Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

Pentagon Unveils Five Candidates for Potential U.S. Missile Defense Site

The Defense Department on Thursday announced the names of five military bases that are under consideration to host a potential new U.S. missile interceptor site, according to the Pentagon's American Forces Press Service.

The facilities selected for the congressionally required siting study are: Fort Drum in New York, Camp Ethan Allen Training Site in Vermont, Naval Air Station Portsmouth SERE Training Area in Maine, Camp Ravenna Joint Training Center in Ohio and Fort Custer Training Center in Michigan.

Congress in fiscal 2013 passed a law that requires the Pentagon to study possibilities for establishing a third interceptor site for homeland defense against possible ICBM attacks by North Korea and Iran. Legislators approved $100 million for the site review, but no decision has been made on whether to proceed with building a new interceptor site.

There are presently 30 long-range interceptors deployed at two interceptor sites at Fort Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

"While the administration has not made a decision to build another missile defense facility in the U.S. for homeland defense, if a decision were to be made in the future to construct a new site, completing the required site study and environmental impact statement would shorten the timeline required to build such a site," Missile Defense Agency head Vice Adm. James Syring said in provided comments.

A small Pentagon delegation will travel to each of the five sites to gather information on such infrastructure considerations as electricity and water supplies and access to transportation.

After the siting study is completed, the selection process will be narrowed down to three bases that will have official environmental-impact statements completed on them in order to determine the best possible location for the potential interceptor site, VTDigger.org reported. EIA studies typically take 18-24 months to complete.

Soem Vermont leaders, for their part, are unhappy that Camp Ethan Allen is in the running to host the possible interceptor site.

"I've always felt that the multiple billions spent on missile defense are a monumental waste of money, on technologically challenged systems, and I am empathetically against putting one of these sites in Vermont," Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said to journalists.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin have also come out in opposition to interceptors being placed in Vermont.

Note to our Readers

GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

NTI Analysis

  • 3D Missile Model Collection

    April 22, 2015

    The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies has created a series of 3D models of ballistic and cruise missiles for the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

  • North Korean Ballistic Missile Models

    April 8, 2015

    This page contains interactive 3D missile models for North Korea. Users can drag the model by pressing and holding their mouse’s scroll wheel. They can zoom in and out on the model by rolling their scroll wheel up and down, and can orbit the model by clicking and dragging their left mouse button.

Country Profile

Flag of United States

United States

This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →