Expanded Buffer Zones Eyed for Malmstrom’s Missiles

The Air Force is trying to find a way to compensate land owners so it can expand the buffer zones around its Minuteman III missile silos and missile alert facilities at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., reported the Great Falls Tribune. Malmstrom officials want to avoid encroachment by structures like cellular towers that could cause electromagnetic interference with the base’s vital microwave communications or wind towers that could impede the base’s security helicopters from quickly landing in certain areas when responding to possible intrusions, according to the newspaper. When the missile sites were built decades ago, there was a 1,200-foot easement around each one. Back in 2009, during a debate on legislation to allow “land-use planning” near the missile sites, the Air Force favored creating 3,900-foot buffer zones around them, stated the Tribune.