Photo Advisory: Battle Creek officials testify in support of Nofs resolution

LANSING, Mich.— Battle Creek City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama testifies in support of Senate Resolution 113 during a hearing of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security committee on Feb. 7, 2012. The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, (right) urges the United States Department of Defense to follow through on plans to locate an MQ-1/9 Remote Split Operations (RSO) unit at the Battle Creek Air National Guard base. Also pictured is Karl Dehn, president and chief executive of Battle Creek Unlimited.

Nofs’ resolution comes in response to the proposed cancellation of the C-27J cargo aircraft program due to federal Defense department budget cuts. Battle Creek was scheduled to begin receiving the C-27J aircraft over the next year. (See related release).

The committee unanimously adopted SR 113, and it now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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Nofs Supports New Mission For Base

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Nofs is applauding the plan to locate an MQ-1/9 Remote Split Operations (RSO) unit at the Battle Creek Air National Guard base. The action comes in the wake of the proposed cancellation of the C-27J cargo aircraft program due to federal Defense Department budget cuts. Battle Creek was scheduled to begin receiving the C-27J aircraft over the next year.

“The fact that Battle Creek has been identified as a location for the cutting edge MQ-1/9 RSO mission speaks volumes about the quality of the Battle Creek base and its staff,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek.

Nofs said the new mission could compliment the current mission of the 110th Air Operations Group, also located at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, which serves as a vital part of the 17th Air Force and the U.S. Africa Command.

“There is no doubt that the Battle Creek Air National Guard base is one of the finest and most up-to-date Guard bases in the country,” said Nofs. “This, coupled with the tremendous support of the greater Battle Creek community has helped ensure its continued operation.”

Nofs is sponsoring Senate Resolution 113 that calls on the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force to fulfill its commitment to provide a new mission and aircraft to the Battle Creek base. The resolution will be taken up Tuesday in the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Homeland Security Committee.

He indicated that while the new mission is welcome news, should the Defense Department determine that the C-27J or a successor aircraft is needed, he would still like to see it come to Battle Creek.

“With a 10,000 foot runway, uncongested skies, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and a legacy of excellence, the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base is an ideal location for the placement of strategic aircraft, he said. “We are proud of this base and the men and women who’ve served us around the globe, and I will continue to do whatever I can to make sure it remains a vital part of our nation’s defense.”

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Senate passes Nofs legislation to require FBI background checks for adult care workers; helps protect seniors

LANSING, Mich.—Workers at adult foster care and homes for the aged would be subject to FBI criminal history checks if legislation approved Wednesday by the state Senate becomes law, said sponsor Sen. Mike Nofs.

“These important reforms will help protect senior citizens who are routinely victimized by predators who exploit their vulnerabilities,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “By subjecting care workers to FBI criminal background checks, we will better protect seniors and instill another barrier to help prevent these perpetrators from entering the system.”

Senate Bills 787 and 788 would enable the Michigan State Police to conduct a criminal records check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation on an applicant for an adult foster care or homes for the aged license. The criminal records check requirement would also apply to an owner, partner, or director of the applicant who has regular direct access to residents or who has on-site facility operational responsibilities for the facility.

The Senate approved an 18-bill senior protection legislative package in 2011, of which Nofs was a sponsor, to protect seniors at risk of being exploited without placing an unmanageable burden on their guardians.

Those measures included initiatives to improve coordination between state and local authorities; enhance banking, annuity and insurance protections for seniors; establish reporting requirements for suspected abuse and neglect or knowledge of abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities; and create an “Amber Alert” style alert for missing seniors.

SBs 787 and 788 now go to the House for consideration.

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