Dec 8, 2011 11:26 AM by Jen Hollenbach (Great Falls)
In compliance with the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the U.S. Air Force is looking to eliminate empty missile silos, and nearly half of them are in Montana.
Public meetings this week across the region are asking people to voice their questions and concerns about the removal process of empty silos.
Fifty of the 103 silos being removed are located in north central Montana; they once belonged to the 564th Missile Squadron based at Malmstrom Air Force Base. The 564 MS was deactivated in 2008, leaving the abandoned silos.
Currently, the proposed method of elimination is to implode the sites, but officials public feedback.
Russell Weniger of Global Strike Command, which is the parent headquarters of Malmstrom, said, "We're doing our best to not impact the community or the environment, so by listening to their concerns we can address them as we make our final decision."
An environmental assessment is underway and is expected to be complete by June 2012.
The final public meeting will be 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Shelby City Hall.