MACKINAC ISLAND (AP) – Michigan has a new strategic plan to grow the state’s military defense industry and protect against the closure of bases and other installations.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration, members of the state’s congressional delegation and others announced the “Protect and Grow” initiative on Thursday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

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The initiative includes 17 recommendations. They include boosting the Detroit Arsenal, maximizing the congressional delegation’s influence in decision-making on bases, and publicizing the important of the Soo Locks to national security and advocating for funding.

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The Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center recently signed a cooperative agreement that includes testing autonomous defense vehicles on I-69.

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