GREAT FALLS, Mont., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Bryan Construction Inc. of Colorado has begun the initial phase of eliminating 50 deactivated Minuteman III ballistic missile launch silos in Montana.
The work on the silos controlled by Malstrom Air Force Base is part of the U.S. effort to meet obligations under the New Strategic Arms Reduction treaty with Russia, which went into effect in 2011.
"The elimination of these facilities moves the U.S. closer to compliance with New START," the Air Force said. "New START reduces nuclear capacity in the U.S. and Russian arsenals, and as a result, the Air Force must eliminate a total of 103 missile launch facilities and 10 missile alert facilities by February 2018."
The Air Force said other deactivated intercontinental ballistic missile launch facilities being eliminated are in Wyoming and California.
Bryan Construction Inc. is eliminating the silos by filling them with earth and gravel. Once the launch facilities are eliminated, the land will be available for purchase. Adjacent landowners will have the first right to purchase the land at fair market value in accordance with U.S. Code, the Air Force said. The land will then be offered to federal, state and local government agencies.