Base takes new turn for development

  • Published
  • By Capt. Penny Carroll
  • 127th Public Affairs
The old Army housing apartments and duplexes are coming down steadily here and the enhanced use lease project is now officially terminated. What does the future Selfridge ANGB look like?

Following the Base Realignment and Closure commission of 2005, the Air Force identified property and assets available for development which were not considered excess because of base security, standoff distances and encroachment concerns at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Enhanced-use leasing was the best opportunity to develop this land and property for use with the most flexibility for control by the Air Force, at that time. The EUL proposals called for development of senior housing and medical facilities, as well as other administrative-type private development that would bring in private industry that would be compatible with Selfridge missions and security  constraints.

However, the National Guard Bureau and the Air Force recently determined the retention of the underutilized space is now more essential to maintain for the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) missions at Selfridge ANGB.

Lt. Col. Mac Crawford, Selfridge Land-use and Facilities Director and Acting 127th Mission Support Group Commander explains, "It became apparent through the more than 2 years of EUL planning that there is significant DoD and DHS interest in growing existing--or bedding down new--federal missions at Selfridge. With this new information, it became obvious to our government development team that we needed to develop this underutilized property for critical military and homeland security usages."

The next step in the future growth of the base includes the base host unit, the 127th Wing, taking a step back in the development planning process beginning with the creation of a comprehensive--fenceline-to-fenceline--base master plan, which will take into account these outside military and homeland security interests as well as their own.

Base Commander, Brig. Gen. Michael Peplinski, described the EUL termination action to local community leaders in a letter dated October 15, "Selfridge Air National Guard Base houses a large amount of missions, people, assets, and property - all of which must be protected. Two and a half years ago, EUL was the best option with the greatest flexibility for the use and growth of missions at our base while focusing on reutilization of property vacated by the Army Garrison per BRAC 2005.

"Now, we are moving forward on a statement of work for a robust installation master plan for Selfridge, taking into account current missions here and the growth of our current DoD and DHS tenants and others who have expressed an interest in coming to Selfridge."

One example of this interest is the moving of U.S. Army Soldiers, Civilians and Contractors of the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command and TARDEC to vacant space at Selfridge. Hundreds of Army associates have moved into various areas of the base with organizations such as Joint Combat Support Systems and the Joint Robotics Project Office.

These moves have been necessary to accommodate the expanding missions at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan, and the U.S. Army Garrison at Detroit Arsenal has reviewed additional facilities at Selfridge that could be used to support even more growth of those agencies. The Army leadership has been integrally involved with the 127th Wing to ensure their requests are considered in the new base master plan, supporting the overall infrastructure framework and complimenting the various missions at Selfridge.

The end-result allows the 127th Wing to focus on pushing forward with the possibilities of long and short term shared use with other federal agencies, creating a campus providing for a stronger joint installation with increased security and encroachment protection for Selfridge ANGB.

According to Lt. Col. Crawford, "We have a tremendous opportunity going forward to  capitalize on the strengths of our installation, and to create a future Selfridge composed of a synergistic team of DoD and DHS components uniquely positioned to successfully wage the war on terrorism both at home and abroad. If we are successful in this effort--and I believe we will be--we will have created what could well be considered the standard-bearer of the 21st Century military installation."