Community and industry representatives gathered, virtually, last week, to hear Macomb County leaders' requests for support for Sterling Heights' bid
for the new United States Space Command Headquarters.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor met with government, council, industry, and academic leaders to share data and the current status of the project, and push support for Sterling Heights as the future location. City officials said its proximity to Selfridge Air National Guard Base and the historic defense presence make Sterling Heights a strong contender as a potential headquarters.
"We have an opportunity here," said Hackel.
Despite not necessarily being an obvious choice for aeronautical endeavors, Taylor said he believed Sterling Heights had a strong case to present, pointing to the city's quality of life, infrastructure, and track record with the manufacturing and auto private sector.
“We have a strong history in our region for defense assets including a highly skilled workforce, sophisticated facilities and infrastructure and strong business support from the defense community," said Taylor. "The fact that we have such strong and united support for this project will tip the scales in our favor."
Pat Pelletier, Chief of Staff for Rep. Paul Mitchell, emphasized that the competition will be "fierce" and that "everyone needs to be on the same page" for the bid to succeed. Tony Vernaci, president of Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan, said the more than 5,000 aerospace companies doing business with Michigan operations strengthens the bid, and Michael Drake from the University of Michigan said the state has a "rich history in space research".
The United States Space Command is the newest of eleven unified commands in the Department of Defense, and a final headquarters location will be announced early next year.