In this photo provided by the Missile Defense Agency, the lead ground-based Interceptor is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in a "salvo" engagement test of an unarmed missile target Monday, March 25, 2019. In the first test of its kind, the Pentagon on Monday carried out the "salvo" intercept of an unarmed missile soaring over the Pacific, using two interceptor missiles launched from underground silos in southern California.
Photo: Missile Defense Agency via AP
Photo: Missile Defense Agency via AP

Congressmen push for Ohio as site for East Coast missile defense

The letter to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan led by U.S. Reps. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Rocky River and Tim Ryan, D-Niles, urges the Defense Department to pick Camp Garfield in Ravenna, saying it would “represent a new and exciting chapter not only for Camp Garfield but for the region in which the Camp is located” and touts strong transportation, a “vibrant and diverse workforce,” and a strong education system as reasons to pick Ravenna.

“The state of Ohio has a proud history of contributing to the nation’s defense and to other government projects, at sites like Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center,” they wrote, saying adding the missile defense site to Camp Garfield “would represent a significant contribution to this legacy.”

The letter was signed by both of the state’s senators as well as every U.S. House member except Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, who could not sign onto the letter because he authored the bill calling for the east coast site.

Federal law requires the Department of Defense to designate a preferred location of a potential additional continental United States interceptor site within 60 days of publishing the Ballistic Missile Defense Review. The review was published on Jan. 17.

If selected, the construction of the site would create 2,300 jobs. Once operational, it would employ 850 people directly and 340 indirectly. The state’s congressional delegation estimates it would generate $224 million in economic value during construction and $27 million each year after that.

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In a statement, Gonzalez said “there is no region in the country that is better positioned to accommodate this site and keep our nation safe than Northeast Ohio.”

“We have the infrastructure, the workforce, and the military experience to support this critical missile defense system, and it would bring a much-needed boost to our economy and our job market,” he said.

“Camp Garfield’s location, infrastructure, and local workforce make it the perfect location to build the East Coast Missile Defense Site,” said Ryan.

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