July 22, 2005
LANSING – As part of her ongoing efforts to protect Michigan’s military installations and jobs in Michigan, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm is withholding her consent to the Department of Defense recommendations to close W. K. Kellogg Airport Air Guard Station in Battle Creek and to retire fifteen F-16s from Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township. The Governor outlined her opposition in a letter sent earlier this week to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Granholm criticized the defense department for not consulting with her before making the recommendations as part of the Base Closing and Realignment (BRAC) process in May. “These recommendations have not been coordinated with me, my adjutant general, or members of his staff,” Granholm wrote. “No one in authority of the Michigan Air National Guard was consulted or even briefed about this recommendation before it was announced publicly.”
The Governor’s letter of non-consent calls into question the legality of the proposals. Several other governors are also refusing to consent to the Department Air Guard recommendations. As Granholm noted in her letter, the BRAC Commission’s own counsel recently issued an opinion suggesting that such moves would be illegal without the consent of the governors of each affected state.
Granholm’s letter will strengthen Michigan’s efforts to persuade the BRAC Commission to reject these recommendations as the state prepares to host a site visit from the Commission on Friday, July 29.