U.S. Army Secretary Mark Espers Gets Up-Close Look at Michigan’s Defense Industry During Tour

Last week, in her first official duty as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Tammy Carnrike, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s chief operating officer, greeted U.S. Secretary of the Army Mark Esper and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters for their visit of the Detroit Arsenal in Macomb County, including the Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC), the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).

As escorting officer, Carnrike greeted both men at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and accompanied Esper and Peters through a series of meetings as well as demonstrations of mission-enabling technologies being developed in Michigan. In addition to TACOM and TARDEC, they also visited the Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support and Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems during their visit of the Detroit Arsenal and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

“I am very proud that Secretary Esper was able to visit TACOM and TARDEC for the first time to see the incredible innovation and technology being developed here due to collaboration between the private sector, transforming automotive industry, and the U.S. Army,” Carnrike said. “It was also very impactful to show Secretary Esper and Senator Peters the great work that is being done by the thousands of military and civilian employees stationed in the Detroit Arsenal who work to support our soldiers in sustainable readiness and protect the nation.”

Esper and Peters reiterated the importance of integrating the use of autonomous vehicle technology for future wars, protection of soldier, and deterring threats.

During a recent interview at the Pentagon, Esper discussed the need for next-generation combat vehicles and plans to accelerate the deployment timeline for military use. Peters serve on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee. He noted that Southeast Michigan’s strong automotive, manufacturing and technology roots will better prepare the country’s military for conflicts that are dramatically different from years past.

Esper and Peters also toured the  Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support and Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems during their visit of the Detroit Arsenal and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

Learn more about the visit as well as collaborative work between the U.S. Army and the automotive industry here.

Tammy Carnrike Named New Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army to Represent Michigan

DETROIT — (April 17, 2018) — The newest Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army was invested during a ceremony conducted this week at the Pentagon.

Tammy Carnrike was selected by Mark T. Esper, U.S. Secretary of the Army, to represent Michigan. Carnrike will be afforded a three-star protocol status in accordance with the U.S. Department of the Army Protocol Precedence List. She will be responsible for providing advice to Secretary Esper, commanders and senior leaders on public sentiments toward the Army, and will work closely with the Army and installation commanders; state adjutants general; ambassadors of the Army Reserve, Army National Guard and Army Reserve commander; Reserve Officers Training Corps region and area commanders; Army recruiting commanders; professors of military science; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Division and district engineers; and other designated personnel within the state of Michigan.

“I am honored that Secretary Esper has chosen me to serve as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army Michigan,” Carnrike said. “In this role, I will work to highlight the tremendous range of opportunities possible for collaboration, partnerships and exchange of knowledge between Michigan communities and the U.S. Army.”

“This position will also allow me to continue, in a very visible way, to support the well-being of our service members and veterans — and to be their advocate and voice throughout Michigan. I am humbled and very grateful to take on this new role, and I look forward to helping the Army tell its story to the people of Michigan,” Carnrike added.

Maj. Gen. Clark LeMasters Jr. stated, “As the commanding general of the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, I deeply appreciate the support Ms. Carnrike has provided over the years to our military and civilian employees stationed at the Detroit Arsenal. She and others in the community make it possible for us to do the work of protecting our nation.”

“Ms. Carnrike’s role as CASA Michigan will help strengthen the relationship between the Detroit Arsenal and the local community and reinforce the commitment the U.S. Army has made to Michigan. We proudly welcome Ms. Carnrike to the Army family.”

Each state, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories have one or more CASAs appointed to provide a vital link between the Army and the communities it serves. CASAs are usually business or civic leaders who possess a keen interest in the welfare of the Army and its communities.

