20th Air Force Commander Visits New Town for First EIS Hearing | News, Sports, Jobs
NEW TOWN – The U.S. Air Force on Tuesday held the first of seven public hearings on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Sentinel (Ground Based Strategic Deterrent) weapon system in New Town on the Fort Berthold reservation. .
Part of the National Environmental Protection Act, the purpose of the public hearings is to solicit comments on the draft EIS made public (July 1) for the Sentinel grassroots action (formerly known as Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD) and Minuteman III demilitarization at FE Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; and Minot AFB, North Dakota.
“These public hearings are intended to provide the public with an opportunity to understand and comment on the potential environmental consequences of the proposed Sentinel Weapon System (GBSD), which will upgrade and replace the Minuteman III flight systems, command and control system. weapons and launch systems. including silos, control centers and other ground infrastructure,” said Russell Bartholomew, a program manager assigned to the Sentinel Systems Branch at the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Hill AFB, Utah. “It is an honor to begin hearings here at Fort Berthold Reservation, given the long military history between the U.S. military and the Tri-Affiliated Tribes (TAT).”
Bartholomew went on to explain that the TAT refers to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, located in central North Dakota.
A small ceremony took place before the public hearing, during which Mark Fox, Tribal Chairman, and Major General Michael Lutton, Commander of the Twentieth Air Force, spoke about the importance of the event and exchanged gifts.
“We described this nation, Fort Berthold, how we got to today and a lot of things they know now,” said Fox. “I’ve shared a lot about our history and things of that nature.”
Lutton echoed Fox’s sentiments and provided some additional details on the relationship’s history.
“The three affiliated tribes all have direct historical ties to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which was commanded by President Thomas Jefferson in the early 1800s,” Luton said. “From the Corps of Discovery encamped among the Mandan nation in the winter of 1804 until today, the United States military has maintained good relations with these nations for over 200 years. We are honored to be here today as we take the necessary steps through the NEPA process to continue to build our positive relationships and work together to secure America’s future through this proposed Sentinel project.
Lutton further explained that the mission of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was to seek a passage to the Pacific Ocean via the Missouri River, survey and scout the new Louisiana Purchase, make contact with the various peoples Native Americans they encountered along the way. , and (for those in the Missouri River watershed) to notify them of their incorporation into the United States. He shared that whenever Corps of Discovery comes into contact with a new population, there will be gift exchanges, speeches, smoking ceremonies, drill and weapons demonstrations, and dancing.
In keeping with this tradition, approximately 50 participants attended a presentation of the colors by TAT Nation Veterans and a ceremonial dance by the TAT Nation Ladies Auxiliary.
A public hearing on the environmental impact statement of the proposed Sentinel (Ground Based Strategic Deterrent) weapon system will be held today from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Old Armory Room of the Minot Municipal Auditorium at 430 3rd Ave. SW.
Additional hearings are scheduled for this month and August in Great Falls and Lewistown, Montana; Kimball, Nebraska; Raymer, Colorado; and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
There will be two virtual public hearings via Zoom. To register for virtual hearings, visit https://www.gbsdeis.com/. Registration was available from July 1.
More information about Sentinel (GBSD) and the MMIII Demilitarization EIS Environmental Impact Analysis process can be found on the project website at https://www.gbsdeis.com/ and https://www. afgsc.af.mil/Sentinel-GBSD/ .
The project website can also be used to submit comments. Comments must be submitted by August 15.