- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 8, 2017

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - President Donald Trump’s administration has asked Congress to fund a fourth missile defense silo field at Fort Greely in Alaska.

Trump wrote a letter to Congress on Monday requesting $200 million to build the silo field, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported .

Fort Greely is home to most of the United States’ ground-based midcourse missile interceptors, which are designed to protect the United States by intercepting long range missiles as they fly outside the atmosphere.

“This request supports additional efforts to detect, defeat and defend against any North Korean use of ballistic missiles against the United States, its deployed forces, allies or partners,” Trump wrote.

Fort Greely has three silo fields with a capacity of 40 interceptors. The United States has an four more silos at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Trump’s request is part of the $5.9 billion Trump wants added to this year’s budget, $4 billion of which was requested for missile defense and North Korea-related military spending.

Alaska’s three-member Congressional delegation praised Trump’s proposed missile defense increase.

Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska said he believes Congress will add the additional defense funding to its budget.

“Missile defense has now become a very bipartisan issue,” Sullivan said. “You look at the history of it and it’s pretty much been a partisan issue, the Reagan ‘Star Wars,’ and even some of the missile defense capabilities we had in Alaska under George W. Bush.”

The budget amendment request also asks Congress for $1.2 billion to give the Pentagon capacity to deploy an additional 3,500 troops in the war in Afghanistan and $700 million to repair the USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald. The ships were damaged in collisions with civilian ships during the summer.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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