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Intel Quarterly - October 2023


Welcome to the fourth issue of our quarterly Aerospace and Defense newsletter. This briefing will provide readers a quick update on what is happening within the aerospace and defense community in Macomb County, the state of Michigan and how our work impacts the rest of the nation.

This quarter we introduce you to U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Matthew Brancato, the new commander of the 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

With cybersecurity compliance facing manufacturers operating in the defense industrial base and supply chain, Rod Volz of USX Cyber, discusses the importance of cyber compliance for small- and medium-sized businesses.

This newsletter also features a Q&A with AUSA Arsenal of Democracy chapter president, Tammy Kielian. Read on for more A&D news!

Brig. Gen. Brancato assumes command of Selfridge Air National Guard Base

Brig. Gen. Brancato

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Matthew Brancato is the new commander of the 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base. He officially assumed the position during a ceremony at the base Aug. 5, closing out Brig. Gen. Rolf E. Mammen’s four-year term at the position.

The ceremony, presided over by Michigan Air National Guard commander Maj. Gen. Bryan Teff, was attended by nearly 1,500 airmen assigned to the 127th Wing and numerous SANGB, community and elected leaders.

 "Under Brig. Gen. Mammen’s authentic leadership, Team Selfridge has been molded into a lethal, agile, and resilient force,” Teff said. “Faced with a significant paradigm change, Brig. Gen. Mammen forged the path toward laying a new foundation, coupled with growing and developing wing capability.”

Mammen, who will transition to a new position at the Michigan National Guard’s Joint Forces Headquarters, recognized the airmen for whom he served and imparted praise to Brancato as he relinquished command.

“This job has been the best job I’ve had in the U.S. Air Force, and that’s because of you,” Mammen told the airmen. “I feel like Brig. Gen. Brancato is the luckiest person in this room, because serving in this role has been the greatest honor.”

In addition to leading the Wing, as SANGB commander, Brancato will lead what Teff referred to as, “the last of the super bases, an installation critical to the national security of our country.”

With more than 70 tenant, military and Department of Homeland Security commands, comprising more than 5,000 personnel, SANGB is one of the oldest and most complex Air National Guard Bases in the country. Despite the weighty responsibility, Teff says that Brancato is equipped to fill Mammen’s shoes.

“Brig. Gen. Brancato is the right leader at the right time to build and grow upon what Brig. Gen. Mammen has done here at Selfridge,” Teff said.

Brancato most recently served as the senior executive officer to the 29th Chief of the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon. He has commanded at all levels of the Air Force, most recently as the commander of the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis, Tennessee.

 “I look forward to working with the amazing team here at the 127th Wing, and I want to continue to invest in you, your families and this base’s future,” Brancato said.

Brancato said that the 127th Wing’s accolades have not gone unnoticed, and that outside of Michigan, SANGB is viewed as an asset – an asset worthy of the enduring fighter and air refueling mission, a ‘super base,’ critical to domestic security.

“Selfridge stands ready to receive future missions as well as ready to execute current taskings,” Brancato said. “With all of us together, the nation will continue to see Selfridge as a National Guard treasure.”


Q&A with Brig. Gen. Brancato

Brig. Gen. Brancato assumes command

Q: Since you have arrived at your new job, what has surprised you most about Macomb County?

A: The support we get from the community is fantastic. I’m amazed by the base’s relationships with the community and the support they give the women and men who call Selfridge home.


Q: What are your first impressions of Selfridge Air National Guard Base?

A: The professionalism of the airmen at Selfridge is top-notch. The talent of the women and men serving at Selfridge is our greatest asset. It’s inspiring to consider that Michigan airmen have worked at this base for more than 100 years. The experience of Team Selfridge is one reason why retaining two relevant flying missions at the 127th Wing is essential. We cannot afford to lose the talent and critical skills of our pilots, maintainers, and support team, which could happen if the Air Force doesn’t replace the A-10 aircraft at Selfridge. We are waiting and wanting to know what our future missions will be after the Air Force retires the A-10, and we must keep both the fighter and tanker missions at the base so that we don’t lose any airmen who call Selfridge home.

