HILL AIR FORCE BASE — As work progresses on the Department of Defense’s missile replacement program at Hill Air Force Base, the federal government wants to continue to pump money into it.
The defense agency’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget proposal, released earlier this month, includes $1.5 billion for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program.
“The President and Congress have placed an emphasis on funding the military,” said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in a press release. “Our budgets over the past three years have allowed us to reverse the decline in readiness, while beginning to modernize our air, land, sea, space, and cyber capabilities.”
Headquartered at Hill, the GBSD program will replace the United States’ current land-based ballistic missile force, which is currently made up of some 400 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The program will cost more than $80 billion and run for 30 years. The total cost includes the acquisition of missiles, new command and control systems, and large-scale renovations of launch control centers.
Hill officials and members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation have said the program will bring as many as 2,500 jobs to the area. Late last year, Hill’s 75th Air Base Wing Commander, Col. Jon Eberlan, told members of the Utah Veterans and Military Affairs Commission that the program will be the largest source of growth across on the base during the next several years.
Currently being built up near Hill’s southwest border with Roy, the program will eventually include six new buildings in one base — over 1 million square feet of office and lab facilities. Completion on first 231,000 square feet is scheduled to be finished by mid-2020. In August 2019, Northrop Grumman broke ground on the Roy Innovation Center, which will serve as future headquarters for Northrop’s work supporting the program.
The already-passed 2020 National Defense Authorization Act included $97 million for two missile storage warehouses and a new office to be built at Hill. That infrastructure is also tied to the GBSD program.