RAVENNA, Ohio - The Department of Defense is considering using Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center as a a missile interceptor deployment site that could fire rockets at nuclear weapons aimed at the U.S.
Congressman Tim Ryan said the Missile Defense Agency will gather additional information about the site including an on-site visit, before deciding which site will advance to the next round of consideration.
The government is looking at four other sites in New York, Michigan, Vermont and Maine.
"This would be a great opportunity for Camp Ravenna and the state of Ohio to benefit from the Department of Defense investments, leading to increased employment in both the construction phase and sustaining operational employment. While no final decision will be made for some time, I am pleased that we are one of the sites being considered," Ryan said.
Ravenna mayor Joe Bica was pleased to learn about the possibility of expanding operations at Camp Ravenna and believes the plan has the potential to boost tax dollars from an increase in sales merchandise as well as income tax for employees.
"We had concerns that piece of land would just become an unused piece of land that would just be held by the government ... I think any expansion with the camp out there is good for the city of Ravenna. It's a good thing for Portage County," Bica said.
The camp, situated on more than 20-thousand acres, was once a World War II ammunition plant.
It's now used by the Ohio Army National Guard for training.
Ravenna resident Tim Riemenschneider said he likes the idea of a missile defense system being installed at Camp Ravenna, but also realizes it could be a political hot potato.
"I think it would cause a lot of protests and stuff like that around here," Riemenschneider said.
Josh Dobrilovic, also from Ravenna, said he doesn't have a problem with the idea.
"Jobs and security, sounds like a good idea for me," Dobrilovic said.
There are currently two missile defense sites -- one in Alaska and the other in California.
Mayor Bica estimated it would take a year or two before the Department of Defense settles on a decision of whether to add a third facility.
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