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Fort Drum considered for missile tracking software

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FORT DRUM — As speculation swirls about the placement of missiles on post, $25.9 million is being considered for the installation of a data terminal that could help track incoming missiles.

The money under consideration is for the construction of an in-flight interceptor system data terminal.

Richard Lehner, spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, said the data terminal would relay targeting information for long-range missiles launched from Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The two installations also have the data terminals.

There currently are no data terminal systems on the East Coast.

The funding would have to be approved by Congress. Discussions on defense spending are ongoing. Mr. Lehner declined to speculate on the chances that funding for the data terminal on Fort Drum would be approved.

He said that if the funding is approved, the data terminal would be ready by 2015.

There has been discussion within a House subcommittee about placing ground-based missiles on the East Coast, with Fort Drum one of the areas speculated for that placement.

A current proposal under debate would require the secretary of defense to conduct an environmental impact review of potential sites by Dec. 31, 2013, and the site to be operational by the end of 2015. An initial analysis on feasibility and cost would be due Feb. 1.

Mr. Lehner said no formal plans or discussions had taken place within the agency about operating at Fort Drum. He said that for that to happen, special funds would have to be requested and added to the budget.

A full description of the proposed data terminal and its funding can be found at 1.usa.gov/JI2gV8.

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