When great things collide! Encroachment in the Missile Field

4 of 5 Things You Must Know This Month


Some days are just more difficult than others. You work on projects that are positive for the community but have unforeseen consequences.


Such is the case with new helicopters coming to FE Warren AFB and new wind farms developing within the region.


FE WARREN AFB


First, the deployment of a new helicopter at FE Warren AFB in the next few years is a godsend and an issue we have been working on here at the Chamber for years. The helicopters currently flown at Warren were built before most of us were even born and are severely lacking in ability to carry out the mission of strategic competition.


One important caveat here is that our men and women in uniform have done exceptional work to make sure that the missile field is safe, secure, and reliable against significant challenges presented by the airframe they have been flying. It is a great victory to have the new helicopter issue decided.


REGIONAL WIND FARMS


Secondly, it is important to know that the wind energy industry has provided much needed economic push for our region and is an important component for our future ability to provide safe, secure, and reliable energy.


A unique collision has developed between these wind farms and the missile field. Once built far away from everything but cows and plows, the field is now slowly finding itself surrounded by sprawling development and the expansion of wind turbine numbers in the tri-state area (Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska.)


It is always a tough issue when you must balance land-owner rights, business regulation, and national defense. However, it is important to understand the critical mission that ICBMS help our airmen carry out 24 hours a day 365 days a year.


Currently, there is a bill at the State Legislature which protects the missile field, but the language outlined in that bill will be extremely important. Any language we adopt is for naught if we can’t create regulations that are palatable for Colorado and Nebraska. These locations house most of the launch and alert facilities for FE Warren AFB.


We will keep you updated on this issue as it progresses, but certainly anytime there is conflict between key players in our community, it is important for us to proceed carefully to try and achieve a viable solution for both private industry and the military.


- Dale Steenbergen, CEO/President of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce


Photo: Idler Photography

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