Map of Military Bases in Michigan
The Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center is about a three-hour drive northwest of Detroit. It trains National Guard troops year round to meet various requirements for unit readiness. The camp was established in 1913 after 13,000 acres of land was donated for Michigan military training by Rasmus Hanson, but the camp has acquire more land over the years and now sits on around 147,000 acres, which makes it the country’s largest training center for the National Guard. The facilities include top-notch ranges and maneuver areas. Some of the ranges include those for large artillery, tanks, and mortars.
This U.S. Army installation was founded in 1940 in Warren, Michigan, and was actually the first mass-producer of tanks in the U.S. Overall, the plant produced around one-fourth of all the tanks built by the U.S. during WWII. It was intended to produce arms during wartime and then only conduct peaceful production afterwards. At the time the DTA was constructed, some areas were built with three-foot-thick walls and the roofing was reinforced to protect vulnerable exhaust fans and windows. It remains an Army facility today and is the Tank Automotive Research headquarters for the U.S. Army.
The training facilities at Fort Custer, named after General George Armstrong Custer, are used primarily by the National Guard of Michigan, although other branches of the military also use this Fort occasionally. In 1917, during WWI, this installation (then called Camp Custer) was constructed to support the war effort and at that point trained over 100,000 soldiers. It became a permanent base in 1940, at which point the need for trained troops increased dramatically so that the base ended up training more than 300,000. Fort Custer was even a prisoner of war camp for thousands of German soldiers during WWII. The base today is operated by the state and is federally owned.
Coast Guard Stations
Since Michigan offers a lot of access to the Great Lakes, it only makes sense that this state would be a Coast Guard hotspot. In fact, the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan has 21 Coast Guard stations and units. Of course, this sector is under several states’ jurisdiction, not just Michigan, but Michigan plays a huge role in the operations conducted here. It’s also important to note that this one sector controls the entire lake under U.S. Coast Guard’s District Nine.