Missile Agency Seeks Comments on Environmental Impacts

MDA THAADKodiak residents could see military missiles launch from Narrow Cape at an unprecedented rate, starting as early as late summer, according to an article published Wednesday (Jan. 25) in the trade publication “Inside Defense.” Kodiak Island has not seen a missile launch attempt since an Army rocket exploded on liftoff in 2014.

On January 13 the Missile Defense Agency published a proposed Environmental Impact Statement with a finding that no significant impacts are expected from as many as two flight tests per year for the next decade of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile.

The THAAD missile, as it’s called, is designed to destroy short- and intermediate-range enemy missiles in their terminal phase, when they’re closing in on their target. It’s separate from the mid-course system, which includes interceptor missiles based at Fort Greeley near Fairbanks. Those are designed to destroy intercontinental missiles while still in space.

MDA spokeswoman Leah Garton told Inside Defense that the agency has plans for two flight tests already lined up. Launches of the THAAD could start at Kodiak’s Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Pasagshak before the end of September if the Missile Defense Agency completes the required environmental studies.

The Proposed Final Environmental Assessment is available for public review at the Kodiak Public Library, Anchorage’s Loussac Library and online. Comments are due no later than February 13.

The MDA announced In June an $80-million contract with the Alaska Aerospace Corporation to test the interceptors.

No spokesperson was available Friday from Alaska Aerospace Corporation to comment.

(Submit written comments via e-mail to envgrp@mda.mil)

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