Pentagon eyes Ravenna for missile interceptor site

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – The Department of Defense is considering Camp Ravenna on the Trumbull County-Portage County border as the location for an anti-ballistic missile launch site.

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy says Vermont’s Camp Ethan Allen is one of five locations being considered for a Ground-based Midcourse Interceptor East Coast location.

The other locations being considered are Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, Ohio; NAS Portsmouth SERE Training Area, Maine; Fort Custer CTC, Mich. and Fort Drum, N.Y.

No decision has been made to deploy the system, but the Pentagon is required to conduct a study of possible East Coast locations. Part of that study will be to identify the possible locations that would be looked at more.

Leahy says he’s opposed to the missile system because he considers it a waste of money and he doesn’t want it in Vermont.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, said the Missile Defense Agency will gather additional information about the site, including an on-site visit, before deciding which sites will advance to the next round of consideration.

Sites that are selected for further consideration will undergo environmental studies which will take an additional 18-24 months.

“This would be a great opportunity for Camp Ravenna and the State of Ohio to benefit from Department of Defense investments, leading to increased employment in both the construction phase and sustaining operational employment,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “While no final decision will be made for some time, I am pleased that we are one of the sites being considered.”

U.S. Senator Rob Portman the site could bring jobs and economic development to the area.

“With the threat from North Korea, and the increasing threat from Iran, improving our missile defense is critical,” Portman said in a statement. “Ohio is in a strategic geographic position for these missile defense capabilities and it’s great to see the Defense Department recognize the role Ravenna could fill. In addition to the important national security mission, such a site would bring economic development and jobs to the region. I plan to stay in close contact with the Defense Department as they move forward with their assessment. “

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.

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