Ready to rumble: Large detonations to begin at Utah Test & Training Range

Local News

The Air Force detonates a solid-rocket motor at the Utah Test and Training Range in Utah. A series of large detonation operations will begin this month and last through the September at the range. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (ABC4) – Large detonation operations are set to begin at the Utah Test and Training Range on Monday, June 21.

These large detonations, involving more than 10,000 pounds of net explosive weight, are expected to continue through September 14, according to Hill Air Force Base.

Detonations will happen on Mondays and Tuesdays, with Wednesdays as a backup each week. Hill AFB explains detonations are to destroy rocket motors and solid propellants of retired and expire ballistic missiles.

“Detonation is the best environmental method for disposing of these large rocket motors and propellant,” says Michelle Cottle, the Environmental Branch Chief for the 75th Civil Engineer Group.

Over the last nine years, more than 300 rocket motors have been destroyed at the Utah Testing and Training Range, which is the only permitted place in the U.S. where this type of work can be done.

Before large detonations, the Air Force takes atmospheric readings to check wind speed, direction, and other factors. The data is entered into a sound prediction model to determine if conditions are acceptable for detonations. If the nose is predicted to be louder than permitted levels at locations along the Wasatch Front, detonations are delayed.

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