GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Army National Guard will receive nearly $26 million in federal funding to upgrade its facilities for women service members.
Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, was able to add a provision to the Department of Defense’s annual budget bill to allocate funding to update armories with new showers, bathrooms and lactation rooms. Peters noted that while the armories were built with an “all-male force” in mind, women now make up approximately 18% of the Michigan Army National Guard.
“Women service members must have access to equal and adequate facilities, and I’m pleased to have secured these federal resources to make that a reality,” Peters said in a statement. “When we modernize Michigan’s military facilities and invest in our troops, we send a clear signal that we support the entirety of our force and their ability to effectively carry out their missions.”
The funding will be spread across 14 facilities statewide. The Sault Ste. Marie armory has the biggest price tag at $3,850,000. Two armories in Detroit will also see upgrades, along with the armories in Alma, Alpena, Augusta, Bay City, Grayling, Jackson, Lapeer, Midland, Montague, Port Huron and Taylor.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers praised Peters for his leadership, calling the funding a critical resource for the state’s facilities.
“As more women join the Michigan Army National Guard, these new facilities are vital to make sure our troops feel supported and have the resources necessary to thrive and be mission-ready,” Rogers stated.
The federal funding will be used alongside the $55 million already allocated to the projects by the State of Michigan.