Forbes Air Force Base Atlas - 01

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Project Description

The former Forbes Air Force Base Atlas S-01 property (Forbes S-01 Site) was an operational intercontinental ballistic missile launch facility from 1959 to 1965.  The Atlas Missile Program was an important but short-lived element of the United States’ defense system. Forbes S-01 was one of nine former Series “E” Atlas missile bases constructed around Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas. This site is located approximately 8 miles southwest of Valley Falls, Kansas and approximately 20 miles northeast of Topeka, Kansas in Jefferson County, Kansas. The Forbes S-01 Site consists of approximately 28-acres with a general rectangular area and is surrounded by agricultural grazing lands.  

Environmental contamination at the Forbes S-1 Site resulted from operations that occurred during the facility’s operational period. Much of this is groundwater contamination beneath the site. Contaminants in the soil and surface water were not detected above respective screening criteria.

Operational History

In 1959, the U.S Air Force started construction on the nine Forbes Atlas E missile facilities. Operation of the Forbes S-1 Site was the responsibility of the 548th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) assigned to the Former Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas. The 548th SMS was declared “Operationally Ready” in 1961. The Forbes S-1 facility operated from 1961 until 1965, when it was decommissioned and excessed.

The Atlas E type missiles were composed of the SM-65 variant and were housed in a horizontal launcher style complex. The missile was kept in a horizontal position.  In order to launch, a 400-ton hardened concrete overhead roof was rolled back after which the missile was elevated to a vertical launch position. Once upright, the rocket was fueled with RP-1 (kerosene) and liquid oxygen (LOX). The Atlas E missiles were equipped with a Mark IV re-entry vehicle and carried a type W-38 warhead which had a yield of approximately 4 megatons of trinitrotoluene. The Atlas E missile had a range of approximately 6,000 miles.

The facility is currently a private property.

 Information Repository    


The purpose of establishing and maintaining an Administrative Record is twofold. First, it establishes a record containing the documents that form the basis for selecting the response action. Second, it meets the CERCLA requirement for public involvement in determining the selected response alternative. An Administrative Record is required for all Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) projects at which removal actions are performed or at which a Remedial Investigation is performed.

The Administrative Record file contains documents providing the basis for decisions made on the project, and includes information such as relevant work plans, reports, decision documents, copies of regulations, and copies of press releases and fact sheets. The Administrative Record file is located and maintained at or near the site in a local information repository. This local information repository can be a public library, law enforcement office, city hall, school, or other location with easy public access.

The Administrative Record file is available at the following locations:

Meriden-Ozawkie Public Library                                                                 USACE-Kansas City District                        

7272 K-4 Hwy, Suite D                                                                                     Administrative Records                    

Meriden, Kansas 66512                                                                                 635 Federal Building                                     

Phone:  785.484.3393                                                                                   601 E. 12th Street                              

E-mail:                               Kansas City, MO 64106-2824  


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Kansas City District

601 East 12th Street

Attn: CENWK-PME, Forbes AFB Atlas -01 Project Manager

Kansas City, MO 64106