A leader in Chamber of Commerce management for more than 20 years, Carnrike is chief operating officer for the Detroit Regional Chamber, a position she has held since 2006. She has served in national leadership positions, including chairman of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management Board of Trustees, and chairman of the board for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

In addition, Carnrike serves as a member of the Army-Southeast Michigan Advisory Council; is a member of the Governance Committee, Protect and Grow: A Strategic Plan for Michigan’s Defense and Homeland Security Economy; and is an alumni of the Department of Defense’s Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, where she spent five days visiting each branch of the U.S. military and learning about the readiness of the armed forces and the nation’s defense policies.

CASAs serve a two-year term without compensation. Terms may be extended to a total of 10 years of service. Civilian aides may be recognized CASA Emeritus after 10 years of distinguished service.

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September 2012: Driving an Army

TACOM’s Warren facility continues to drive Army

By Amanda Lee

Pages 13-14

While Southeast Michigan rightly became synonymous with the moniker the “Arsenal of Democracy” during World War II, the proud legacy can sometimes lead to misconceptions about the level of innovation still occurring in the region’s defense industry.

The U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) headquarters in Macomb County
serves as one of the best avenues of bringing cutting-edge technology, equipment and supplies to the warfighter on the 21st century battlefield. It stands as a leader in the defense industry for the development, acquisition, fielding and support of ground and soldier equipment.

“We are the center of excellence for the ground combat vehicles and support the majority of the equipment in a Brigade Combat Team, which is our basic maneuver formation in the Army,” TACOM’s Major General Michael J. Terry said. “With our partnerships with TARDEC and the Program Executive Offices: Ground Combat Systems, Combat Support and Combat Service Support and Solider, and academic and industry, we are constantly researching, developing and fielding the latest technology – never losing focus of why we exist – to support the soldier, our most precious resource.”

“Our mission is to develop, acquire, field and sustain soldier and ground systems for the warfighter through the integration of effective and timely acquisition, logistics and cutting-edge technology.”

While headquartered in Warren, TACOM LCMC has over 24,000 personnel at more than 100 locations worldwide, including seven total U.S. locations. Of that number, the 170-acre Warren location has 7,887 full-time civilians and contractor employees and 236 military members. TACOM’s total annual command payroll is over $2.4 billion dollars. Its contracting center executed over $16 billion in contracts in fiscal year 2011 – with a lot of that money staying right here in
Southeast Michigan.

As an LCMC, TACOM works to transform soldier and grounds systems, providing the Army and the U.S. Department of Defense with more flexible and versatile combat capability within a more adaptive and responsive management structure.

“Simply put, we support a diverse set of products throughout their life cycles, from combat and tactical vehicles, armaments, watercraft, fuel and water distribution equipment, to soldier, biological and chemical equipment,” said Terry, who noted TACOM manages more than 2,000 major and 34,000 secondary items for the Army.

“TACOM has been at the forefront of ensuring Army readiness for nearly 70 years and has constantly been evolving during this time,” he said. “Our roots go back to World War II’s Arsenal of Democracy in Detroit. That was when, in 1941, the first M3 Lee Medium Tank was produced at a Detroit Arsenal tank plant here in Warren.”

Despite that legacy, there are no shortage of challenges as the nation debates cuts to forces and defense spending heading into a presidential election.

“The Army and TACOM LCMC are in the midst of a major ongoing transformation of our product, processes, people and culture. The revitalization of our industrial base facilities is one of our key current initiatives. Our stakeholders, the American public, need to understand the value of the work we perform.”

As the defense industry awaits key budget decisions by the federal government, Terry said the U.S. Army has been the beneficiary of ample resources over the past decade, which helped place the country’s major weapon systems at the highest readiness rate in history. He added that funding has been there to support more than 1.1 million soldiers who have deployed to combat during the past 10 years.

“As our Army continues to perform unified land operations around the world, we will ensure we are postured to support future requirements when and where called as we await future budget decisions, which will most likely have an effect on the Army,” he said. “The fiscal reality is that we will get smaller. How we do it is the hard part.

