Feedback: Could Fort Drum Be A Missile Defense Site?
Republicans in the House of Representatives say the U.S. should have a third missile-interceptor site and are eying Fort Drum as a possible place to put it.
Reuters reports that members of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday called for studies to determine if the U.S. needs a site on the East Coast.
The news service says one likely site is Fort Drum.
St. Lawrence University Professor Joseph Jockel says interceptor sites use missiles to shoot down missiles.
He says a site like that at Fort Drum wouldn't have much effect on the north country.
"There would be interceptors at Fort Drum, greater personnel, but I don't think besides that there would be very much impact," he said.
But, north country Congressman Bill Owens (D. - 23rd District) says he would need to know for sure that a site at Fort Drum wouldn't negatively affect the post or the north country before he could throw his support behind it.
"If in fact in the best of all worlds we could add additional operations at Fort Drum without degrading the missions, then I would be supportive of that, but I would want to make sure that we have input from all stake holders," said Owens.
Owens says if the study does show a third site is needed, then it will probably be another year or two before site selection begins.
The plan would require the secretary of defense to conduct an environmental impact review of possible locations by the end of 2013.
The U.S. currently has 30 missile interceptors deployed in Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The interceptors are designed to stop a nuclear missile attack from countries like North Korea and Iran.
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