority, defense decisions should be made with only national security priorities in mind.