Congressman: Missile Surveillance Program Coming to APG

The arrival of two threat-detecting blimps at Aberdeen Proving Ground will have a "domino effect on our local economy," said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger.

More than 100 soldiers will be relocated to Aberdeen Proving Ground this fall, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Baltimore/Harford) announced Thursday.

In a news release, the congressman said that the U.S. Army plans to move its missile surveillance program to Aberdeen by fall 2013. The program is currently based out of Huntsville, AL, a spokesperson for Ruppersberger told Patch.

Known as the "Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System," or JLENS, the Department of Defense-sponsored initiative is designed to protect the United States from air-based attacks by missiles, drones and rockets, Ruppersberger said.

Two blimps will conduct the surveillance, flying as high as 10,000 feet, Ruppersberger said.

"Aberdeen Proving Ground was selected because it provides the ability to test weapons tracking over water and offers already established FAA-approved restricted airspace," Ruppersberger stated in a press release.

Approximately 30 defense contractor and 10 civilian jobs will result from the program, Ruppersberger said.

"At a time when most of the Department of Defense is experiencing significant budget cuts, this $20 million investment in APG will have a domino effect on our local economy," Ruppersberger said.

"The JLENS workers will be buying homes, shopping in our grocery stores and eating in our restaurants," he continued.

According to Ruppersberger, the Army plans to host several town hall meetings to discuss the new initiative with residents.

» Read more Aberdeen Proving Ground news on Patch


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