Army plans missile test at Aberdeen base today Neighbors are worried about shock waves, noise

December 19, 1997|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

Aberdeen Proving Ground officials plan to launch a missile today-- and some nearby residents are not happy about it.

The Hellfire, a helicopter-launched missile, will be tested between noon and 2: 30 p.m. at Abbey Point and will be fired at a remote area of the proving ground.

The missile is an anti-armor weapon that was used during the Persian Gulf war.

Gary Holloway, a spokesman for the proving ground, said the missile would carry 16 pounds of explosives, which would detonate when the missile strikes its classified target.

The test will be witnessed by Army official Philip E. Coyle III.

But residents across the Chesapeake Bay from the proving ground say they are constantly rocked by the shock waves from heavy weapons testing and are concerned about the effects of the missile.

"We think that they are not looking at ways to test large weapons in other areas," said Jane E. Hukill, co-chairwoman of the citizens group Coalition for Safe Disposal of Chemical Weapons and a resident of Worton in Kent County.

"We recently had a meeting with [APG officials] and they did not tell us that this missile thing was in the works," Hukill said.

Residents long have complained that the noise and shock waves cause houses to shake and damage their belongings.

Walter Harris lives on the water in Kent County across from APG and said that when testing occurs, it "feels like an earthquake" in his home.

"Missile ranges are not exactly the kind of neighbor that I want," Harris said.

Holloway said officials created a computer model that uses weather conditions to determine the expected noise level. If that level is deemed too high, the test would be postponed.

Residents can file claims with the Army for any damage caused by testing, Holloway said.

Pub Date: 12/19/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.