“Setting priorities and channeling resources will be the next step in our efforts to ensure we provide the capabilities that our force needs in the future,” he continued. “I believe we will be facing some challenging times, but our Army and TACOM will continue to execute our mission requirements based on the guidance provided by our senior leaders.”

Terry stressed that TACOM will continue to ensure those at the facility are “wise stewards” of the resources they are entrusted with. He said that TACOM has achieved validated cost efficiencies of $138 million in fiscal year 2010 and $151 million in fiscal year 2011.

“Some of the key operational challenges we see facing us and the defense industry include maintaining employee critical skills sets, and ensuring we maintain a viable and responsive industrial base in a time of constrained resources,” he said. “We are also facing industrial base challenges, such as identifying requirements in the out years, workload alignment, balancing commercial and organic capabilities, rightsizing the industrial base, and maintaining and sustaining the roles and missions of our depots and arsenals.”

Amanda Lee is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.

September 2012: Committed to Excellence

New TACOM LCMC commander committed to warfighter

By Amanda Lee

Page 12

The value of innovation is never more apparent than on the battlefield where the American warfighter puts his or her life in peril to defend their country and way of life. Few operations play a more prominent role in providing for those soldiers than TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) in Warren.

The TACOM LCMC gained new leadership as Major General Michael J. Terry took over command in a formal ceremony on June 21 at the Detroit Arsenal.

“My top priority is always providing support to the soldier. It’s the reason this command exists,” he said. “The soldier is at the center of our TACOM LCMC mission and vision statements and we’re organizationally aligned to get soldiers what they need, when they need it and where they need it.”

“The TACOM motto is ‘committed to excellence,’” he continued. “We like to say ‘if a soldier eats it, wears it, drives it or shoots it … TACOM LCMC develops, supplies or sustains it.’ We have always and will continue to always lead the way to keep them safe.”

Terry succeeds outgoing commander Major General Kurt J. Stein, who served as TACOM’s commanding general from January 2010. Terry previously served at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, where he was the commanding general of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

“Mike has plenty of sand in his boots and knows what it takes to support our warfighters,” said U.S. Army Materiel Command  Commander General Dennis L. Via, who officiated the ceremony in June.  “He has the experience, vision and passion to position TACOM for exciting years ahead.”

Terry, a native of Pennsylvania, received his commission and a Bachelor of Science degree in law enforcement from the University of Scranton in 1979 and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. He is married and has three children.

For his part, Terry says TACOM’s place in the defense industry has never been more important.

Terry said he is excited to be at the helm of TACOM and eager to build partnerships throughout Southeast Michigan.

“I am very excited about our involvement in the area, the partnerships we have formed, the career opportunities we provide and most of all, the heart of our people who always lead the way in support and volunteer efforts for events where and when needed,” he said. “We are and will continue

to be an integral part of the team and look forward to the continued success and working relationship with our community partners.”

While TACOM is focused on helping the Army take innovation to another level, Terry says TACOM’s current operation goals aren’t much different than they have been in years past.

“The background of the TACOM LCMC is steeped in the World War II industrial mobilization of the United States,” he explained. “Even before the start of World War II, Army and business visionaries came together and built the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant, what would soon become synonymous with the Arsenal of Democracy.

“Seventy years later, the Detroit Arsenal, home of the TACOM LCMC, is still at the forefront of providing our modern day warfighters with the equipment they need to fight yet another global conflict,” he continued. “From the very beginning through today, the mission of the TACOM LCMC has remained constant. For 70 years, our command never lost sight of our primary focus – our soldiers.”

Amanda Lee is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.

September 2012: A Good Fit

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel discusses Michigan’s defense industry

By James Martinez

Pages 10-11

Elected as Macomb County Executive in November 2010, Mark Hackel has had a strong focus on economic development, including the automotive industry and advanced manufacturing. With Macomb County’s existing assets, the defense industry is a crucial component of those efforts. In this question-and-answer with the Detroiter, Hackel discusses the defense industry and his efforts to actively promote the county as the defense capital of the Midwest.

