By U.S. ArmySeptember 4, 2014
WARREN, MI --The U.S. Army's presence in southeastern Michigan has proven to be a valuable tool in the reinvention of Michigan's economy and in spurring a new defense industry and technology corridor.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, The Adjutant General (TAG) and Director of Military and Veterans Affairs for Michigan, visited the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) on Aug. 18 to meet with leaders, engineers and scientists, tour test facilities and learn more about TARDEC's 30-Year Strategy.
"The unique facilities at TARDEC and the Detroit Arsenal are important contributors to Michigan's economy and a partner in the effort to create more and better jobs for Michigan residents," Gov. Snyder remarked during the strategic engagement.
During the visit, the Governor and TAG viewed several of TARDEC's unique testing capabilities that are available to government, industry and academia collaborative partners in the ground vehicle community through key mechanisms to leverage investments in technology, research and development and shared technology programs. TARDEC Director Dr. Paul Rogers also outlined the organization's plans for the future, as well as the economic impact both TARDEC and the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) have had over the past decade while supporting the warfighter.
"Since FY13, TARDEC has invested more than $35 million in Michigan companies and more than $181 million in Michigan families," stated Rogers. "The entirety of the TACOM LCMC awarded more than $3 billion to Michigan companies during that same time period."
Rogers said that strategic partnerships with the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and Selfridge Air National Guard Base, as well as Michigan academic institutions, have led to important science and technology breakthroughs. "At the end of the day, we cannot be successful without collaboration, but I say that knowing we have phenomenal partnerships," added Rogers.
Rogers also discussed the importance of proper talent management and various academic programs that train and educate next-generation Army engineers, scientists and technicians. "Last year we reached more than 4,000 students through our STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] programs," explained Rogers. "By partnering with different organizations, including a variety of educational institutes, we can offer a variety of educational outreach opportunities and help create our own future workforce."
Snyder said that he would be proactive protecting TARDEC and the TACOM LCMC. "I would absolutely fight any BRAC [Base Realignment and Closure] decision. We have seen the impact the U.S. Army has had in this state and this region. It is invaluable," Gov. Snyder concluded.