Kansas City District Header Image



Schilling Air Force Base

Collapse All Expand All

Schilling Site History

The Smoky Hill Army Air Field was built in 1942. The name of the base was changed to the Smoky Hill Air Force Base in 1946 and to Schilling Air Force Base (SAFB) in 1957. In 1942, the base served as headquarters for the 20th Bomber Command, and became the first operational training base for B-29 bombers. The base remained a bomber base for five years after World War II ended and was deactivated in 1949.

In 1951, the base was reopened for the Korean War. Upon reactivation, several improvements to the facility were made, including a 25-mile long jet fuel pipeline that terminated at a bulk fuel tank farm on the base. Additional improvements were made after the Strategic Air Command took over operational control of the base. These included construction of a training building, a boiler facility, a gas distribution system, and a bulk oil storage system. The base was designated a permanent Air Force installation in July 1953. B-47 bombers were operated from the facility. In 1960, the bombardment wing was transferred to Forbes Air Force Base at Topeka. A squadron of Atlas F intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and Nike surface-to-air missiles was deployed to twelve sites around SAFB and attached to SAFB for support. The SAFB was also upgraded to receive B-52 bombers and KC-135 tankers.

The closure of SAFB was announced in 1964. By 1967, most of the property was transferred to the Salina Airport Authority (SAA). SAA has since used much of the property in operating the airfield, renamed the Salina Municipal Airport. The remainder of the former SAFB was transferred to various state and local agencies for educational purposes.

Gas Instruction Area

The Gas Instruction Area is an 8.8-acre site in the southwestern portion of the former Schilling AFB within the fence line of the Salina Municipal Airport. The Gas Instruction Area incorporates the former locations of the gas instruction building and the decontamination area. Historic records indicate that an approximately 100-square-yard area was used for decontamination exercises involving liquid mustard on ground, equipment, and building surfaces. These records indicate that it is presumed that the building decontaminated was the gas instruction building itself, since the only other building in the area was a radio transmission building that was not erected until the late 1940’s.

The gas instruction building no longer exists while the radio transmission building remained standing until it was demolished in April 2010. An aerial photograph taken in 1954 shows the location of the radio transmission building, gas instruction building, and an area cleared of vegetation that may have been an area used for decontamination exercises.

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.

Information Repository

The Information Repository is in the process of being established. The documents listed below should be available at the Saline Public Library in May 2012.

Salina Public Library
301 West Elm Street
Salina, KS 67401
Telephone: 785.825.4624
Fax: 785.823.0706


Proposed Plan

Public Involvement Plan

Technical Project Planning

Archive Search Report (May 2003)


Technical Project Planning Memorandum & Associated Documentation (December 2009)

Public Notice in the Salina Journal (April 2010)

Chemical Warfare Materiel Site Inspections Work Plan Part 1 (May 2010)

Chemical Warfare Materiel Site Inspections Work Plan Part 2 (May 2010)

Site Inspection Report (December 2010)

Former Schilling Air Force Base
Gas Instruction Area
Remedial Investigation


2012 March Final Public Involvement Plan
2012 May Final Remedial Investigation Work Plan
2012 July Start Remedial Investigation Field Work
2012 August Finish Remedial Investigation Field Work
2012 December Final Remedial Investigation Report
2012 December Final Feasibility Study (If Necessary)
2013 March Draft Final Proposed Plan
2013 March Public Meeting
2013 May Final Proposed Plan
2013 August Final Decision Document



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Kansas City District
601 East 12th street
Schilling Project Manager
Kansas City, MO 64106
Fax Number - 816.389.2023