The diverse set of joint mission partners at the base creates a synergy I’ve not seen before. Having all military branches serving together at Selfridge allows us to build relationships that demonstrate interoperability daily. That means, when we go down range to support the combatant commanders, we are already familiar with the Navy, the Army, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen we may find ourselves working alongside.

Michigan’s training landscape is second to none. During my first week at Selfridge, I had the opportunity to travel north to witness the exercise Northern Strike. From the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, across to Grayling and down to Battle Creek, Michigan, is the location of choice for complex training and multi-domain innovation.

Northern Strike fuses Michigan’s unique capabilities to maximize unit readiness – a terrific opportunity for the 127th Wing and the airmen at Selfridge. We don’t have to travel far to get to this unique training environment.


Q: What are your top priorities for Selfridge as you assume command? And tell us about some of the improvement projects the base is working on to make it a more attractive landing space for a future mission.

A: My priorities are People - Mission – Teams. People are our No. 1 priority. In addition to our airmen and civilian employees at Selfridge, we also need our families and support systems that enable our members to focus on their military jobs.

The Air National Guard missions are to fight and win our nation’s wars, defend the homeland, and build international partnerships. We’re ready to respond to federal mission taskings while continuing to train for future conflicts. Teams includes everyone from the local community, our Base Community Council, congressional delegation, and local and state elected leadership who advocate for us and help us retain resources and relevancy among our peers. Together, Team Selfridge stands ready to answer the call.

Current and upcoming projects include:

  • The new Hangar 4 maintenance hangar project, which broke ground in May 2023, will provide almost 42,000-square-feet of space for an appropriately sized and adequately configured facility for fighter maintenance functions. It will be able to house a single A-10 or two F-35s, office space for almost 100 airmen daily, and an additional 175 drill status guardsmen. This is part of a multi-pronged plan to update our fighter maintenance facilities over the next eight years.
  • A runway repair project in summer 2024 will involve pavement improvements to the existing asphalt and a complete replacement of asphalt at three locations on the runway. This project will increase the longevity and endurance of our runway and is estimated to employ more than 100 construction workers during the project. Construction will take about 120 days, and while our A-10s and mission partners’ aircraft will remain on-site during the pavement improvement using an alternate taxiway as a runway, our KC-135s will be temporarily based off-site.
  • A series of projects called the “south end encroachment solution” involves shifting the runway to the north, away from a handful of Harrison Township homes, to preserve our clear zone. We have identified seven projects to solve this issue. These projects were divided into the non-airfield and airfield projects. The four non-airfield projects include:
    • Moving Rosso Highway to make room for a shift north of the runway
    • Moving the Irwin drain/ditch
    • Moving the base perimeter fence
    • Moving the base perimeter road to the north

The design of these projects is currently out for bid.

There are three airfield projects to be completed:

  • Extend the runway to the north with a 1,000-foot hardened overrun
  • Connect the overrun to the rest of the airfield by extending Taxiway Bravo
  • Realign all the light systems and navigation aids

This design project will be put out for bids at the end of the calendar year. 

We also have signed a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) contract through the state of Michigan, and it is scheduled to be completed in late 2025. The goal is to complete all designs for the seven projects by December 2025 to be ready for construction in 2026.

The state of Michigan has committed to funding these projects – they’ve already funded the NEPA contract and the project’s designs and construction, estimating about $100 million total.


Q: While we continue to pin our hopes on landing the F-35 mission, what can you tell us about SANG’s attempts to secure a future fighting mission such as the KC46 or F15EX?

A: We continue to provide information and answer data calls for consideration of future missions by the Air Force. Most recently, we played host to a team from the National Guard Bureau that was on a fact-finding mission looking at our capacity and facilities related to a new fighter mission and the KC-46 tanker mission. We must recapitalize both missions – tanker and fighter missions – so that we can maintain and grow our professional workforce.

I’m confident in our local elected leaders up through the governor’s office, who are engaged in this battle, as is our congressional delegation. Keeping flying missions at Selfridge allows us to continue to provide the defense capability our nation needs, employ 1,500 airmen and 250 civilians, and contribute more than $171 million in economic stimulus to the area through payroll and contracts.


Q: SANG has enjoyed an active base community council. You indicate you want to further develop partnerships between the base, education and industry. Tell us what you mean by that?

A: Expanding relationships with industry and academia help drive innovation and new mission capabilities that are critical to our national defense. Our relationships with the community are vital as we develop and grow our mission sets. Collectively, these relationships are the foundation of our future.

Macomb County economic developers attend 2023 AUSA annual meeting and exposition

Vicky Rowinski at AUSA

By Todd Seibert, senior economic developer for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development

“Be all you can be” that is the theme of the 2023 AUSA annual meeting and exposition.

The annual meeting  is the largest land power exposition and professional development forum in North America. The goal is to deliver the Army’s message by highlighting the capabilities of organizations and presenting a wide range of industry products and services. 

The three-day event brings together more than 20,000 people from around the world for conversation, networking and to watch the defense industry’s latest technology in action. 

When you first enter the expo floor at the convention center, it’s hard to miss the armored fighting vehicles (tanks). They command so much attention with their sheer size alone. Product specialists on the floor are quick to point out the differences in design as the Army moves away from gas as its main source of fuel, to electric, which allows design teams to maximize additional space on the tanks. 

Making your way through the expo, you’ll quickly notice the international impact, as delegations from all over the world are represented. Any and all products the Army can use are on display. You will see different mobile shelters and cots, uniform options and accessories, along with robot dogs, also known as Q-UGVs. Everything you can imagine and more is on display, including next-generation technologies from the more than 650 exhibitors. 

Macomb County was well represented by a team made up of economic developers, academia and advocates from the chamber of commerce. Together, the Macomb team showcased the advantages of having businesses located in the County. More than $4 billion in defense contracts were awarded to companies in Macomb County in 2022. Those defense contracts were highlighted by the Macomb team while it played host to the Arsenal of Innovation reception at the Army & Navy Club for Industry leaders and Military personnel. With so much research and development happening, suppliers can find a way to diversify and grow their business and utilize the knowledge and experience that Macomb’s team can offer. 

Macomb Community College unveils new Skilled Trades and Advanced Technology Center

Patrick Rouse

Macomb Community College has unveiled a groundbreaking $45 million transformation of its Skilled Trades and Advanced Technology Center, marking the largest renovation in the college’s history. 

This ambitious project is not only a milestone for education at MCC but also holds significant importance for the aerospace and defense industry by addressing critical workforce needs and advancing technical capabilities.

The newly reimagined 130,000-square-foot facility, located on the college’s South Campus in Warren, is a testament to MCC’s commitment to fostering educational and training experiences that align with the ever-evolving demands of the aerospace and defense sectors. 

With the fall semester classes that began Aug. 21, this state-of-the-art center is set to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the region’s workforce.

James O. Sawyer IV, president of Macomb Community College, emphasized the profound impact this renovation will have in supporting the automotive and defense sectors,

“The programs taught here prepare our residents for critical jobs in the region that sustain metropolitan Detroit’s legacy of a technical workforce powerhouse, and that fuels the success of the local automotive and defense sectors,” Sawyer said.

The aerospace and defense industry relies heavily on a highly skilled workforce, and the renovation aligns with the industry’s growing demands. Job openings in advanced manufacturing, technology and skilled trades are expected to surge in the coming years. 

In Macomb County, growth projections range from 1% for automated systems and robotics to a staggering 14% for 3D modeling and design technology, with median annual earnings ranging from the mid $40,000s to low $80,000s.

Macomb Community College’s Skilled Trades and Advanced Technology Center has been strategically designed to optimize the environment for teaching and learning, embracing the principles of Industry 4.0. The center aims to produce a robust talent pipeline for the aerospace and defense industry, ensuring that graduates are equipped with the skills needed to contribute immediately upon entering these high-demand careers.

The programs housed in this cutting-edge facility include apprenticeships, CNC machining, drafting/computer-aided design, electronics, fluid power technology, land surveying, media and communication arts, mechatronics, product development (including digital sculptor/clay modeling), robotics, and welding. By locating classrooms and labs of related disciplines near each other, the center fosters the interconnectedness of modern industry, mirroring the collaborative nature of the aerospace and defense sectors.

Furthermore, the renovation includes spaces that encourage student gathering and engagement, promoting the development of essential soft skills such as communication, collaboration and problem-solving, all of which are highly valued in the aerospace and defense industry.

The transformation of the Skilled Trades and Advanced Technology Center also reflects the modern industrial settings that aerospace and defense companies operate in, replacing dimly lit, closed-in areas with bright, inviting spaces filled with natural light, mirroring the working environments found in the industry.

This $45 million renovation project was made possible with a capital outlay appropriation of nearly $15 million from the state of Michigan, supplemented by approximately $30 million from the college’s capital projects fund. 

Hobbs + Black Architects served as the project’s architects, and Barton Marlow was the construction manager.

In summary, Macomb Community College’s transformative renovation of the Skilled Trades and Advanced Technology Center is a significant development for the aerospace and defense industry. It addresses the industry’s urgent need for highly skilled talent and provides state-of-the-art facilities to train the workforce of the future, ensuring that the region remains a hub for aerospace and defense innovation and growth.

Patrick Rouse is the director of Workforce Development and Continuing Education at Macomb Community College.

The importance of aerospace and defense to Macomb County and the state of Michigan

Kelly Lovati

Nestled in the heart of southeast Michigan, Macomb County may not immediately conjure images of cutting-edge technology or futuristic aerospace developments.

However, this vibrant County is quietly playing a pivotal role in the aerospace and defense industries. From advanced manufacturing facilities, to research and development, Macomb County is a key player in safeguarding the nation’s security and propelling us into the future.

As an economic backbone, the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry plays a critical role in job creation, talent attraction, economic stability and supplier networks. Job creation and talent attraction are critical components to a thriving and growing economy. 

Aerospace and defense companies employ thousands of highly skilled individuals in positions ranging from engineers, technicians, manufacturing experts to administrative staff. These jobs offer competitive wages and benefits.

Economic stability is always a benefit to a community. Aerospace and defense companies are less susceptible to economic downturns that allow both the community and its members to ride out financial storms more effectively.  In 2022, 61% of Michigan defense contracts were awarded to companies in Macomb County. Job opportunities for this industry have grown 139% since 2010. Interconnected ecosystems create a stronger economy. 

The A&D industry relies upon an extensive supplier network that provides even more business opportunities to grow and expand industry partners throughout Macomb County. 

More than 1,100 defense companies are located within Macomb County. Many of these defense companies are located in the renowned “Defense Corridor,” which is 1 mile wide and 9 miles long, containing one of the heaviest concentrations of defense companies.

Innovation, technological advancement, and national security are other advantages Macomb County benefits from through aerospace and defense ecosystems.  Michigan has been referred to as the “Arsenal of Innovation,” and Macomb County serves as the epicenter for much of that innovation, technology, and opportunity. Furthermore, Macomb County is home to the Detroit Arsenal and Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The presence of these installations plays an essential role in our national security.

The Detroit Arsenal is a key hub for research, development, testing and manufacturing of military equipment and vehicles.  SANGB serves as a strategic location for rapid response and support in times of emergency both at the national and state levels. Macomb County’s aerospace and defense industries are the unsung heroes of its economic fabric. In addition to the impressive technological advancements and national security contributions, the aerospace and defense sector provides jobs, stability and innovation that benefit the entire county, state and nation. 

As we look to the future, it is clear that Macomb County’s aerospace and defense industry will continue to be the wings of prosperity for the greater good of Macomb County and the state of Michigan. It is time to tell our story!

Our competition across the nation works together on a state-wide basis to be a strong voice and advocate for their state. We need your help in building this momentum. A united voice and effort will bring notice to the great talent in Macomb County and Michigan. Join us for our monthly meetings held on the first Monday of each month at 11 a.m. Meetings are held at Macomb Community College University Center on Center Campus.

