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Defense budget proposal may affect Michigan

Staff Sgt. David Carbajal
U.S. Air Force
A-10s provide close-air support for U.S. and coalition ground troops throughout Afghanistan.

Michigan may stand to gain and lose in the proposed U.S. Department of Defense budget plans.

The budget plan Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid out yesterday cuts spending on what’s seen as old Cold War hardware and spends more money on "21st century weapons".

The 2015 budget plan would eliminate the entire fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The Warthogs, as they are known, were originally developed in the 1970s to take out Soviet tanks.  

Congresswoman Candice Miller says she will fight this proposal to ensure that the role of the Air National Guard “is not diminished.”

The proposed defense budget may actually bode well for a different Michigan Air Guard Base.

Last year, the Battle Creek Air National Guard base learned it will be the home of MQ-9 Reaperunmanned drones. The drones are the size of a jet aircraft, can conduct surveillance and attack targets with laser-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles.   

Under Hagel’s proposed budget, the defense department will increase spending on drones. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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