What makes Macomb County and Michigan such a good fit for the defense industry?

Companies that want to get ahead locate close to the action.

It’s our collective ability to innovate, create and produce goods.  We have an unequalled expertise in developing the world’s most advanced and lethal ground combat vehicles. President Franklin D. Roosevelt realized our strength and ability to retool to begin building tanks in Warren more than 70 years ago when he turned to Chrysler Corporation when our allies were struggling to win a war.  This lead to the establishment of strong assets including TACOM, TARDEC, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, several world-renowned prime defense contractors, over 500 area defense contractors, and a vibrant workforce of engineers and skilled labor.

In fact, a Defense Industry Strategy Taskforce has been developed through a partnership between Macomb County, Macomb Community College and the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan.  The purpose of this task force focuses on identifying, prioritizing and developing strategies to sustain and enhance the regional defense industry.

What type of impact does the defense industry have on Macomb County?

Macomb County represents the largest volume dollar of defense contracting on a per county basis in the state of Michigan, and is home to approximately 65 percent of the defense businesses in the state.  Over the last 10 years, defense contractors within Macomb County have been awarded contracts from the Department of Defense totaling more than $26 billion.  Primary contracts range upwards from a small moving company to the multi-million dollar contracts awarded to our locally-based defense suppliers such as General Dynamics Land Systems.

Every one of these contracts is part of a vast supplier network that helps to create jobs and investment in Macomb County.

What type of defense jobs do you see Macomb County supporting moving forward? What type of workforce will it take to support those jobs?

The Southeast Michigan region has a strong talent pool of engineers and dedicated professionals with a deep knowledge in new technology.  The jobs of the future will focus on engineering, robotics, cyber security, and modeling and simulation.

The recent summit, Seeing 2020: Ensuring Skills Preparedness in the Southeast Michigan Defense Sector, hosted by Macomb Community College demonstrated that we are proactively creating the workforce of tomorrow through collaboration within the defense industry.

In the last decade or so, we have witnessed quantum leaps in technology that have made our lives easier, faster and safer.  Macomb County and the region – offering a depth of research, technology and engineering expertise – are well equipped to meet the future workforce needs.

Often the mainstream perception of the defense industry can be quite narrow, focusing in on just the military. What do you the think the average Michigander doesn’t realize about the defense industry?

The military is not simply about weapons and combat vehicles. It is an organization that employs and manages people. There are millions of contract dollars that go to everyday companies like Kellogg and Herman Miller – so the opportunities are open to a wide range of businesses in all types of industries.
Military technology is often created with partnerships with private industry and universities.  The federal government contracts with higher education and business to develop technologically superior advantages on the battlefield.  These innovations are frequently adapted for mass civilian use.  Examples include the microwave, GPS, Infrared, prosthetic limbs and even Kleenex!

With the emergence of the global economy driven by high-tech innovation, how has the defense industry changed over the past few years? How do you adjust for changes that can emerge so quickly? 

Our biggest defense suppliers – GDLS, BAE, Oshkosh – don’t just supply the American forces, but also our allies.

Michigan’s strength is innovation.  In fact, this global demand for high-tech innovation works in our favor. Allied countries are seeking the technology that is developed here.  Companies within the U.S. defense industry are responding to this demand which diversifies their business.  They have accomplished this by working with allies to sell their products outside of the United States.  This trade is heavily regulated to ensure the superiority of the United States military but helps this country to strengthen supporting forces.

What are the biggest challenges facing Michigan’s defense industry?

Political uncertainty is the biggest challenge facing the nation’s defense industry.  Sequestration could significantly cut the budget of the Department of Defense, in a manner that would be detrimental to the nation’s defense industrial base.

How do you see the footprint of key assets like TACOM and Selfridge Air National Guard Base changing in the future?

