Missile defense site to possibly be built near KSU main campus


Map of Camp James

Jill Golden

A missile defense site may be built 20 miles east of Kent State after the U.S. Department of Defense announced it is looking to add a third location to the country’s missile defenses.

A missile defense site consists of “ground-based defense systems capable of intercepting ballistic missile threats,” said Stephanie Beougher, public information officer for the Ohio National Guard.

Camp James A. Garfield in Ravenna and Newton Falls is a joint military training center. It is one of five locations considered for the site.  

Construction and operations would have a major positive effect on the area’s economy,” Beougher said.

If Camp Garfield is selected, Ohio colleges, trade programs, universities and research institutions would be given opportunities to help construct and operate the site, Beougher said.

Camp Garfield’s location is ideal because of its easy access to major transportation hubs, NASA and Wright-Patterson AFB, and because there are no pre-existing airspace conflicts nearby.

If Camp Garfield were selected, the missile site would not affect the Cleveland, Akron or Youngstown areas, Beougher said.

Portage and Trumbull county communities, as well as state and federal legislators, have provided strong support of the bid to be a Continental United States Interceptor site.

The initiative to build a third missile defense site began in 2013 when the “National Defense Authorization Act directed the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study to evaluate possible additional locations that would be best suited for future deployment of an interceptor capable of protecting the homeland against threats from nations such as North Korea and Iran,” Beougher said.

Jill Golden covers the nontraditional, ROTC and veterans. Contact her at [email protected]