The Fort Custer Training Center in Battle Creek is one of four sites under consideration as the home for an intercontinental missile defense system.'

If it was approved, defensive missiles would be based at Fort Custer standing ready to shoot down enemy missiles headed for the eastern half of the country. Calhoun County officials have said the project will have a $3.2 (b) billion positive impact on the Southwest Michigan economy, including the addition of 300 new jobs directly and up to 1,800 jobs indirectly.

Opponents say it would signal a big movement toward further militarizing the United States. And it would make West Michigan a bigger target for hostile military and terrorist acts.

The Missile Defense Agency and the Michigan Army National Guard have planned public meetings to solicit input on the plan.

One will be held Tuesday evening at McCamly Place in Battle Creek. The public may comment between 6 and 9pm. A second public hearing will from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Sherman Lake YMCA in Augusta.

No decision has been made to build the system, but the Pentagon is required to study the possible locations.