HARRISON CHARTER TOWNSHIP (WWJ) – Macomb County will be showcasing Selfridge Air National Guard Base as Air Force officials pay a visit before deciding on a home for the new F-35 fighter jets.
The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation fighter jet that will replace the A-10 and F-16. County Executive Mark Hackel believes Michigan is the most strategic place for the jets.
“When they talk about mission readiness and the facility that has training capabilities, with the partnerships in Alpena and the north part of Grayling we are without question the best strategic location to pick among the other four that are being looked at,” Hackel told WWJ during a live broadcast. “The other economic advantage that we have — I often say this all things being equal — well they’re not. We are the best capital here in Macomb County.”
The decision could affect hundreds of jobs in Macomb County.
Hackel said landing the new jets would guarantee hundreds of jobs for decades to come.
“I mean you are talking about bringing in those F-35’s and with it comes an incredible amount of support,” Hackel said. “Not only the workforce and the talent, but the business sector coming into this as well. This is going to be big for Michigan if this does come to reality.”
As Hackel mentioned, there are four other locations also being considered. A decision is expected to be made next month by the Air Force.
“We are confident,” Hackel said. “If this doesn’t come to fruition we are going to be shocked. It has everything to do with politics and that’s what we are hoping doesn’t play into this.”