New Boston Air Force Station (NBAFS) is located in Hillsborough County in south central New Hampshire, approximately 12 miles northwest of Manchester. NBAFS falls within the boundaries of three towns, Amherst, Mont Vernon and New Boston and is comprised of approximately 2,826 acres of federally owned land. Only 200 acres have been developed to support the Air Forces operational mission, the remaining acreage is largely undeveloped. The military established the installation in 1942 as an aerial bombardment and gunnery range for the Army Air Corps and later transitioned the property to the Air Force. Bombing activities were terminated in 1956 and by 1958 portable radar tracking equipment was set-up and the installation was renamed NBAFS. In 1959, the installation was designated an Air Force Satellite Control Facility and by 1964, permanent structures had been constructed. The Air Force Space Command assumed control of the installation in 1987. NBAFS reports through its parent wing, the 50th Space Wing located at Schriever Air Force Base.
Currently, NBAFS serves as one of eight worldwide Air Force Satellite Control Network Tracking Stations, providing critical satellite command and control capability to Department of Defense (DOD) and civilian satellites. NBAFS also supports National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space Shuttle missions as well as National Atlantic Treaty Organization and other allied nations satellite operations.
There are two separate DOD environmental restoration programs at NBAFS: the Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) and the Installation Restoration Program (IRP). The MMRP addresses munitions and explosives concerns (MEC) and munitions constituents (MC) associated with NBAFS historic use as a bombing range. The IRP addresses contamination associated with hazardous waste or petroleum releases that are unrelated to munitions activities.
Under the MMRP, a Comprehensive Site Evaluation (CSE) Phase I was completed at NBAFS in the summer of 2006. The results of this investigation concluded that MEC and MC were potentially present on approximately 2,571 acres of NBAFS and also adjacent off-site areas. A follow-on Phase II CSE in the autumn of 2006 conducted non-intrusive site survey/site reconnaissance. This work included walking closely spaced transects by qualified teams consisting of UXO and field sampling technicians and covered both on-site and off-site areas. Hand-held Global Positioning System units were used to guide the teams and record the locations of each transects. At the conclusion of the CSE Phase II, 1,450 acres of NBAFS and the off-site areas were determined to not contain MEC and no further action was required. For the remaining 1,200 acres of NBAFS evidence of MEC was found, sometimes in high concentrations. Based on the results of the CSE Phase II, a MEC removal and clearance plan is being developed and work is scheduled for late 2008 and 2009. Currently pilot MEC removal technologies are being tested at NBAFS Joe English Pond to evaluate and aid in the selection of an aquatic MEC removal method
The IRP at NBAFS began in 1985 with a records search to identify sites that may have released hazardous wastes or petroleum to the environment. Ten sites where hazardous waste may have been release and 25 sites were petroleum was used, stored or released were identified. Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) work was completed in 1990 and no further action or long–term monitoring was recommended for most locations. Recently, a Preliminary Assessment (PA) conducted in July 2007 to review previous work, identified additional unresolved environmental issues at two existing IRP sites and found six new areas of concern that need further investigation. Site Inspection (SI) work is currently being conducted at these newly identified locations and a Site Inspection report is expected to be completed in September/October 2008.