A $5.14 million renovation project is complete at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.
State Sen. John Bizon and ranking members of the Michigan Air National Guard held a ceremony Friday to open facilities for cyber and air operations support in Africa and Europe.
The renovations in the 22,789-square-foot building on the base will house the 272 Cyber Operations Squadron and the 217 Air Component Operations Squadron.
Formation of the cyber squadron was announced in 2015, one of 12 air guard installations in the country which will detect and protect the Department of Defense against electronic attacks. The unit was activated in January 2018 and employs 70 people.
The base has about 1,000 employees.
“Our primary role will be in support of the Department of Defense and statewide,” Col. Bryan Teff, then base commander, said five years ago. “Right now we experience millions of cyber attacks each day against the Department of Defense. We will defend networks and infrastructure when it comes to cyber communications. We will be focusing on the defense of that.”
No a Brigadier General and commander of the Michigan Air National Guard, Teff was present for the ceremony and said the renovation of the building will provide the men and women assigned to the squadrons to “fully execute their missions to support our communities, state and nation.”
The 217th Air Component Operations Squadron supports U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa by providing air planning for operations and air field and airworthiness assessments of aircraft for United States coalition and partner nations.
“It’s incredible to think that in 2,005, this installation was marked for deactivation by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. How wrong they were,” said Bizon, pointing to the resiliency of the base. “We are continuing to witness the rejuvenation of our base and the accomplishments that have been done out here.”
Teff and Col. Shawn Holtz, the base commander, cut a ribbon in front of the building.
“This facility is an example of the continuous advancements made by the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard as an investment in National Security” Holtz said.
Contact Trace Christenson at 269-966-0685 or [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Battle Creek Enquirer: Battle Creek Air Guard Base completes $5.1M renovation to support cyber and air operations