News Search

Peacekeeper silos to be eliminated

  • Published
  • By 010813
In accordance with the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty requirements, the U.S. government has chosen to permanently eliminate 50 previously deactivated F.E. Warren Peacekeeper launch facilities Aug. 23.

New START, which entered into force February 2011, aims to reduce nuclear capacity in the U.S. and Russian arsenals, and as a result, the Air Force will eliminate 103 missile silos by February 2018. In addition, 10 missile alert facilities will be eliminated.

Although the Air Force deactivated its last Peacekeeper missiles in September 2005, 50 of these missile silos and five alert facilities remain. Along with three inactive test launch facilities at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., these will be the first scheduled for permanent elimination.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Air Force Civil Engineering Center selected Bryan Construction, Inc., out of Colorado Springs, Colo., as the demolition contractor. Current plans call for elimination of all F.E. Warren Peacekeeper launch facilities, located north of Cheyenne, Wyo., by December 2014.

The contractor will eliminate silos by filling them with earth and gravel. Gravel fill is a less expensive, more environmentally friendly and faster method of elimination than those used in the past, under the original Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. This demolition does not pose any threat to public safety or the environment.

Once the launch facilities are eliminated, the land will be available for purchase. Adjacent landowners will have the right of first refusal, in accordance with United States Code. The land will then be offered to federal, state and local government agencies for their use. The final option for disposing the land is through public auction.

The Air Force relayed these final land disposition arrangements to the public during the environmental assessment public scoping meetings in late 2011.

The Air Force hosted public scoping meetings in late 2011 and early 2012, to keep members of the public up-to-date on all measures being taken. Leadership at each location continues to maintain open lines of communication with local landowners, to address any concerns they might have.