Washington, DC – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) has led a bipartisan group of New York lawmakers in writing a letter to Vice Admiral James D. Syring, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, in support of Ft. Drum as the best location for a Continental U.S. Interceptor Site. Congresswoman Stefanik and the lawmakers wrote:
As Members of the New York Congressional Delegation, we write today to express our support for Ft. Drum in Jefferson County, New York, as the best location for a Continental U.S. Interceptor Site on the east coast. Your leadership and the Missile Defense Agency play a vital role in this process. Therefore, we appreciate your extensive review of the location in New York and your examination of the unique role this location would have in our nation’s overall missile defense strategy.
Ft. Drum, New York, remains a strongly preferred choice for a CIS from a strategic and economic standpoint given its location on the East Coast and its existing infrastructure and community support system. Ft. Drum is home to the 10th Mountain Division and has a long history of supporting the United States Military, welcoming new organizations and integrating new families. Additionally, Ft. Drum's airfield, a railroad line on post and Route 81 would handle transportation needs, as well as an adequate amount of utilities to provide for the project.
Economically, constructing the site at Ft. Drum would provide a positive, lasting impact. According to the draft Environmental Impact Statement construction alone would bring between 400-600 workers to our region for up to five years. Operational utilization is expected to bring an additional 650-850 workers— that is a combined potential for up to 1,450 jobs and $220 million per year in total value added to the region.
Ultimately, the construction of a CIS in New York would provide increased battlespace, greater decision time, increased reliability and a different angle of intercept. Thank you for your full analysis of Ft. Drum as the preferred location choice. We look forward to continued dialogue moving forward.
Click here for a digital copy of the letter. The lawmakers joining Congresswoman Stefanik are Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Reps. Chris Collins (NY-27), Joseph Crowley (NY-14), Daniel M. Donovan (NY-11), Chris Gibson (NY-19), Richard Hanna (NY-22), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Steve Israel (NY-3), John Katko (NY-24), Peter King (NY-2), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Gregory Meeks (NY-5), Grace Meng (NY-6), Charles B. Rangel (NY-13), Tom Reed (NY-23), Kathleen Rice (NY-4), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Paul Tonko (NY-20), and Lee Zeldin (NY-1).