Author photo

By Mike Motz
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Air Force Sentinel Town Hall Meeting Scheduled For November 6

Citizens Get Opportunity To Ask Questions About Upcoming Missile Project

 

November 2, 2023

COURTESY PHOTO/Photo by Spc. Shane Killeen, 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Ciotti, left, and Col. Robert Dinan, the command team for the 99th Mission Command Support Group, 99th Readiness Division, answer questions during a town hall meeting in the Timmerman Center in Lakehurst, N.J., on April 28, 2023

SIDNEY-- Cheyenne County residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more details about the upcoming Sentinel Missile Project on November 6 at Sidney High School. The town-hall style meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

The U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are holding two of these "Real Estate Town Hall meetings", the first in Sidney on November 6, and the second in Kimball on November 8. The Kimball meeting will be held at The Sagebrush, and both meetings have a 6 p.m. starting time.

The purpose of the meetings is to inform local citizens about real estate acquisitions planned in their areas, and to give residents the opportunity to ask questions of the US Army Corps of Engineers negotiators.

The Sentinel missile, manufactured by Northop Grumman, will replace the aging Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system. The Minuteman III has been in service for over 50 years, and although many of its systems have been upgraded and modernized, the Minuteman III infrastructure still uses the original equipment dating back to the early 1970's.

The US Air Force has determined that the Sentinel weapons system is the most cost-effective option to maintain an effective land-based nuclear deterrent. They estimate the Sentinel's capabilities will keep the system safe and effective until 2075. The Sentinel ICBMs will replace 400 Minutemen III ICBMs currently in service at Air Force facilities in Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. Existing launch facilities, infrastructure and technologies servicing the Minuteman III will be replaced and modernized to support the Sentinel weapons system. The existing Minutemen III ICBMs will be decommissioned. The new Sentinel deployment will not include generating or disposing of nuclear materials, and the number of land-based nuclear missiles in the continental United States will remain the same.

The Sentinel Weapons System is a massive project, modernizing 400 missiles, 450 silos and more than 600 facilities across nearly 40,000 square miles of United States territory, including six states, three operational wings and a test location.

The project will be an economic boon to the Cheyenne County and Panhandle area, and local governments have been working diligently with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure the necessary infrastructure upgrades, housing needs and workers for the project will be available and ready when the project starts. In preparation, the Air Force will need to conduct survey work, including underground utility line surveys, which are scheduled to start in the Fall of 2023.

At the meetings, the Air Force and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will explain the timeline for real estate acquisition, appraisals and negotiations. The Air Force has already determined locations

 
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