The United States Air Force currently has vendors competing for the bid of Ground Based Strategic Deterrent; Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Once selected the military will be concentrating on supporting the vendor in their efforts in producing and installing the new weapon system, while keeping the current Minuteman III system operational. Additionally, with a new system comes new workforce needs and training. The military will be working with the selected vendor on providing adequate professional training to assure expertise in needed areas for optimal success.
The Greater Cheyenne Area
Laramie County officals, to include Cheyenne, Albin, Burns and Pine Bluffs, are knowledgeable of the modernization and area needs to prepare. The level of federal investment being applied to the Cheyenne area will result in an economic influx, commonly referred to as "The Jolt." The local communities are currently working to provide adequate infrastructure to ensure the United States Air Force and the selected vendor can meet their deadlines.
The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is the force who has consistently advocated for funding from Congress for the modernization. Over 10 years ago, the Chamber of Commerce assembled the Wyoming Wranglers Committee. This group is comprised of boosters to fund a lobbyist who specializes in military installation and transportation funding in Washington, D.C. Within that time the program has successfully secured funding for projects at F.E. Warren Air Force Base such as the Weapon Storage Facility, the Roll Transfer Facility, the Helicopter Hangar, new Security Forces Helicopters, and C130 upgrades.
Recently the Wyoming Wranglers, through the power of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, worked locally in the State of Wyoming to obtain a $3 million grant and a $3.5 million loan as funds that will be used towards infrastructure, water and sewer main systems, and road improvements to be appropriated to the Enhanced Use Lease (EUL). This EUL is a development which will provide optimal housing for 500-700 airmen who currently cannot find suitable housing within the region. By providing this housing to the local airmen, the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base will be able to adhere to readiness demands for the highest level of alert on behalf of the United States defense system.
By enhancing the current military capabilities within the greater Cheyenne area, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is working to create a strong foundation for what is to come. The Chamber is the needle threading together the community fabric for a well-designed tapestry of modernization.
The next steps:
Provide local businesses support in their efforts in being selected as subcontractors to the military projects needed throughout the process.
Thoroughly educate the K-12 students on future career opportunities as it aligns with the workforce needs of the modernization.
Develop surrounding support systems to protect the community from a "boom and bust" cycle, and connect entrepreneurial activity to sustain a catalytic reaction for business growth, creating "The Jolt."