Coordinating and Partnering: the Secret to Success

Selfridge’s Future

The Michigan Air National Guard will celebrate monumental anniversaries this year and the best way to honor the past is to secure the future. The Michigan Defense Center/MEDC will be supporting both the past and future as the Selfridge and Battle Creek facilities fly through the century mark.

There have been exciting developments for the future of these important Michigan assets thanks to the vision and efforts of Adjutant General Gregory Vadnais, the Governor’s office and the Michigan Defense Center/MEDC. The Protect and Grow Initiative has been providing resources and support to secure the future of both bases. Read about the F-35 mission here!

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the state from Selfridge, Battle Creek ANG Base has also gained a foothold on the future. In 2016 the 110th Attack Wing was awarded a brand new Cyber Protection Team, a team of cyber experts dedicated to the security of the nation’s cyber system.

Battle Creek makes perfect sense to house one of the new cyber operations squadrons,” said Col. Bryan Teff, commander of BCANG. “The recruiting base we have here in Battle Creek, coupled with the robust cyber-capabilities already in place will allow us to easily expand those capabilities to accommodate an entire squadron.  The Wing represents relevant and future growth mission areas within the USAF supporting Command and Control (C2), Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations, and now Cyber operations.”

Ft. Custer Army National Guard facility has been designated as two possible sites out of the top four selected locations for the nation’s Missile Defense System sought by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and legislated by Congress. If President Trump gives the go ahead and the Congress appropriates the funds, Michigan is well positioned to receive this important mission that could bring  hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars of economic impact to the state. The Michigan Defense Center and MEDC is supporting this effort by providing funding for advisory and advocacy activities on this game-changing mission.

Make sure to mark your calendars for big celebrations this summer!

Ft. Custer and Battle Creek National Guard Installations celebrate with Museum openings and the Balloon and Air Show

Selfridge will mark their 100th anniversary with an Open House and an incomparable air show featuring the Thunderbirds and hundreds of static and interactive displays and events.  Click here for more information on these August events!


The Defense Industry on Display

Industry and Military showed off their capabilities and products at the 8th Annual Michigan Defense Expo (MDEX) held at the Macomb Community College Warren Campus in April. Coinciding with MDEX, the Army Tank Armament Research, Development, Engineering Center (TARDEC) Industry Days was also held at the college and provided a convenient stop for industry, buyers, and decision makers to see what’s going on in Michigan’s defense world.

MDEX featured 120 exhibitors, 2 days of informative panels and speaker presentations which included a Michigan Mobility panel and exhibit which featured automotive and military crossover and autonomous technologies sponsored by Michigan Defense Center/MEDC and an aerospace pavilion showcasing Michigan’s growing strength in this emerging market.

“MDEX has grown in recent years into a premier Midwest military show attracting local, national and global companies to show off their capabilities to the federal buyers and decision-makers and to network and explore partnerships.” Said Vicki Selva, Michigan Defense Center Deputy Executive Director and MDEX Communications Director and Planner. “MDEX, TARDEC Industry Days, AUSA’s Annual Breakfast and the associated events and discussions that surround this event are synergistic and a great opportunity for businesses, government and the community to meet and do business.”

Featured speakers included Michigan Lt. Governor Calley, Kevin Fahey, Retired SES and former Director Systems Engineering and Integration office of the Asst. Secretary of the Army (ALT) and Ann Cataldo, Deputy Asst. Secretary of the Army Defense Exports and Cooperation ASA.

These events drew over 2000 attendees including defense industry delegations from Israel and Singapore.


Michigan’s Emerging Leadership in Platform Cybersecurity

The Michigan Defense Center and MEDC was a proud sponsor of the 2nd Annual NDIA Cybersecurity: Defense Sector Summit, held at the Troy Marriot on March 7th and 8th.  More than 100 industry and government attendees spent two days networking and listening to national experts speak about the impact of cybersecurity on defense vehicles and weapon systems now and into the future.

Featured speakers included Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, who was awarded for his support of the Michigan defense industry, and the evolving impact cybersecurity has to both the commercial and defense vehicle industries.

Speakers included Peter Singer, a Strategist at New America, editor at Popular Science Magazine as well as the author of Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know. Mr. Singer gave attendees a look beyond the cyber horizon.  Dr. David Gorsich, Lead Scientist at U.S. Army TARDEC in Warren, shared Army initiatives in vehicle Cybersecurity and Michigan National Guard Brigadier General Michael Stone, who is driving cyber in Michigan’s network of National Guard bases, discussed cyber as the fifth domain of warfare.  Betsy Freeman, retired DoD Deputy Chief Information Officer, discussed the extensive collaboration between state, government, and industry.  In describing the lag between cybersecurity need and commitment to solutions, Ms. Freeman said, “It’s time to stop dating and get married”. 

Informative panel discussions filled day two as well.  During their “Removing Roadblocks so Industry and Government Can Be More Agile” panel, Daniel B. Prieto, Retired Director of Cybersecurity National Security Council and Betsy Freeman, now VP of Regional Operations at Ascolta, LLC, shared valuable lessons learned from the 2015 breach of the federal Office of Personnel Management which exposed the personal information of 21.5 million records of current and former federal employees. William Botkey, Information Security Officer and Privacy Lead at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Peter Stang, Security Director at General Dynamics Land Systems, and Christopher Stolkey, Procurement Manager at BAE, discussed supply chain security across public and private sectors and the new National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) federal cybersecurity compliance regulations coming online December 31, 2017.  Jennifer Tisdale, Cyber Mobility Program Manager at MEDC’s Michigan Defense Center, led a panel titled, “Security of Autonomous Connectivity”.  Panelists included Fracois Bernier, Defense Scientist at Defense Research and Development Canada, Bryson Bort, Founder and CEO of Grimm, and Andrew Smart, Chief Technical Officer at American Center for Mobility. The panel shared their vision of the future of cybersecurity in the automotive sector and how it will effect defense vehicles.