The Raco Army Airfield and Missile Base site occupies approximately one square mile and is located southwest of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, in the Hiawatha National Forest. It operated during WWII and the Cold War. The Department of Defense (DoD) used the site as an airfield for 21 years and as a missile base for about 13 years, ending in 1972. The site consisted of a triangular-shaped airfield with 5,000 foot runways and a Bomarc Missile Site containing missile silos and associated support facilities. The site has been intermittently controlled by the DoD and its predecessor agencies since 1895. In 1925 the site was placed under U.S. Forest Service (USFS) management and was subject to certain reuse rights for defense purposes. The Secretary of Agriculture transferred 240 acres for airfield use in 1942. The airfield constructed between 1942 and 1943 covers approximately 640 acres. Around 1960 the missile base was constructed on 153 acres of land southeast of the airfield. In January 1964, the Air Force released the airfield property to the USFS and released the missile area in June 1973.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District is conducting an environmental investigation at the former Raco Army Airfield and Missile Base site under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program - Formerly Used Defense Sites (DERP-FUDS). Currently, the Feasibility Study (FS) is underway for the TCE Groundwater Plume investigation, and an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) is being conducted as part of a Non-Time-Critical Removal Action to address a former underground wastewater treatment structure.
For more information on the current investigation contact Public Affairs at (502) 315-6769.