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Governor Whitmer Continues Push for a Fighter Mission at Selfridge


January 12, 2023



Governor Whitmer Continues Push for a Fighter Mission at Selfridge 


LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall III, to urge the Air Force to invest in a fighter mission at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.


“Leading future fighter missions at Selfridge is the smart thing for Michigan, the Air Force, and our nation,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Michigan is strongly positioned to support critical Air Force missions – across our state there are over 4,000 businesses engaged in defense and aerospace work, supporting nearly 166,000 jobs. Collectively developing a replacement fighter mission for Selfridge is an effort that’s united Democrats, Republicans and independents across our state, and I will work with anyone to secure this crucial investment and bolster our national security.” 


Excerpt from letter: 


“I write again today to reiterate Michigan’s commitment to supporting President Biden’s National Security Strategy, which focuses on investing in the underlying sources and tools of American power and influence, building the strongest possible coalition of nations, and modernizing and strengthening our military to better equip us for strategic competition. I repeat and reiterate what I stated in November and many times before over the past year: a fighter mission at Selfridge to recapitalize the A10s is the right path forward for the State of Michigan, the Air Force, and the nation.


I reiterate again that I am prepared to do all I can to ensure that the replacement of the A-10 with a future fighter mission at Selfridge is a cost-effective opportunity for the Air Force. 


Background on Governor Whitmer’s work to promote Selfridge:

As the U.S. Air Force develops its plan to retire A-10 fighter squadrons nationwide, including in Macomb County’s Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Governor Whitmer has spent the last year making the case for additional U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) investments in Michigan. This includes replacing the current A-10 fighter mission at Selfridge. The Governor has maintained close contact with Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and his team and is working in a bipartisan manner with the Michigan Congressional Delegation and Selfridge community on this important issue. Governor Whitmer hosted the Secretary during two separate visits last summer showcasing Michigan as a premier destination for Air Force and DoD investment. As a top priority, the Governor also met virtually and in person with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks to continue advocating for a fighter jet replacement for Selfridge’s A-10s.


Selfridge, an ideal Air Force training space, provides access to the largest military airspace complex east of the Mississippi River, hosts units from every component of the U.S. military, is located on an international border, and is joint integrated with the National All-Domain Warfighting Center. Launched in Governor Whitmer’s first term, Selfridge’s Kelly Johnson Joint All-Domain Innovation Center leverages Michigan’s research universities, booming defense industry, and engineering, cyber, and technological expertise to provide a premier venue for collaboration in direct support of the National Defense Strategy.


Economically, Selfridge boasts an estimated $850 million in economic impact state-wide, affecting approximately 5,000 military and civilian support personnel. Selfridge is anchored with a strong and vibrant Base Community Council that strengthens the relationship between Southeast Michigan’s civilian and military communities.


View a full copy of the letter and attachment by clicking on the following links: