Metro Detroit leaders penned the Pentagon this month to show support of Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township.
The letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta comes at a time when the base is in danger of losing of hundreds of jobs under an Air Force proposal. It is signed by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.
Nearly 400 part-time and 200 full-time positions could be lost if the Air Force proposal to eliminate the A-10 squadron at the Macomb County base is approved. This uncertainty has personnel at the base concerned about the future of the squadron, and their positions.
More than 3,000 full-time civilian and military personnel work at the base, in addition to approximately 3,000 members of the Air and Army National Guard and the Reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces, according to the base's website.
"We are writing to express our deep concern for the proposed cuts to the Air National Guard and the even greater to Michigan's Guard at Selfridge Air National Guard Base," the letter from regional leaders states. "Michigan – specifically the Detroit region – has been a crucial component for national defense for over 100 years."
Hackel read the letter to the Selfridge Base Community Council, which is fighting the federal-level cuts, during an event Tuesday at Zuccaro Banquet and Catering in Chesterfield Township.
"These are people that live in Macomb County and all over the region. They fight for our freedom,” he said in a prepared statement. “We are there to support those who support us.”
Macomb County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Kathy Vosburg of Chesterfield Township also presented a proclamation to the group signed by the board.
A video has also been launched by the National Guard Association, explaining how much of an impact proposed cuts would make, according to the county.
Read the full letter accompanying this story.