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Ravenna May Host Missile-Defense Site

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It was called "Star Wars" during the Reagan administration, but a very real missile defense system has in recent times been expanding along the country's edge. And part of the system may next come to Northeast Ohio. Reporter Mark Urycki has details.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 5:35 pm

The army will soon have 40 ground-based interceptor missiles based in Alaska and another four in California. But the former Ravenna Arsenal, now Camp Ravenna, is among four other potential sites the Defense Department is examining.

At a public meeting Monday night in Ravenna, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Snipes said the 55-foot-long missiles would be housed in underground silos.

"Our initial plan right now is to have 20 interceptor silos," Snipes said. "That's what we call our missile defense complex. So we'd have those 20, but we're also looking at the future expansion of up to 60."

The interceptors do not carry explosives, but merely crash into enemy missiles in outer space. As many as 1,800 soldiers would work at the site. The 50-or-so civilians who showed up at the public meeting were mostly positive. But John Garden of Ravenna also both positives and negatives .

"We'll be recognized in the rest of the country as the Ravenna Arsenal is up once again like it used to be. The minuses are, like my son who is eight, he says, would that makes us a target for everybody else?"

Both of Ohio's senators, Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, are in favor of the project coming to Ravenna.

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