Survey crew to arrive at Fort Greely for missile prep work

Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A survey crew was at Fort Greely Friday to prepare for construction of an anti-ballistic missile system there.

The work at the post outside Delta Junction includes building a road, clearing trees, digging wells and other tasks.

The ground work is being done through a nearly $5 million contract awarded to Aglaq Construction Enterprises, a subsidiary of Point Hope Native Corp. Brice Inc. of Fairbanks is the subcontractor.

The Army Corps of Engineers gave the final go-ahead for the work after a meeting Thursday in Fairbanks with representatives from the construction firms.

''Early next week they will be moving hydro ax equipment onto the site, along with a work trailer and other equipment,'' said Pat Richardson, a spokeswoman with the Army Corps of Engineers. ''And begin clearing with the hydro ax equipment.''

A hydro ax is an 8-foot mower that cuts brush and small trees down to 5-inch stubble. It will clear the land for the future construction of missile silos in an area about a quarter-mile south of Greely's main post.

The Pentagon hopes to secure congressional funding to start building silos there in April.

The plan is for missiles to be stored at Fort Greely as part of an expanded Pacific ''test bed'' for the proposed missile defense system. The missiles would be shipped to Kodiak for test launches.

The Pentagon also is considering possible test launches from Fort Greely itself sometime in the future, and eventually hopes to make the post into the core of a full-blown national missile shield.

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