Residents got their first look Tuesday at what a potential missile defense site at Fort Drum could mean for the region: a facility costing as much as $4 billion to build that would create as many as 1,800 permanent jobs.
The sprawling site, covering hundreds of acres along Route 3A, initially would contain 20 ground-based interceptors, with the ability to expand to 60 interceptors, designed to shoot down incoming enemy missiles. The Defense Department says the missiles would be for defensive purposes and would not contain warheads.
The military has not decided whether a site is need on the East Coast to augment America’s current missile defense locations at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. If such a facility is ultimately approved, however, Fort Drum is on the short list of sites to host it.
The economic impact on the north country would be substantial. The site would create 400 to 600 temporary construction jobs, and an estimated 1,200 to 1,800 permanent military, civilian and contractor jobs, according to Lt. Col. Chris W. Snipes, program manager for continental United States interceptor sites. [Read more...]