Although a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) has been shelved for 2013, we must always prepare for continual adjustments to the Department of Defense. In the last BRAC (2005), we were able to enhance our local facilities with gains from Rock Island, Illinois.  This area needs to continue to add value to the military.  Again, it’s the symbiotic relationship between our private industry, higher education and military installations.  It’s not just the value the military brings to this area, it’s the advantages we offer the military and national defense.  If we continue this line of thinking,  I am hopeful Michigan’s assets – TACOM LCMC and Selfridge ANG – will be expanded.

In Macomb County you’ve focused on driving the defense industry and worked to position your county as the defense capital of the world. How does the rest of the country and the world view Michigan’s defense industry?

I’m not sure there is an overwhelming impression that Michigan has a robust defense industry. Michigan and the Detroit area are just starting to realize how important it is to market our strengths.  The success of the Pure Michigan campaign is direct evidence of that importance and evidence that
we need to promote what we do and who we are.

Changing that for the defense industry is our exact goal for Macomb and the region.

With world-renowned defense contractors such as General Dynamics Land Systems, BAE Systems, and Oshkosh Defense, Macomb County’s defense industry certainly has unique and important strengths that contribute greatly to the nation’s military capabilities.

Other locales in the nation focus on serving other aspects of the military. Our strengths are in ground vehicles, robotics and modeling and simulation, and we are growing our prowess in serving the aerospace industry as well.

Where do you see the defense industry 20 years from now?

Obviously I cannot speak for the industry as a whole.  As for what happens in our area – I would like to see enhanced collaboration between the military, the higher education community and private industry. This coexistence has benefited our economy and our nation.

Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?

Check out the new website from the Defense Industry Strategy Taskforce (Macomb Community College, New Economy Initiative and Macomb County) www.southeastmichigandefense.com

From 2000-2010, the Department of Defense contracted activities or awarded grants totaling $1.6 billion for research and development to organizations within Macomb County alone. Let’s grow these opportunities across Michigan!

James Martinez is associate editor of the Detroiter.

September 2012: Capital of Defense

The high tech defense industry shifts into overdrive

By James Amend

Pages 8-9

For more than a century Detroit has been known as the capital of the global automotive industry, but in recent years its reputation as a high-tech hub for the defense industry has shifted into overdrive.

Armchair historians know well the role Southeast Michigan played during World War II, when car and truck factories were retooled to build tanks and planes, and the acknowledgment it received at the time from President Roosevelt when he coined it “The Arsenal of Democracy.”

But the region’s modern contribution to America’s defense and homeland security sectors no longer centers solely on nuts-and-bolts production; rather, the focus lies on delivering the latest battlefield technologies to save lives and support warfighters around the world.

“It is a multi-billion-dollar industry for Macomb County and Southeast Michigan,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “It is incredible. We are now known as the Arsenal of Innovation.”

Known as the Michigan Defense Corridor, several dozen defense contractors occupy a stretch of six square miles along the Mound Road and Van Dyke Avenue corridors in Macomb County, anchored by the U.S. Army’s sprawling TACOM Life Cycle Management Command in Warren.

Hackel estimates at least 500 businesses surrounding the corridor now do some measure of defense business.

Consider Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township and the corridor widens to some 58 square miles. Add in Camp Grayling in Crawford County and businesses in Grand Rapids and the state stands as a hub of defense business activity.

Companies in the Michigan Defense Corridor aren’t supplying mop handles, either.

They are involved in providing military products like the highest-security information technology solutions and construction services not only here in Michigan, but as far abroad as Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps most significantly, they are devising new, energy-saving ideas that trim the reliance of our armed forces’ wheeled vehi

cles on foreign oil and allow them to do more with less on the battlefield.

Brigadier General Mike Stone serves as assistant adjutant general for installations for the U.S. National Guard, tasked with bringing more military training to the 145,000-acre and nearly 100-year-old Camp Grayling in Northern Lower Michigan.

