Less than 10 miles away from the epicenters of the two powerful earthquakes that shook the Ridgecrest area over Independence Day weekend lies a military base: Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. It’s huge—larger than nine U.S. states—it’s critical for the research, development and testing of Naval weapons and aircraft and, at an industry presentation earlier this month, the Navy Facilities Engineering Command Southwest revealed that it could cost up to $5 billion to repair all the damage at the installation caused by the quakes.
What happened? And how could an important installation with such sensitive material have been so vulnerable to seismic damage? In this interview, FM89’s Kerry Klein shines some light on the damage that occurred, what the repairs could entail, and what lawmakers in Congress have to say about appropriating the necessary funding.