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Minot AFB prepares for next-gen missile system

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – As a precursor to the planned modernization of the nation’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system, the Air Force is conducting field surveys of the Minot missile field to identify and document potential threatened and endangered species, wetlands, or archaeological areas of concern that may impact project planning and implementation, according to Minot AFB information.

Ground Based Strategic Deterrent is the next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile system to replace the existing Minuteman III ICBM.

In March, right-of-entry request letters were sent to landowners who may have a portion of their property that may need to be accessed to conduct these surveys. The request is to allow the Air Force and its contractors to access private property to conduct the surveys. Preliminary analysis indicates more than 90 percent of new utility corridors would be on private land. This is preliminary fact-finding work that will inform the development of an Environmental Impact Statement.

Utility Corridors

Utility corridors would generally be aligned along established roads. These utility corridors would be in addition to the existing utilities connection to the Launch Facilities and Missile Alert Facilities. Activities along the utility corridors would require clearing and grubbing sufficient to provide access to the area and enable installation of the utility lines. Upon completion of the new corridors and easements, disturbed areas would be reseeded and restored, as necessary.

Beginning in spring of 2021, the government will begin field surveys at proposed project areas both on base and in the missile fields, as well as on private property and parcels administered by federal and state agencies. In general, all survey work will be done by a field survey team consisting of two to four biologists or archaeologists who will walk through the survey area to identify and document potential threatened and endangered species and habitat suitable to support them, wetlands, or archaeological areas of concern.

The Air Force has collaborated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to obtain access to support the described survey work effort. If landowners have questions about the letter requesting right of entry or the right of entry agreement that they received they may visit www.gbsdeis.com or speak with someone at the Corps office by calling 1-800-265-9309 or they can make contact by email at ROEhelpdesk@usace.army.mil.

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