The Missile Defense Agency is scheduled to host a public meeting in Carthage, N.Y., on Aug. 19 to allow local residents to voice their views on the potential basing of missile defense interceptors at nearby Fort Drum, according to a release. Language in the Fiscal 2013 defense policy act instructed the Pentagon to conduct an environmental assessment (e.g., impact on air and water quality, noise levels) of operating a Continental United States Interceptor Site, or CIS, at one of four locations in the eastern United States: Fort Drum; Camp Ravenna, Ohio; Fort Custer, Mich.; and Kittery, Maine. Rounds of information exchange with the public are one component of the assessment process. Similar meetings have already taken place in Ohio and Maine and are scheduled in Michigan later this month. The United States already bases anti-missile missiles at Fort Greely, Alaska, and at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., to protect the country from a limited, long-range missile attack by North Korea or Iran. An additional interceptor site would enhance that protection, but there’s been no decision yet to construct the CIS, according to the agency. The environmental assessment is scheduled for completion in late 2015.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.