KIMBALL, Neb.--The United States Air Force and Army Corp of Engineers were in Kimball on Tuesday night to shine a light on the real estate needs of the Sentinel Program that they hope to break ground on in the Fall of 2023.  The Sentinel Program aims to upgrade the infrastructure of the minuteman missile silos in and area that stretches from Cheyenne to Sidney, and Sterling to Gering.

Given its location, Kimball will be at the epicenter of the project that promises that promises to vastly enlarge the Air Force's footprint in and around the town. That was the focus of tonight's town hall.

Residents affected by the Air Force's need for more property will receive a letter in the mail as soon as this week explaining what property the Air Force will need to complete the Sentinel project and instructions on. how they can have an independent appraisal of their property done. After the properties in question have been appraised, the Army Corp of Engineers will begin traditional real estate transactions to take possession of the properties, mainly used for fiber optic cables and other communication equipment.

"We are here primarily to talk about all the real estate activities that are going to be occurring in the FE Warren missile wing complex, and so through our partners, the Army Corp of Engineers that are going to be doing a lot of the land acquisition related activities that we expect to start this month," Colonel Chris Stoppel of the US Air Force said. Stoppel expects the real estate acquisition process to continue for about five years.

"I would say there is going to be some good job opportunities as well, whether as a part of the workforce or services providing support to the workforce," Colonel Stoppel said. There will be a workforce hub located in Kimball County throughout the project that is expected to bring jobs and residents to the area. In addition, Northrup Grumman, the contractor leading most of this project for the Air Force, will work with local colleges in recruiting students into their workforce according to Chief of Operations for the 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs Joseph Coslett.

Future meetings that further address the workforce and community impact are planned but not yet scheduled.