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Global Security Newswire

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

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Pentagon Selects Four Candidates for Possible East Coast Interceptor Site

The Pentagon on Friday said it had narrowed the field of East Coast locations to host a potential missile-interceptor site down to four, eliminating a Vermont base.

An Environmental Impact Statement will be completed for each of the remaining candidate bases: Fort Drum in New York; Naval Air Station Portsmouth SERE Training Area in Maine; Camp Ravenna Joint Training Center in Ohio; and Fort Custer Training Center in Michigan, according to a Defense Department press release.

The department anticipates taking roughly two years to carry out and finish the Environmental Impact Statements, which will examine the ramifications "to land use, water resources, air quality, transportation, socioeconomics and other factors" related to hosting a contingent of underground silo-based, long-range interceptors.

The Pentagon has not yet decided whether to build a third interceptor site, despite heavy lobbying to do so by some Republican lawmakers.

The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system -- the principal U.S. homeland antimissile framework -- presently comprises two interceptor sites in California and Alaska, where a total of 30 Ground Based Interceptors are fielded. The Pentagon plans to add 14 additional interceptors to Fort Greely in Alaska by fall 2017 in response to a growing long-range ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea.

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