Columbus- State Senators Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta) and John Eklund (R-Munson Township) are pleased that the Ohio Senate voted 32-1 today to approve Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 (SCR 8). The Senators introduced the resolution to urge the United States Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to select Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center in Ravenna, OH as the preferred site for a future east coast missile defense system.
“Camp Ravenna is currently being considered for a future system, along with sites in Michigan and New York,” said Sen. O’Brien. “However, unlike Ohio, Michigan and New York have now hired lobbying firms in Washington to advocate for their states to be chosen as the site for an east coast missile defense site. It is for this reason that passage of this concurrent resolution is so urgent.”
Members of the Senate Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee heard proponent testimony on the bill yesterday from Vito Abruzzino with the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission before voting it unanimously out of that committee.
The Missile Defense Agency is currently considering sites for the potential future installation of additional ground-based interceptors for homeland defense. While similar missile defense sites already exist along the western coast of the US, no such sites currently exist along the eastern seaboard.
“This region of Ohio already has the technological base necessary for the installation of such a site, with the NASA Glenn Center located nearby in Cleveland, as well as the unique aerial spray mission and its engineering components at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, OH,” continued Sen. O’Brien. “Adding such a site in Ravenna would only serve to enhance collaboration between these northeastern Ohio installations and provide a tremendous socioeconomic boost to what is, historically, a fairly depressed region of the state.”
Not only would the selection of Camp Ravenna for this project provide a multi-billion dollar investment in the state of Ohio, but it would also create hundreds of new high-paying, high-education jobs for Ohioans. Additionally, Camp Ravenna’s selection would increase its value to the US military, greatly decreasing its chances of closure by the federal Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
Though not legally binding, the sponsors intend for SCR 8 to play a prominent role in pushing MDA authorities toward selecting the Buckeye State for the missile defense system over Michigan and New York. The resolution will now move to the House of Representatives for committee and floor votes.