Battle Creek ANGB
Battle Creek Air National Guard Base in Battle Creek, Michigan is home to the 110th Fighter Wing. The 110th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard is part of the diverse economy base for the Battle Creek area at the W.K. Kellogg Airport. The Airport was, however, recommended for closure by the DoD's 2005 BRAC Recommendations (for details see BRAC 2005 below).
The 110th FW occupies 89 acres and contains 37 buildings including headquarters (the buildings are industrial/commercial use). The base leases a total of 319 acres from the City of Battle Creek. This includes 230 acres that are intended for future development with the construction of a new munitions maintenance and storage complex. The munitions maintenance and storage complex is in the planning and design phase, and its construction has not yet been funded.
W.K Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek is positioned to be a powerful competitor and prepared to play a key role in aviation and airfreight traffic. Strategic planners have ensured that W.K. Kellogg Airport holds all the necessary elements for expanded opportunities to meet the ever-increasing needs of air freight shippers and the aviation industry. With a 10,003 lineal foot runway, undeveloped surrounding acreage and convenient access to Interstate 69 and Interstate 94 (the most important transportation corridor between Chicago and Detroit), W.K. Kellogg Airport extends a friendly welcome through uncongested skies.
An inland U.S. Customs port of entry allots full-time U.S. Customs Service personnel to W.K. Kellogg Airport, permitting the Customs clearance of foreign shipments in a timely, efficient manner. A Flight Area Inspection Office, a division of the FAA, serves eight Great Lakes states. Two fixed base operators provide additional convenient services.
Adjacent to Fort Custer Industrial Park and its 80+ resident companies from Asia, Europe and the United States, W.K. Kellogg Airport provides convenient access to world markets. A nearby aircraft maintenance and refurbishing company ranks among the best in the nation.
Western Michigan University School of Aviation Sciences at W.K. Kellogg Airport trains and retrains pilots and other aviation professionals in an international program that perfectly complements the air traffic control system, navigational aids and low-density traffic at W.K. Kellogg Airport. Students enrolled in the 15-month pilot training curriculum include cadets from British Airways and Aer Lingus. In March of 1998, the first British Airways cadets were delivered to W.K. Kellogg Airport in the Concorde.
Secretary of Defense Recommendation: Close W.K. Kellogg Airport Air Guard Station, MI. Distribute the 110th Fighter Wing’s A-10s (15 aircraft) to the 127th
Wing (ANG), Selfridge ANGB, MI.
The total estimated one-time cost to the Department to implement this recommendation would be $8.3M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be a savings of $46.7M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $12.7M with an immediate payback expected. The net present value of the cost and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a savings of $166.8M. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 441 jobs (274 direct jobs and 167 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Battle Creek, MI, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (0.6 percent). Impacts of costs included $0.5M in costs for environmental compliance and waste management.
Secretary of Defense Justificaiton: The Air Force placed one squadron at Selfridge (62) because it is significantly higher in military value than Kellogg (122). The Air Force retired the older F-16s from Selfridge and combined the two A-10 units into one squadron at Selfridge to retain trained and skilled Michigan ANG Airmen from both locations.
Community Concerns: The community cites high volunteerism for rotation to Southwest Asia, repeated outstanding operational readiness inspections, and a nearly new facility as reasons to keep the base open. The community noted it paid to extend the runway to 10,000 feet, purchased land to maintain clear zones, and matched Federal grants funding the new air traffic control tower. Kellogg Airport is conjoined with Ft Custer Army Guard with 7,500 acres of training area, and the state has offered to construct a road directly connecting the two areas. The 110th Wing is manned at over 100 percent even though the local population is small.
The community pointed out that the unit scores ahead of its ANG contemporaries in military value analysis, although it believes the scores did not fully value existing physical plant (ramp, facilities), training ranges and airspace.
Commission Findings: The Commission found that Since December 2003, the base has completed a number of military construction projects to upgrade its facilities. The Commission also found that Kellogg is used as a strategic launch platform by the Air Force, Marine Corps Reserve, and Army Reserve. Kellogg's location provides for joint training and operations with contiguous Ft. Custer. Because the Mission Compatibility Index erroneously under valued Kellogg's military value, the Commission did not support the Department's recommendation to close the base. The A-10 squadron at Selfridge will have 24 aircraft and provide more opportunities for airmen at Kellogg.
This recommendation directing aircraft movement and personnel actions in connection with Air National Guard installations and organizations is designed to support the Future Total Force. The Commission expects that the Air Force will find new missions where needed, provide retraining opportunities, and take appropriate measures to limit possible adverse personnel impact. The Commission's intent is that the Air Force will act to assign sufficient aircrew and maintenance personnel to units gaining aircraft in accordance with current, established procedures. However, the Commission expects that all decisions with regard to manpower authorizations will be made in consultation with the governor of the state in which the affected Air National Guard unit is located. Any manpower changes must be made under existing authorities, and must be made consistent with existing limitations. Some reclassification of existing positions may be necessary, but should not be executed until the Air Force and the state have determined the future mission of the unit to preclude unnecessary personnel turbulence. This recommendation is consistent with the Commission's Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Laydown Plan.
Commission Recommendations: The Commission found that the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final selection criterion 1, as well as from the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following:
Realign W.K. Kellogg Airport Air Guard Station, MI. Distribute the 15 A-10 aircraft assigned to the 110th Fighter Wing (ANG) to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. Establish a contiguous enclave for the 110th Fighter Wing (ANG) sufficient to support operations of that unit, including flight operations, and compatible with joint use of the Air Guard Station as a civilian airport. If the State of Michigan decides to change the organization, composition and location of the 110th Fighter Wing to integrate the unit into the Future Total Force, all other personnel allotted to the 110th Fighter Wing will remain in place and assume a mission relevant to the security interests of the State of Michigan and consistent with the integration of the unit into the Future Total Force, including but not limited to air mobility, C4ISR, Information Operations, engineering, flight training or unmanned aerial vehicles. Where appropriate, unit personnel will be retrained in skills relevant to the emerging mission. This recommendation does not effect a change to the authorized end-strength of the Michigan Air National Guard. The distribution of aircraft currently assigned to the 110th Fighter Wing is based upon a resource-constrained determination by the Department of Defense that the aircraft concerned will better support national security requirements in other locations and is not conditioned upon the agreement of the state.
The Commission found that this change and the recommendation as amended are consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. The full text of this and all Commission recommendations can be found in Appendix Q.
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