Throughout this year, Fort Greely military installation has been receiving, and will continue to receive, deliveries from Boeing to boost its missile defense abilities.
According to a new release from Boeing, a total of eight 135,000 pound silos and eight 144,000 pound silo interface vaults were delivered to the military installation in April. These, the news release states, “will be emplaced into Missile Field 4 and used to house and maintain ground-based interceptors, which help defend the U.S. against long-range ballistic missiles.”
The firm will be delivering five additional silos this fall, and three more are expected to be delivered spring 2021.
Fort Greely is one of two locations in the U.S. that house key elements of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system. As it stands, the system involves 40 interceptors based at Fort Greely and four based at Vandenburg Air Force Base, California.
Boeing is currently the contractor for the program, which has been tasked with building silos for 20 additional missiles to “sustain the system.”
“We know the work we do on a daily basis is critical to U.S. national defense, and we understand that more than 300 million Americans are depending on Boeing and its suppliers to deliver a product that performs as designed. I’m proud to be a part of this mission,” said Donnie Hudleston, the Ground-based Midcourse Defense project lead for Ground Systems, via news release.
Moving these silos to Fort Greely is no mean feat. In the release, Boeing described the 12-day journey in April, which took months of planning.
“Starting at Swan Island, Oregon, the silos and SIVs were taken by barge along the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, traversing the Inside Passage and finally arriving and offloading in Valdez, Alaska,” the release states. “The equipment was then trucked over two mountain passes to Fort Greely for delivery.”
Fort Greely and the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system may soon be getting another injection of funding, if the Republicans in the Senate have their way. Last week, Senate Republicans proposed a $1 trillion coronavirus relief package, which would include $29 billion in funding for defense, at least $7 billion of which would be devoted to weapons programs.
The 177-page draft of the bill would provide $200 million to the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system. On Thursday, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate failed to reach an agreement on the bill.
Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.