To join the committee and become a driving force for aerospace and defense in Macomb County, contact me at

Kelley Lovati is the president and CEO of the Macomb County Chamber.

Q&A with Tammy Kielian, AUSA-Arsenal of Democracy Chapter president

Tammy Kielian

In this installment of our A&D Intel Quarterly newsletter, we feature the final question and answer session of 2023 with the new leaders of three of our local defense boards, including the National Defense Industrial Association – Michigan Chapter (NDIA), Women in Defense – Michigan Chapter (WID) and the Association of the United States Army – Arsenal of Democracy Chapter (AUSA).

Each leader was asked the same five questions. Each respondent was asked to keep their responses to about 150 words.

Our final contributor is AUSA-Arsenal of Democracy Chapter President Tammy Kielian.


Q: Tell us about the mission of your organization.

A: The mission and primary purpose of the Arsenal of Democracy Chapter of AUSA is to educate, inform, and provide connections between the U.S. Army, Michigan Army National Guard (MIARNG), industry community partners and the Michigan community.


Q: What are some of the current initiatives your organization is working on?


  • Increase membership (both individual and community partners) and provide strong value to the membership population (educate, inform, and connect activities). 
  • Provide support to U.S. Army recruiting by providing access and promoting opportunities and the brand of the Army.
  • Increase Young Professionals population and involvement within the chapter.
  • Promote the AUSA Speakers Bureau and Center for Leadership Fellows for speaking engagements and keynote speaking events.


Q: What are some of the challenges your organization is dealing with?


  • Continuous growth of membership (community partners and individuals). With uncertainty of defense budgets, membership is not always an expense priority especially for small businesses.
  • Providing the best value to our members, creating events that interest and connect our industry partners and individuals from all parts of the state of Michigan.
  • Maintaining a strong board of directors and volunteers to support our many events.


Q: Why is Michigan, and specifically Macomb County, such an ideal destination for aerospace and defense companies?

A: Michigan and specifically Macomb County are ideal destinations for aerospace and defense companies because operations such as the Detroit Arsenal, TACOM and various program executive office (PEO) agencies are in Warren. Along with Selfridge Air National Guard Base, the co-proximity allows for tremendous collaboration, networking and joint efforts between the Arsenal of Democracy Chapter, defense industry partners, and the Michigan Military Coalition.


Q: What are the most important issues currently facing the aerospace and defense industries?


  • Continuing recovery from COVID-19 setbacks in industry.
  • Broken and unreliable supply chains.
  • Inflation challenges

Cybersecurity compliance is more important than ever for your small-, medium-sized business

By Rod Volz, USX Cyber

Rod Volz

In today’s digital age, the importance of cybersecurity compliance cannot be overstated. 

Cyber threats are growing in complexity and frequency, and they pose significant risks to businesses of all sizes. We at USX Cyber want to discuss the vital role of cybersecurity compliance for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and explore the specific impact of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) on manufacturers operating in the defense industrial base and supply chain.

The rising stakes of cybersecurity compliance for SMBs

Small- and medium-sized businesses are not immune to cyberattacks. In fact, they are increasingly becoming targets due to their perceived vulnerabilities. Here are a few reasons why cybersecurity compliance is crucial for SMBs:

  • Protection of sensitive data: SMBs often handle sensitive customer data, financial information and proprietary data. Failure to secure this data can result in devastating breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.
  • Legal and regulatory compliance: Many industries have strict regulatory requirements for data protection. Non-compliance can lead to legal consequences, fines, and loss of business opportunities.
  • Supply chain vulnerabilities: SMBs are critical components of the supply chains for larger organizations, especially in defense contracting and manufacturing. A breach in an SMB can cascade through the entire supply chain, affecting multiple stakeholders, including the prime and also the federal government.

CMMC and its impact on defense manufacturers and the supply chain

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a framework established by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to enhance the cybersecurity posture of organizations within the defense industrial base and supply chain. 

