If the missiles under control of F.E. Warren Air Force Base are made part of a massive upgrade program, Cheyenne could see challenges in managing the resulting growth, according to the former head of the Wyoming Business Council.
Bob Jensen, now part of Wyoming Entrepreneurs, said F.E. Warren’s involvement in the Ground Based Strategic Missile Upgrade program could generate growth among existing businesses and bring in new businesses as well.
“So this is going to be a big change and managing that change is as big a deal as having the opportunity in the first place,” he said.
Boeing and Northrop Grumman are in competition for a project to upgrade the nation’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, about 400 of which are deployed in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming, at an estimated cost of $90 billion.
Jensen said if the missiles in Wyoming are made part of the project, opportunities for growth would be seen throughout Cheyenne.
“People that are already here will have an opportunity to grow their businesses in relation to this if they want to,” he said. “But there will be new businesses that will come in and new workforce that comes in.”
To take full advantage of the program, Wyoming and Cheyenne will need to be able to look ahead and act on the opportunities it provides, said Eric Trowbridge, the founder of Cheyenne’s Array School of Technology and Design.
“We must have ‘leapfrog’ moments,” he said. “Wyoming does something that no one else has done before. We have to have that courage to be able to say we’re going to do it and leapfrog ahead of all the other states to do it.”
Boeing and Northrop Grumman have been awarded three-year contracts for the preliminary design phase of the upgrade.
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