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F.E. Warren Deactivated Peacekeeper Silos to Be Eliminated

Peacekeepers deactivation ceremony, 2005 (www.afspc.af.mil)

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. The 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.

According to a news release, 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.

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