Here’s why CMMC is making waves:

  • Mandatory for defense contractors: Large defense contractors are now requiring all vendors in their supply chain to be “CMMC ready,” and once the guidance becomes law, vendors will be required to be CMMC compliant. Regardless of where you are in the supply chain, compliance is essential to remain a viable partner.
  • Risk mitigation: CMMC provides a standardized way to assess and mitigate cybersecurity risks. This is crucial for safeguarding sensitive defense-related information.
  • Levels of maturity: CMMC offers different levels of maturity, allowing organizations to tailor their cybersecurity efforts to their specific needs and capabilities.
  • Competitive advantage: Being CMMC ready can give SMBs a competitive edge in the defense sector. It demonstrates a commitment to security and positions your business as a reliable partner.

Taking action: Steps for SMBs

So, what can SMBs do to prioritize cybersecurity compliance and navigate the CMMC landscape?

  • Assessment: Begin with a thorough assessment of your current cybersecurity practices. Identify weaknesses and gaps that need to be addressed.
  • Training and education: Invest in cybersecurity training for your employees to create a security-conscious culture within your organization.
  • Consultation: Seek guidance from cybersecurity experts who can help you navigate the complexities of CMMC compliance.
  • Documentation: Maintain detailed records of your cybersecurity practices and compliance efforts, as documentation is a critical aspect of CMMC.
  • Continuous improvement: Cyber threats evolve, so your cybersecurity measures should, too. Implement a plan for continuous improvement and monitoring.

In conclusion, cybersecurity compliance is not a choice; it’s a necessity, especially for SMBs operating in the defense, industrial base and supply chain sectors. CMMC is a game-changer for ensuring the security and integrity of defense-related information. By embracing compliance and safeguarding your digital assets, you not only protect your business but also contribute to the security of the entire supply chain.

Rod Volz is the chief growth officer for USX Cyber. You can reach Rod at, or by calling 703-244-3892.

Relocation ad

Defense Industry Growth Area Grant used to attract talent to Macomb County

As the gap between the number of workers and available employment widens across the country, Macomb County has an opportunity to attract eager talent to our thriving aerospace and defense sector.

Macomb County Planning and Economic Development has launched a nationwide marketing campaign to promote our region and draw in tech and engineering employees from other states.

Using funds from the Defense Industry Growth Area Grant, the team is running digital advertisements in five key markets in California, Texas, Indiana, Massachusetts and Georgia. The ads promote Macomb County as a vibrant, safe and affordable place to live, work and play. Interested in the campaign? Get in touch with to learn more.


BAE Systems lands AMPV Army contract

BAE Systems logo

Sterling Heights based BAE Systems has been awarded a $797 million contract to continue production of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) for the U.S. Army, with additional options for a potential total contract amount of $1.6 billion.

According to, the award brings the AMPV program into full-rate production, making it the first newly designed and built tracked vehicle in the U.S. Army’s fleet to reach this production stage in three decades.

The AMPV replaces the U.S. Army’s fleet of Vietnam War-era M113 family of vehicle. The multi-mission AMPV family of vehicles provides critical survivability, mobility, and interoperability upgrades to the Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT).

The AMPV program is one of the U.S. Army’s top vehicle modernization programs. The Army first awarded BAE Systems the AMPV contract in 2014 and signed a low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract in 2018. The first LRIP vehicle was delivered in August 2020.

The AMPV is specifically designed to accommodate future technology needs, including enhanced size, weight, and power provisions for network integration and future mission payloads.

Work on the AMPV program takes place across BAE Systems’ industrial network, which in addition to Sterling Heights includes facilities in Aiken, S.C.; Anniston, Ala.; Phoenix; and York, Penn.

DCS Wins $2.1B contract to support Army’s military automotive tech lab in Warren

DCS Corp logo

Virginia-based DCS Corp. has won a potential eight-year, $2.09 billion contract to support a U.S. Army research and development laboratory that works on advanced technology for military ground systems.

Army Contracting Command received three bids for the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract covering technical and engineering services to the Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center.

Headquartered in Warren, GVSC helps the U.S. military develop and maintain systems in areas such as autonomy, power and mobility and force projection.

The government expects work to be complete by April 27, 2031.

DCS offers engineering and technical support services to the DOD and other agencies focused on national security.

Roundtable discussion forms connections for aerospace and defense overseas exports

Curt Chowanic at Roundtable Discussion

Breaking into the aerospace and defense international exporter market is difficult, with all of the problems you might expect with connecting parties from opposite sides of the world.

Struggling to make the initial connections can be followed by regulations and red tape, logistics and distribution issues.

On Sept. 14, A&D business owners were joined by stakeholders from local government and other assisting agencies to help make the path to obtaining international contracts a little smoother. Everyone was there to listen, learn and make contacts.

The Michigan Aerospace and Defense Export Roundtable Discussion was held at the Velocity Center in Sterling Heights and sponsored by the International Business Center Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED).

Many of the businesses taking part in the roundtable have established successful exporting partnerships with companies in Canada and hope to export more of their products to Europe and Asia. And that’s where things become much more difficult.

According to a survey taken by the International Business Center, the biggest obstacles to overseas exporting are things like:

  • Red tape/regulations
  • Bandwidth – limited sales team time
  • Getting contacts to know about them
  • Sales locations abroad
  • Distribution and sales reps
  • Compliance issues, taxes, fees, tariffs
  • Cash flow due to long accounts receivable aging
  • Lack of marketing/networking
  • Lack of funding
  • Lack of a dedicated service base in the foreign country/location

According to the survey, the topics and export resources of most interest to A&D business owners included:

  • Identifying and working with sales agents/distributors
  • Additive manufacturing and 3D printing
  • How to work with Asian customers
  • Trade shows
  • Networking
  • Procedures and ease of processing
  • Export sales financing
  • Becoming a NATO base supplier
  • Tooling
  • Time required

Roundtable participants also said European companies often like to work with other European companies – local suppliers who make the business relationship easier. A difference in power supply voltage between the United States and European countries was stated as a factor as is the need for translation services.

Both MCPED and the MEDC are available to help businesses learn how to export overseas and who to export to. And both can help overcome the challenges of what can and cannot be done in overseas exporting. The MEDC helps connect small- to medium-sized companies with 134 countries all across the globe.

If your company is interested in starting or increasing its global exporting, contact MCPED Senior Economic Developer Curt Chowanic at or call 586-469-5285.

Macomb County Child Care Coalition logo

Help improve child care in Macomb County - Your input is needed!

Macomb County Planning & Economic Development is developing a report about the status of child care in the county with a goal of establishing a set of actionable recommendations. Employers are encouraged to complete a quick survey to share their perspective about how child care (or the lack thereof) is impacting their current and prospective workforce. The survey closes at the end of October, please take a moment to get involved now:

Reach out to us - We can help

Are you looking to expand your aerospace or defense company into Macomb County or grow an established business here?

The Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development is here to help, whether it be site selection, tax abatements, connection to workforce needs and incentives, or any state grants and services, we offer free guidance and assistance.

Senior Economic Developer Curt Chowanic is our contact for aerospace. He can be reached at or 586-469-6284.

Senior Economic Developer Todd Seibert is our contact for defense. He can be reached at or 586-469-6298.

Upcoming events of the quarter

Here is the list of upcoming Aerospace and Defense related events in and around Michigan and around the country ...

2023 Events Date
Macomb Next: I4.0 Workshop series – Cybersecurity Oct. 19
Women in Defense (WID) Michigan Networking Event Oct. 19
Macomb County Chamber 2023 Aerospace and Defense Committee Meeting Nov. 1
Air Force Association of Michigan (AFA) Business over Lunch Nov. 8
Women in Defense (WID) Michigan Networking Event Nov. 16
Women in Defense (WID) Michigan - Mingle Jingle! Dec. 1
Macomb County Chamber 2023 Aerospace and Defense Committee Meeting Dec. 6
Air Force Association of Michigan (AFA) Business over Lunch Dec. 13

If you have an event coming up in 2023, please contact us and we can include it in an upcoming newsletter.

Articles and blogs

TACOM changes command, welcomes Brig. Gen. Lalor


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Department:Planning and Economic Development