Selfridge expands with new hangar as it positions for new fighter jets

Selfridge Air National Guard Base broke ground on Monday on a 42,000 square foot fighter jet hangar, in an effort by Michigan lawmakers to try to secure a new fighter mission at the base.

As the U.S. Air Force is retiring its A-10 fighter squadrons, the state of Michigan is trying to position itself to be selected for the next generation of jets. 

"Selfridge is not just about Michigan it iss about national security," Democratic Senator Garry Peters said.

Major General Paul Rodgers, the adjunct general of Michigan, said the new hangar is one of eight planned projects in the works.

"The new hangar is part of our future, we’re building it starting this year. It will take about 2 years to construct. (It's a) $28 million into Selfridge and the men and women here," Rodgers said. "Our plan is to have Selfridge represent the future of the U.S. Air Force base and today’s groundbreaking is only step one."

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer touted the way Republicans and Democrats came together to make the project a reality.

"We’re really proud of the bipartisan investments we’ve been able to make… proposed more in the government recommendations that are currently pending in front of the legislature I’m looking forward to getting it done soon," Whitmer said.

Whitmer and a congressional delegation plus local leaders have been spending the past year reiterating their commitment to the future of Selfridge.

"We know that Selfridge is important, important for state of Michigan about creating jobs for Michigan – 5,000 jobs – hundreds of millions of dollars of economic opportunities and as Michiganders, we’re going to make sure that continues to happen here," Peters said.

Senator Debbie Stabenow says she's laser focused on Selfridge and getting the base the resources needed.

"We’ve got a story to tell about the future of our country in national security and in technology and in all other ways we’re going to grow the economy," Stabenow said.