Camp Ravenna being considered for defensive missile base

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RAVENNA, Ohio-- With the United States launching Tomahawk missiles in Syria and bombing our enemies in Afghanistan, local officials are awaiting word on whether a new defensive missile base will be built in Northeast Ohio.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency was expected to have decided by now where it will recommend placing a new missile interceptor base with Camp Ravenna Joint Training Center as one of the options.

The site would be able to launch ground-based defense missiles to protect the eastern United States in the event the country was attacked.

Ravenna Mayor Frank Seman is among those who hopes the local site is chosen.

"They were supposed to last fall, late fall, come up with a selection. That has been postponed a number of times, but given the present state of our relations around the world presently I would expect to see an acceleration in these decisions," said Seman.

The Missile Defense Agency is in the process of completing an environmental study. After that, a recommendation for the site will be made to Congress.

The other two sites under consideration are Fort Custer Training Center in Michigan and Fort Drum in New York.

The base would provide hundreds of jobs both for construction and for operation after it is built.

Seman believes with its history Camp Ravenna, the former Ravenna Arsenal, would be an ideal site for such a base.

"We feel that the site that we have here is a strong contender. This area was very important during World War II and a lot of the growth here in Ravenna came at that time," said Seman.

"Ravenna is ready to serve our country again as far as that is concerned. We'd like to have the site here," he added.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Adjutant General's Office tells Fox 8 News that a timetable for making the announcement has still not been made.

Even after a site is chosen, however, it could be a while before the base is ever completed.

Seman believes if the estimated $3.6 billion base is located in Northeast Ohio it would not be anything that local residents should fear.

"They are only going to be launched if there is something on the way so, as I said, they are defense missiles not attack missiles. I would assume it would make me feel safer. If they are called to be launched, we have a problem; they don't practice with these." said Seman.​

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