Print Friendly and PDF

Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission

The Regional Chamber launched the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission (EOMAC) in 2015 to preserve and promote the value of military operations between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, with an emphasis on the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center, formerly known as Camp Ravenna Joint Training Center.

These unique regional military assets in the region include the USAF Reserve 910th Airlift Wing, which is the only aerial spray capability in the military. Furthermore, the 21,000-acre Camp James A. Garfield site has transformed in recent years from a World War II munitions to an advanced training site for thousands of troops in the Ohio National Guard.

EOMAC is a proud member of the Association of Defense Communities and part of the Ohio military commission network, with peers around the state, including Task Force Lima, Toledo Military Affairs Commission, Ohio National Guard Association and Dayton Development Coalition.

Military Members at YARS

EOMAC Team/Partners

The commission is led by Attorney Vito Abruzzino. Outside of this role, Atty. Abruzzino is a Major in the United States Army Reserve and has served with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps at Fort Jackson, S.C., and Fort Bragg, N.C. Abruzzino is a graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law and has also acted as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in Columbia, S.C.

EOMAC is proudly supported by generous contributions from the Western Reserve Port Authority, Trumbull 100, Regional Chamber and Trumbull County Community Foundation.

Accomplishments/Updates

  • Ohio Support: EOMAC is working with the Ohio Federal Research Network and state leaders to continue to grow opportunities to build national defense capacity at regional installations and to evaluate the potential for university and military research partnerships.
  • Military Value: The Reserve and Guard throughout the region continue to protect the nation by the most efficient and effective means. Data demonstrates that these installations offer major contributions to defense, all while keeping federal expenditures at a minimum. Keeping facilities and materials upgraded for optimal performance is a key to continuing this trend in excellence.
  • Community Partnership: Citizen soldiers contribute to our installations and communities. EOMAC is proud to grow these contributions through the USAF Community Partnership Program, in which 910th Air Reservists are receiving training credits to address local safety, education and emergency issues with stakeholders throughout the region.

Recent News

Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber Releases Statement Regarding Communication by Department of Defense on East Coast Missile Defense Site

Jun 27, 2019
Regional Chamber President James Dignan responded today to a communication from the Department of Defense regarding the east coast missile defense site.

The Under Secretary of Defense, Michael Griffin, communicated with several members of Congress yesterday regarding a third U.S. location for a Continental United States Interceptor missile defense site (CIS) in the eastern United States capable of protecting the homeland against threats from nations such as Iran and North Korea. The only other existing interceptors are on the west coast in Alaska and California. This site selection process has been under discussion, evaluation and review for more than six years and was originally mandated in the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

By way of background, the Department of Defense (DOD) conducted environmental impact evaluations of four candidate locations in the eastern U.S., including Camp Garfield in Ravenna, Ohio, and others in New York and Michigan. Data on the sites was collected in 2014 and 2015. The draft evaluation was announced in May 2016, and the public comment period to weigh in on this evaluation was closed less than three months later in August 2016. Since that time, no final evaluation report has been issued to the public.

In brief, yesterday the DOD sent a letter to Congress indicating that it had completed the environmental impact statements for each of the sites. The letter went on to indicate that the New York site was the “most expensive option with the most environmental challenges,” but—based on data collected and evaluated at least three and as many as five years ago—provided the “best operational coverage” and would “by a small margin” be the preferred site. The letter went on to state that “there is no operational requirement for an East Coast CIS,” and that, “(s)hould a requirement emerge, the decision would be re-evaluated,” and additional analysis based on “updated performance” and the “evolving threat” would be made.

James Dignan, president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, said, “We are frustrated and disappointed with the mixed message conveyed by this communication. Nearly seven years have passed since efforts first began to identify and evaluate an East Coast site. As the coordinating entity for local and state efforts to advocate for our region, the Chamber will continue to stay engaged until there is a clear decision with a clear process, using relevant and recent information, and a clear timeline to make our nation safer.”

He added that this recent communication does not provide any clarity, only more questions, especially given DOD’s recent May correspondence that indicated the Department “has not chosen a preferred site” and that a “potential future decision on a site selection will by informed by pertinent factors at that time.”   

“While the first priority of our region has always been on national security, this unorthodox communication from the DOD, based upon dated information, raises more questions than answers for the many stakeholders invested in Camp Garfield and the safety and security of the country,” Dignan noted. “The entire region has and will continue to work with local stakeholders, our Ohio delegation in Congress, the Governor’s office, Department of Defense and Administration officials.

National security is the foremost responsibility of the Administration. We urge the Administration for a full review and clear plan for the East Coast CIS, and we remain convinced that our region can be the critical partner with DOD in this endeavor.”


YWRClogo        EOMAC