Obstacle Arises for Fort Drum To Become Missile Defense Center

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It could be one of our last lines of defense - missile defense interceptors.

Currently the U.S. has two.

But north country Congressman Bill Owens thinks Fort Drum could be a good spot for number three.

"I want to make sure Fort Drum's basic mission, or core mission, is not negatively neglected. And I also want to make sure the community is comfortable with this," said Owens (D - 21st District).

Before any of that can be decided though, Fort Drum would first have to make the cut.

The post, along with several other locations, is in the mix as a possible East Coast destination for an inceptor.

An announcement of the final candidates is expected sometime this month.

But a letter from the leader of the Missile Defense Agency to the Senate Armed Services Committee could be a big roadblock.

In it, Vice Admiral James D. Syring writes, "There is no validated military requirement to deploy an East Coast missile defense site."

Vice Admiral Syring also writes an East Coast site, "would also come at significant materiel development and service sustainment cost."

Congressman Owens disagrees, saying another defense site is necessary and the north country is a logical spot to defend from potential strikes from Iran or North Korea.

"They (potential enemy) would not launch, if you will, east to west, their rockets, they would launch them over the pole and down. So they would descend upon us from the north," said Owens.

It's a real problem with possibly Fort Drum being the solution some day.
 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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