Stabenow, Upton tour potential Fort Custer missile defense site

Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Fred Upton touring Fort Custer in Battle Creek on Monday morning. (July 6, 2015)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Fred Upton took a tour of Fort Custer in Battle Creek on Monday morning.

The base is one of four Midwest and East Coast sites being considered as a potential missile defense location.

Missile defense systems launched from the base would be capable of destroying an incoming missile threatening the U.S. Two defense locations already exist, one in California and the other site is in Alaska.

There are two sites at Fort Custer that are being considered. One is 1,200 acres of mainly open field space. The other has a forest terrain. Environmental impact studies are underway at both sites.

Stabenow and Upton will also tour the nearby Battle Creek Air National Guard facility. Both believe the airbase gives Michigan an advantage over other potential bases.

If Fort Custer is chosen, it could bring upwards of 300 jobs to the Battle Creek area — including military, systems contractors and civilian.

The entire Michigan congressional delegation will tour Ft. Custer again in September.

A final decision on which state and base will get the missile defense system is expected by January 2017.

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