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2017 Press Releases

Could President Trump’s State of the Union Address Include Next Steps for Missile Defense…and Camp Ravenna?

Jan 29, 2018
Clues about how the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) and Camp Ravenna fit into the future of America’s national defense could be revealed Tuesday night during President Trump’s State of the Union Address, according to the director of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission (EOMAC).
Clues about how the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) and Camp Ravenna fit into the future of America’s national defense could be revealed Tuesday night during President Trump’s State of the Union Address, according to the director of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission (EOMAC).

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber created the Commission to protect YARS from the next Base Realignment and Closure process, and to seek expanded missions for YARS and the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center.

Vito Abruzzino, director of EOMAC, said, “Protecting the U.S. from nuclear threats in North Korea and Iran are a growing concern that can be enhanced by adding an Eastern site to the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System. Of the three sites being considered to house Ground-Based Interceptors in the east, we feel Camp Ravenna is best suited.”

Camp Ravenna, Fort Drum in New York and Fort Custer in Michigan are the sites under consideration to house the Eastern site.

Since nuclear tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have escalated recently, officials with EOMAC and the Regional Chamber hope the President will provide some details on how the U.S. will increase its defenses. The timing of Tuesday’s State of the Union is relevant in that the Missile Defense Agency is scheduled to release its Ballistic Missile Defense Review in February, assessing the need for a third site that would contain defense missiles used to intercept a ballistic missile.

“We hope to see the president lay out the next steps for missile defense,” Abruzzino said. Just this past week, the Ohio Legislature approved a resolution in support of the Camp Ravenna role in missile defense. This builds on broad support among the Ohio delegation in Congress and local business, political and labor leaders who support the multi-billion dollar construction project, which would provide high-paying jobs and spark economic growth in the region.

Also due to be released soon is an overall assessment of the nation’s military. Abruzzino said the likelihood of a future BRAC and the role of the military’s only aerial spray unit, housed at YARS, could be gleaned from that report and the President’s speech on Tuesday.