U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center is officially one of only four sites in the country that the Department of Defense is considering for a potential missile defense site.
On Friday, the Department of Defense announced that Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, located near Newton Falls, Ohio, is one of four military installations nationwide that will have an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared for a potential additional missile defense site in the continental United States.
Pursuant to Congressional direction to complete an EIS for a potential additional missile defense site, the DOD's Missile Defense Agency has completed an extensive evaluation of sites that were originally announced for consideration in September 2013.
In addition to Camp Ravenna, three other sites were selected for completion of an EIS: Fort Custer, Mich., Fort Drum, N.Y. and the Portsmouth Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Training Area, near Rangeley, Maine.
The Department of Defense said there has been no decision to proceed with the construction of a new missile defense site.
"We are pleased and proud to be among the finalists for the potential opportunity to serve the citizens of Ohio and the nation. 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," said Maj. Gen. Deborah A. Ashenhurst, Ohio adjutant general.
"The Ohio National Guard has always been willing to do whatever the National Command Authority deems is important to the security of the nation."
It is expected to take about 24 months to conduct and complete the EIS, which will assess environmental impacts at each of the sites, including potential impacts to land use, water resources, air quality, transportation, socioeconomics and other factors established by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Public involvement is encouraged as part of the process, to include public meetings, written comments and public review of the draft and final documents.
Brown offered the following statement:
"It is encouraging that Camp Ravenna is currently being considered for future Department of Defense missions," Brown said. "Designating Camp Ravenna as a missile defense site would create local jobs and strengthen the regional economy."
Along with Camp Ravenna, DoD is also considering Fort Custer in Michigan; Fort Drum in New York; and Portsmouth SERE Training Area in Maine. DoD will continue to consider these sites over the next 24 months.
Brown continues to support the growth of Camp Ravenna in order for it to create jobs for the region.
Earlier this month, Brown announced that Camp Ravenna would receive $5.2 million in federal funds as a part of the bipartisan Senate-House appropriations deal expected to pass this week.
The $5.2 million Brown helped secure extends the Ravenna water/sewer line. This infrastructure and utility funding is crucial to the growth of Camp Ravenna, which the Ohio National Guard plans to expand and develop as a major training site.