Massive Montana Nuke Missile Upgrade, Man Camps and More
One year after the Chinese spy balloon hovered over our nuclear missile silos here in Montana, and Rob Chaney shared a fascinating report on the transformation soon to be underway in Central Montana.
Last April, I told you how Montana's nuclear missile silos are about to undergo a big, historic, and much-needed transformation. Last week, Air Force officials held a public meeting in Lewistown to detail some of the work that is going to take place in order for this transformation to occur. (Rob Chaney's story in The Missoulian can be found below)
Apparently it was a packed house. Phil Drake described Chaney's report as an "eye-opener" and boy was Phil right. Two things stood out to me: 1) the detail provided by Chaney shows how big of a deal this is and 2) look at the on the ground economic impacts this will have from road construction to man camps building infrastructure and more.
From The Missoulian: This year, the U.S. Air Force hopes to start replacing that half-century-old weapons system with new Sentinel ICBMs in an upgrade estimated to cost around $132 billion...The Montana portion of the project involves all those underground launch facilities, eight to 15 aboveground missile alert facilities, 32 communications towers, possibly 1,277 miles of new utility corridor and 1,750 miles of existing corridor right-of-way...Between 2,000 and 3,000 workers will live at two hubs — one near Great Falls and one near Lewistown.
Last year at the MACRS convention (Montana Association of County Road Supervisors), we got to hear a great update from Colonel Barry Little from Malmstrom Air Force Base. Colonel Little spoke of the great work being done on the ground, and underground, by our airmen at Malmstrom to protect our nation every day. He also made a great point about how this leg of the nuclear triad is what gives our troops the freedom of maneuver all over the world. And, he thanked the fine folks building and maintaining our county roads that allows the Air Force to help defend this nation.
What is different about the new system compared to the old Minuteman III system going back to the John F. Kennedy era, according to Colonel Little? Penetration capabilities and maintenance. The silos and the missile system will be easier to access from a maintenance and upgrade standpoint than the old silos.
Click here for more of that report from last year.
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Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll