Why Defense Should Be Your Strategy. Let me Count the Ways…

  1. Rising Defense Budget. The Defense Budget for FY 2018 was announced and spending for the defense industry is on the rise with $30 billion in additional funding.  Preliminary details of the budget suggest that this will have a positive impact on the various Detroit Arsenal missions as well as Michigan companies that have diversified their business portfolio to include the Department of Defense.
  2. Robust Network of Statewide Support.  Michigan can boast about having one of the most robust economic development assistance programs in the country.  We have a strong network of organizations that partner to provide statewide support to companies.   Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan Manufacturing Technology Centers (MMTC), Michigan Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), and Michigan Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) are here to support your objectives.  Collectively these organizations have over 75 offices throughout the state and are ready to satisfy economic development needs.
  1. Innovative Economic Gardening Tools. The Michigan Defense Center is coordinating with the above organizations to focus on addressing challenges and specifically lowering the barriers of entry to doing business with the Department of Defense.  The MDC now provides a 1-2 punch in lowering these barriers with the Proposal Writing Services program (PWS) and the Bid Targeting System (BTS).  Together these programs have helped companies successfully pursue government business.
  1. Outstanding Military Leadership. New missions are on the horizon.  The Michigan National Guard’s Adjutant, Major General Vadnais, has been a champion of new missions for the Michigan National Guard, both Army and Air Force.  Under his leadership, Michigan has been successful in standing up the Army National Guard Cyber Protection Team (CPT) and the Air National Guard Cyber Operations Squadron (COS) at Battle Creek.  General Vadnais and his team have also led the efforts at the Pentagon which has led to Selfridge Air National Guard base’s designation as one of five finalist in the F-35 NG mission decision.  General Vadnais and his team have also put Michigan in the middle of the conversation regarding the final selection of Battle Creek’s Fort Custer Training Center as a potential site for the East Coast Missile Defense Ground Based Interceptor.
  1. The Detroit Arsenal, TACOM, TARDEC, ILSC, PEOs. With a good portion of the U.S. Army’s ALT (Acquisition, Logistics, technology) program stationed at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, where else would you want to be to do business with the U.S. Army? Home to the Army TACOM life Cycle Management Command, TARDEC (Tank Armament Research and Development Engineering Command), Army Contracting Center, Integrated Logistics Support Center, Program Executive Offices for Combat and Combat Systems Support, PEO Soldier and PEO Ground Systems Michigan is the place to be for proximity to your customer or to engage for new business.
  1. Protect & Grow Initiative. The State of Michigan under Governor Synder’s leadership has created a statewide vision and plan to protect our defense industry in Michigan.  This industry is responsible for over 105,000 jobs and $9 billion in Gross State Product.   The initiative lays out a comprehensive plan with 17 strategic objectives to assist in both protecting our current missions, military assets and industry and growing new missions and industries.
  1. Pursuit of Emerging Markets – MEDC under the coordination of the Michigan Defense Center and the direction of the Protect & Grow initiative put out a request for proposals from Michigan Local Economic Development Organizations to put together plans to assist and collaborate with the Michigan Defense Center in the emerging markets of Aerospace, Cyber, Robotics, Autonomous platforms and 3D Printing.
  1. Michigan Defense Industry Associations. Networking works in Michigan. Unlike other communities, meeting buyers and providers and forging relationships is the defense deals get done in Michigan. Of the most recognized national and global defense support organizations, Michigan chapters are among the most active and strongest. National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), Association of US Army (AUSA), Women in Defense (WID), Michigan Aerospace Manufacturer’s Association (MAMA) and others provide unique opportunities throughout the year and host a number of events for companies and organizations to come together to network, showcase their capabilities and leverage opportunities for growth.
  1. Lansing Support & Alignment. Lt. Governor Calley has been a champion and advocate of the importance of the Michigan defense industry. Traveling throughout Michigan with the Michigan Defense Center to share the Protect & Grow plan with companies, media and stakeholders has helped to spotlight Michigan’s defense economy.   For FY 2017,  The legislature approved Governor Synder’s budget request for $3 million in funding to ensure that Michigan’s P&G Initiative has a good start to execute against the 17 strategic objectives outline in the plan.
  1. Great Partnerships with Local Economic Development Organizations & Chambers (LEDO’s).  The Michigan Defense Center’s success in developing and executing the Protect & Grow Initiative is due to great partnerships and support from LEDO’s, like Macomb County Economic Development, Detroit Regional Chamber, Macomb Chamber, Automation Alley, Battle Creek Unlimited, and The Right Place.  These organizations’ collaborative partnerships and coordination are a big reason for the success of the Michigan Defense Center, but more importantly these organizations can help your company thrive in defense and federal contracting.

If you are a proud Michigan company serving the defense industry, get ready for growth.  If you have not yet considered adding defense to your portfolio, you may want to reconsider.  If you are a company looking for a new home to grow your business, take a look at Michigan– then give us a call and together we’ll seek your path to success.


Sean L. Carlson
Executive Director
Michigan Defense Center