Camp Ravenna one of 5 potential sites for a missile interceptor system
By William K. Alcorn
Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center is one of five sites being considered by the Department of Defense and Missile Defense Agency as a site for an interceptor deployment, a ground-based system designed to intercept ballistic missiles.
“This would be a great opportunity for Camp Ravenna and the state of Ohio to benefit from Depart- ment of Defense investments, leading to increased employment in both the construction phase and sustaining operational employment,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-13th.
“I’m encouraged that the Department of Defense continues to look to Ravenna for future national security missions,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. “Should we get to a point where the department decides an additional missile defense site in the United States is needed and viable, I’m confident that Camp Ravenna will prove to be a valuable asset.”
Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, formerly known as the Ravenna Training and Logistics Site and the Ravenna Army Ammunition Plant, is an Ohio Army National Guard military base on 21,000 acres between Ravenna and Newton Falls and adjacent to Windham village.
Ryan said the Missile Defense Agency will gather additional information about the site, including an environmental-impact statement and from an on-site visit, before deciding which sites will advance to the next round of consideration. The process will take an additional 18-24 months, Ryan said.
“While no final decision will be made for some time, I am pleased that we are one of the sites being considered,” Ryan said.
Before its present status as a training facility for the Ohio National Guard, Camp Ravenna, commonly known as the Ravenna Arsenal, was a military ammunition production facility for the Army. As an arsenal, the facility was at peak operation during World War II and served as an ammunitions plant in various roles until 1992.
Other sites being considered are Camp Ethan Allen Training site in Vermont, NAS Portsmouth SERE Training Area in Maine, Fort Custer CTC in Michigan and Fort Drum, N.Y.
The potential future good news from the DOD for the area comes at a time when the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force (NCSAF) is considering reducing the number of aircraft at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna Township from 12 to eight C-130 cargo aircraft.
Ryan recently submitted written testimony to NCSAF asking it to reverse the planned force reduction at the station, saying it would be more efficient to have 16 aircraft there, and that the expansion would be a more-efficient use of resources for the Air Force and at the same time benefit national security.
In fiscal year 2011, the Air Force Reserve directed the Youngstown Air Reserve Station to lend two aircraft to Little Rock Air Force Base to support its training mission, but the planes remained part of YARS inventory for manning purposes. The Air Force now plans not only to remove these two lent aircraft from YARS’s books, but also transfer an additional aircraft out and convert one of the remaining nine aircraft to Backup Aircraft Inventory.