UPDATE: The first firing has been delayed until 10 a.m.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is planning a three-day rocket test starting Tuesday (Sept. 27), and it’s sure to be a blast — or 27.
Army soldiers will fire 27 practice rockets from the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, from Tuesday through Thursday, according to a JBLM news release.
The Army is using the test rockets to gauge noise pollution from their launch, the release said. The results will help the military evaluate whether HIMARS exercises that now take place at the Yakima Training Center could be moved closer to home.
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On Tuesday and Wednesday, three rockets will be fired in succession at 9 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Three more rockets will be fired at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The HIMARS rockets were originally scheduled to be fired in March, but there was insufficient clearance over trees on the base.
A 10-acre timber sale has cleared what should be sufficient area to safely launch the rockets. Forty percent of the timber sale profits went to Pierce and Thurston counties for education and transportation, the news release said.
“We understand the communities’ interest in these tests, and I can assure you the correct conditions have been set to test fire the HIMARS practice rockets at JBLM,” Col. Daniel S. Morgan, JBLM commander, said in the release.
Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627