RAVENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – Camp Ravenna, formerly known as the Ravenna Arsenal, could soon become a major player once again in the country’s military defense system.
The Ohio House voted unanimously to pass a Senate resolution (SCR 9), which calls on the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (USMDA) to select Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center as the preferred site for a future East Coast Missile Defense system.
A sub-agency of the Department of Defense announced its consideration of Camp Ravenna and two other locations for a potential future deployment of additional ground-based interceptors for homeland defense.
“Camp Ravenna is uniquely positioned to be a strong site for selection because of its geographical location and surrounding military, technological and transportation assets,” said State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland). “Not only would our area benefit from the economic impact, but the impacts to our regional security cannot be delayed with a growing missile threat from North Korea.”
USMDA has decided to add another ground-based interceptor site in addition to one serving the west coast. The Ravenna facility was chosen as a consideration for its proximity to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna and the NASA Glen Center in Cleveland.
“We are, with this resolution, basically saying Ohio and the legislature is fully supportive of the fact that this stands to be a good economic boost for the region but also, it should weigh into consideration for our strategic initiative,” Boccieri said.
The other locations under consideration for the site are Fort Custer Training Center in Michigan and Fort Drum in New York.
Plans to name an east coast missile facility were announced in 2013. At that time, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) cited threats from North Korea and the increasing threat from Iran as critical reasons to improve the country’s missile defense system.
SCR 9 now heads to the governor’s desk for his expected signature.
Boccieri said the final decision will be up to the Missile Defense Agency and the Trump Administration, but may not happen until later this year.
Camp Ravenna is located just west of Newton Falls in Portage County and is considered an important training facility for military reservists. Roughly 120 people are employed there but at any one time, as many as 1,800 reservists could be training there.