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Air Force Begins Detonations At Utah Test & Training Range

Jun 9, 2020, 10:14 PM
FILE: The Air Force detonates a solid-rocket motor June 2, 2015, at the Utah Test and Training Rang...
FILE: The Air Force detonates a solid-rocket motor June 2, 2015, at the Utah Test and Training Range in Utah. A series of large detonation operations will begin this month and last through the end of September 2020 at the range. The destruction of the motors is occurring to eliminate aged propellant, and as part of international treaties to reduce the number of ballistic missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)
(U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Officials with the U.S. Air Force said they will be blowing up rocket motors and solid fuel from military missiles in the next several months.

The detonations started Tuesday at the Utah Test and Training Range, about 100 miles west of Hill Air Force Base.

A news release said blasts will be heard two or three times a week as part of international treaties to reduce the number of missiles.

“Detonation is the best environmental method for disposing of these large rocket motors and propellant,” said Michelle Cottle, environmental branch chief for the 75th Civil Engineer Group.

According to the release, wind speed and direction will be monitored to make sure the right conditions are in place for the explosions.

“If the model predicts that noise is going to be louder than permitted levels at locations along the Wasatch Front, the detonations are delayed,” the release said.

Since 2012, more than 300 rocket motors have been destroyed at the UTTR.

“The UTTR is the only location in the United States capable of destroying these missile motors and we do everything possible to do this work without adversely affecting those around us,” Cottle said.

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Air Force Begins Detonations At Utah Test & Training Range