As such, he’s had a front-row seat to watching the corridor grow over the years and only expects it to accelerate, ironically, because government is undergoing the same belt-tightening the automotive industry went through three years ago.

“We’re interested in delivering more firepower with fewer people, so we have to embrace technology and the government can no longer do it by spending millions of dollars on its own,” Stone said. “We need to collaborate with industry.”

The government’s new spending habits open the doors for businesses across the nation, big and small, who are jostling for a share of the U.S. Department of Defense’s $90 billion annual research and development budget.

Defense businesses have good reason to set up shop in Michigan, given Warren-based TACOM’s mission to conduct research, development and purchasing to support the Army’s readiness. Its annual contract budget approaches $15 billion and its sister unit in Warren, the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, spends 70 percent of its budget with Michigan companies.

The combination has led defense industry giants such as BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems to locate in the region.

But Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of weapons systems at BAE Systems, which recently opened a new $60 million office complex in Sterling Heights housing 600 staffers, said there is more to the story.

“In that (defense) corridor, I can find any capability I need to execute a program,” Signorelli said.

Signorelli says the corridor puts services such as rapid prototyping, three-dimensional modeling and advanced simulation tools within steps of BAE’s doorstep. He also cites the availability of contract engineering houses, such as Livonia-based Roush Industries and Pratt & Miller Engineering of New Hudson.

As home to the auto industry for more than 100 years, the region also contains a wealth of mechanical, electrical and software engineering talent, he said, ranging from longtime veterans of the Detroit Three and Tier One suppliers to those newly graduated from the region’s excellent engineering schools.

“The skills we see in the auto industry complement what we need in defense,” he said.

Business friendly groups are also getting more active in wooing the defense industry to the region.

For example, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded BAE Systems a tax credit valued at $22.1 million over 14 years, plus a $460,000 job training grant for new hires. The city of Sterling Heights also threw in a 12-year tax abatement worth $4.6 million.

BAE Systems didn’t start from scratch, either. The company took an industrial site formerly occupied by an automotive supplier.

In addition, the corridor sits within an MEDC Smart Zone focused exclusively on accelerating entrepreneurial talent and infrastructure in the area of defense, homeland security, alternative energy and advanced manufacturing. It’s a federal HubZone, too, which means small businesses operating there are eligible for preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.

Perry Mehta, founder, president and CEO of FutureNet Group, a Detroit-based provider of environmental, construction and technology services to the military and mainstream commercial customers, typifies the sort of business leader envisioned for the Michigan Defense Corridor.

Mehta started FutureNet Group in 1994 on a shoestring budget and today the business boasts 100 employees with four offices across the country and defense contracts around the globe. He conducts 90 percent of his business with the federal government, taking advantage of opportunities such
as HubZone qualification.

Mehta’s advice to small business owners seeking federal work is simple: Find a good mentor to help guide you through the red tape of the federal procurement certification, exercise financial discipline by reinvesting in your company and stay focused on your small business’ expertise.

“Figure out what your small business is good at and keep working at it,” says Mehta, the 2011 recipient of the Small Business Administration’s Small Minority Business Person of the Year. “I’m a great example of that.”

A good start for any small business would be to contact the local Procurement Technical Assistance Center, which helps businesses compete in the government marketplace. Two other key resources include the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which provide funding awards to engage in federal research and development projects.

The task ahead of the Michigan Defense Corridor is to get the word out about the resources the region has to offer.

“It may not be known nationally that we are a nexus of defense activity, but that is changing,” said Dan Raubinger, director of defense and manufacturing at Automation Alley, Southeast Michigan’s technology business association.

For its part, Automation Alley organizes two domestic trade missions each year, hosting between 10 and 20 local defense companies at a pair of defense industry trade shows boasting 30,000 attendees. That’s almost three times the number of industry experts attending the annual Society of Automotive Engineers’ World Congress in Detroit.

“We’re branding Michigan as a place to do defense business,” Raubinger said.

James Amend is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.