5:30am

Mon February 3, 2014
Regional Coverage

Fort Drum among four locations to be studied for East Coast missile defense site

The Defense Department has named Fort Drum as one of four military installations to house a possible East Coast missile defense facility. 

A 10th Mountain Division soldier trains at Fort Drum.
Credit Joanna Richards

The decision narrows the number of locations being considered from 10 to four. The Defense Department stresses that no decision has yet been made about whether the facility will actually be built.

Congressman Bill Owens says among the field of four bases selected for review, Fort Drum is well-positioned.

“I don’t think any of them have the infrastructure that Fort Drum does, in terms of being able to support the troops assigned to this facility. And I think that that’s going to be a major deciding factor,” he said.

The environmental impact study will take two years and will look at how building and operating the facility would affect land and water use, air quality, transportation, and socioeconomic aspects of the community. Sites in Michigan, Ohio and Maine will also undergo studies.

Owens says if the facility were built at Fort Drum, it would be a boon to the area’s economy.

“You’re continuing to build missions for Fort Drum. Each time you do that, I think you make the facility stronger,” he said.

Congress is pushing the Pentagon to consider building an East Coast missile defense site out of concern that Iran will develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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