Government

Chamber Lauds $16M for YARS, Camp Ravenna

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and its Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission wants the public to know that members of the Mahoning Valley’s congressional delegation secured more than $16 million for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center.

YARS, which generates approximately $100 million per year for the local economy, will receive $8.8 million for infrastructure improvements to increase security, which is necessary to help protect the facility against base realignment and closure. Camp Ravenna will receive $7.4 million for a weapons range.

Both projects were announced May 10 by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio who is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs that approved the funding.

“Our military assets continue to receive exceptional support from Congressmen Tim Ryan, Jim Renacci, Bill Johnson and Dave Joyce, as well as Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown,” said Vito Abruzzino, director of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission, in a news release. “These investments help keep our installations viable.”

Abruzzino pointed out that lawmakers are leading the charge to attract a multi-billion-dollar missile defense site to Camp Ravenna and secure new aircraft for YARS.

More funding and policy favoring these facilities will be among the top priorities during the chamber’s inaugural “D.C. Fly-in” June 20-21, the chamber noted.

“The Fly-In gives our business, government and community leaders an opportunity to amplify the voices of our elected members of Congress,” said Guy Coviello, vice president of government affairs. “We are grateful for everything the delegation has provided and look forward to the Fly-In to show all the federal officials how serious this community is about working with them.”

The Portage Development Board and Greater Cleveland Partnership are among the organizations supporting the effort to convince Washington that Camp Ravenna is the best location for the ground-based missile defense site. Of the three locations under consideration, including Fort Drum in New York and Fort Custer in Michigan, the northeast Ohio advocates, as well as Riki Ellison, founder and chairman of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, contend that Camp Ravenna is best, according to the chamber..

“We appreciate the Ohio members of Congress who have made the Camp Ravenna weapons range possible,” said Bradford Ehrhart, president of the Portage Development Board.  “We are also thrilled to see the entire Ohio delegation provide so much support for the effort to land the missile defense site. It’s a project that could transform our community and impact the entire state of Ohio.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.