Michigan National Guard Publishes Climate Preparedness and Resilience Plans

The Michigan Army National Guard uses a Bambi bucket, an aerial firefighting tool suspended below a helicopter, to extinguish a fire in Northern Michigan, Aug. 8, 2007. (Michigan National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Helen Miller)

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Story written by Lt. Col. William Humes JFHQ Public Affairs

LANSING, Mich. —The Michigan National Guard released unique Climate Preparedness and Resilience plans today in Lansing. The plans encompass the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center in Grayling, the Fort Custer Training Center in Augusta, and Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mount Clemens. Funding for the comprehensive plans project was provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment) following a 2013 Presidential Executive Order that included a goal work with stakeholders at the state, local, private-sector and non-profit-sector levels in an effort to improve overall climate preparedness and resilience.

The collaborative planning effort,, and the corresponding action plans, are especially relevant as the Michigan National Guard prepares to host nearly 5,000 Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines from ten states, and three countries at Camp Grayling for Exercise Northern Strike in August. The action plan for Camp Grayling and the surrounding area, developed primarily from knowledge gained during a series of in-depth stakeholder interviews, public input meeting, and a two-day planning charrette focused on a vulnerability assessment. The resulting plan documents wild fire threat levels in northern Lower Michigan and offers a series of recommendations aimed at mitigating the risk of wild fires in the region.

“It is a testament to the Environmental and Engineering teams of the Michigan National Guard that the National Guard Bureau asked Michigan to lead this first-of-its-kind U.S. Army pilot. Michigan National Guard teams have won numerous awards in recent years for Energy Security and Environmental Stewardship programs and they are a wise choice,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, the adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The project kicked off in 2015 and included: the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan Climate Coalition, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State Police-Emergency Management Division, the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessment Program, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Michigan National Guard Assistant Adjutant General for Installations, Brig. Gen. Mike Stone said, “We were so happy that all of these entities came to the table to assist us; the depth and quality of work studying the effects of weather patterns across the Great Lakes was impressive and made our job much easier. Working together certainly created a better, more comprehensive end product.”

The Fort Custer and Selfridge public hearings and planning charrettes focused on the threat of future flooding and mitigation; not just for the installations themselves, but the necessary domestic response across the entire region.

The Michigan National Guard will now host three public events to introduce the adaptation plans for all three installation areas. The first event will occur in Grayling on Aug. 1, 2016, at the Camp Grayling Officers Club, starting at 2 p.m. Times, dates and locations for the Fort Custer and Selfridge events will be announced in August.

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