Alaska missile defense contract announced

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2002

ANCHORAGE - A $250 million contract to built test bed facilities for a national missile defense system was awarded Tuesday to Fluor Alaska, the Army Corps of Engineers announced.

The contractor will build test silos plus support facilities at Fort Greely, 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks, and upgrade radar at Eareckson Air Force Station on Shemya Island near the tip of the Aleutian chain.

"It will disturb 260 acres, with the silos and the structures that will be around it," said John Killoran, Corps spokesman in Anchorage, of the work at Fort Greely.

Construction is to begin in June at Fort Greely. The construction season in the area is usually limited to April through October because of cold weather.

The project will be funded incrementally over three years and includes amounts for construction of a similar nature at other unidentified sites.

Fluor Alaska and its subcontractors are expected to provide several hundred personnel at the high point of construction at Fort Greely.

The contract calls for the exterior of four buildings to be completed by October, allowing construction to continue inside the buildings over the winter.

The Missile Defense Agency has applied for a wetlands permit for the defense system work on Shemya. The work proposed included upgrades to the existing Cold War-era early warning radar system, utility extensions, housing and infrastructure improvements, dredging and land-clearing.

The agency also would install test equipment related to X-Band radar, the most powerful tracking and detection device in the world and the heart of the national missile defense system.

The Corps Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Ala., awarded the contract. The Corps Alaska District, with headquarters in Anchorage, will supervise construction.

The Missile Defense Agency may eventually locate live missile interceptors at Fort Greely. The agency has said it will store, not launch, missiles from the silos during the testing phase, unless the nation is attacked.

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