Ohio center finalist for potential missile defense

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A training center in northeastern Ohio
is one of four military installations in the country being considered
for a potential missile defense site.
The Department of Defense
says it will prepare an environmental impact study of Camp Ravenna Joint
Military Training Center near Newton Falls and three other military
sites.
The department’s Missile Defense Agency has evaluated the
four installations. But officials say no decision has been made yet on
whether to construct a new missile defense site.
The other
installations under consideration are Fort Custer, Mich., Fort Drum,
N.Y., and the Portsmouth Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape
Training Area near Rangeley, Maine.
The environmental impact
studies will take about two years to complete. They will assess
potential impacts on land use, water resources and air quality among
other areas.
"It is encouraging that Camp Ravenna is currently
being considered for future Department of Defense missions," U.S. Sen.
Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said in a statement.
"Designating Camp Ravenna as a missile defense site would create local jobs and strengthen the
regional economy."
Last
fall, Camp Ravenna and four other sites were named as areas that would
house an undetermined number of U.S. missiles designed to intercept
incoming enemy missiles.
Camp Ethan Allan Training Site in Vermont was dropped from consideration, pleasing U.S. Sen. Patrick
Leahy, D-Vt.
"The
ground-based interceptors being contemplated for an East Coast missile
defense site cost huge sums of money, without delivering reliable
capability," he said in a statement.
"I welcome the news that
Vermont’s Camp Ethan Allen will not be considered as a site, and I
continue to pursue redirecting those funds toward projects that have
more proven and cost-effective success in keeping Americans safe."
The
Pentagon said there has been no decision to proceed with the
construction of a new missile defense site, but to clear the first
hurdle was good news for Ohio officials.
"We are pleased and proud
to be among the finalists for the potential opportunity to serve the
citizens of Ohio and the nation," said Maj. Gen. Deborah A. Ashenhurst,
Ohio adjutant general. "Since Camp Ravenna was announced as a candidate
several months ago, we have all realized the potential economic benefits
to the state’s northeast corridor."
According to the Akron Beacon
Journal (bit.ly/1djb7qQ), the former Ravenna Arsenal was used by the
Army during World War II to manufacture bombs and projectiles, employing
18,000 people at its peak. The property became a National Guard
training site in 1971.
___
Information from: Akron Beacon Journal, http://www.ohio.com
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
redistributed.