It became clear early in my tenure at the Michigan Defense Center (MDC) that part of our mission had to be coordination and unity of mission across the state. And my team and I have set out to do just that.

Well-meaning supporters, companies engaged in contracting, other government entities all have a stake in the success or failure of Michigan’s defense industry. It is the charge of the MDC to bring all of these parties together to pull in the same direction, to inform the public and the decision-makers of the importance of the defense assets and economy we have, while simultaneously building the argument about our potential for growth in these lucrative sectors.

So, the first order of business was to collect and codify accurate, justifiable data. It is imperative that everyone in this space know the impact, understand the statistics and be able to speak from the same set of facts. Over the last 18 months, we have used this newsletter and other tools that we’ve developed to share information with you with this goal in mind. Through this work, we’ve discovered that not only did $3.4 Billion in DoD contract expenditures come to Michigan companies in 2013 and that over 54,000 Michigan jobs are supported by the industry, but, also that 80% of Michigan counties are home to DoD prime contractors and that there are DoD prime contractors in EVERY congressional district in Michigan.

Furthermore, there has always been the perception among experts in this field that the U.S. Army—TACOM, TARDEC and the Acquisition Contracting Command at the Detroit Arsenal are the main catalysts of the industry in Michigan. We proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is true. As you will see Page 3, Page 4 the economic influence of the Detroit Arsenal is felt far and wide across our state.

In this edition of the Michigan Defense Center’s Arsenal of Innovation Newsletter—AoI Quarterly—you will be introduced to TACOM’s new Commander, Major General Gwen Bingham. In the few short months the first female Arsenal Commander has been on the ground in Michigan, she has proven to be a proactive community member with great presence and understanding of our culture of hard work and entrepreneurialism and a desire to be an engaged member of her new home state.

You will also get a peek inside one of Michigan’s largest prime contractors, General Dynamics Land Systems and their MC2 collaboration center intended to open the doors to opportunity for small and medium businesses.

Want to hear about a small company that has cracked the code to successful relationships with Army TARDEC and prime contractors? Scott Badenoch of Badenoch Science and Technology shares his experience as the leader of an innovative research and development company solving some of this nation’s defense challenges.

Now that the Michigan Defense Center has researched and illustrated the impact of defense and homeland security to Michigan’s economy, our next phase is to share this information and strategy for economic growth with the elected leaders, the public and those near and far who want to do business in Michigan, or who may want to poach our assets. We hope you enjoy reading about the Michigan Defense Industry Matters! show held on September 26 at our headquarters at Velocity in Sterling Heights.

And finally, you are all Ambassadors of this state and this Michigan industry. To assist you in your task of sharing our story, the Michigan Defense Center has developed the Michigan Defense Center Mobile App. Stay up-to-date on Michigan’s defense industry, get need to know information to grow your business and get direct access to helpful websites, RSS feeds and Michigan resources available to assist you—Download it all now at Google Play or the Apple App Store!


Sean Carlson

VP Michigan Defense Center and International Export