Government

Chamber Looking for Clues in State of the Union

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber hopes clues about how the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp Ravenna fit into the future of America’s national defense will be revealed Tuesday night during President Trump’s State of the Union Address.

A news release to that effect was emailed to reporters this morning.

The chamber noted that it created the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission to protect YARS from the next Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, and to seek expanded missions for YARS and the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center.

“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,” said Vito Abruzzino, EOMAC director, in the chamber’s release. “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.

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, the chamber said.

Just this past week, the Ohio Legislature approved a resolution in support of the Camp Ravenna role in missile defense, the chamber noted. 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.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.