Hearings Set on Missile Defense Site in Maine

Aug 11, 2014

A test of a ground-based missile interceptor conducted at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on June 22, 2014.
Credit Courtesy: U.S. Department of Defense

RANGELEY, Maine - Pentagon officials are coming to Maine this week to discuss the possibility of building a missile defense site.  The Missile Defense Agency is considering four locations in the eastern U.S. for a missile shield system that's supposed to protect Americans from attacks by "rogue states'' like North Korea and Iran.

The site under consideration in Maine is in Redington Township, in the western mountains. Other possible East Coast locations are in Ohio, New York State and Michigan. There are currently two operational missile defense sites on the West Coast.

MDA spokesman Rick Lehner says the missiles, once launched, would receive updates from a command and control system on the ground, "so that they can place themselves in the path of the hostile warhead in space, and then they destroy that warhead just by the force of a direct collision."

Opponents have expressed doubts over the system's operational effectiveness, and its impact on the environment.

Meetings are scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday in Rangeley, and Thursday in Farmington.