SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As tensions rise between the United State and Russia over a now-suspended arms control treaty, there are new details emerging over how Russia would launch a nuclear attack, and Sacramento is in the crosshairs.
Christina Falkenhagen and her family lives on the former Air Force base, and she said hearing her home is potentially ground zero is a little unsettling. She is surprised to learn McClellan Park could still be targeted by Russian nuclear missiles.
“I’m kind of nervous now, I’m not going to lie,” Falkenhagen said. “It’s not even active; that’s crazy; I hope that’s not true.”
A Russian TV news broadcast over the weekend shows McClellan as one of the targets in a potential Russian atomic missile attack on the US, even though the base was decommissioned 18 years ago.
Roxanne Yonn worked at the base and is the former executive director of the California Aerospace Museum at McClellan. She says there is “around zero” strategic value left at the base.
Yonn says the base was busy during the Korea and Vietnam conflicts, serving as an aircraft maintenance depot, but it was no longer needed once the Cold War ended.
“You don’t need to have so many bases, so many places to do things because it’s more instantaneous, technology different,” Yonn said.
McClellan is now best known as the home base for Cal Fire’s fleet of firefighting aircraft and where the coast guard’s long-range search and rescue planes are stationed. The airport is privately owned and seen as an example of how to effectively reuse decommissioned military sites.
“McClellan is actually one of the great base closure success stories because of the transition to the civilian uses,” Yonn said.
Now some in Sacramento are worrying once again about an atomic attack as a possible new Cold War heats up. A nuclear blast would affect more than just the bast. A 500-kiloton airburst could kill 79,000 people and injure more than 300,000, with damage as far away as Roseville and West Sacramento.
The Kremlin is not commenting on the report on Russia TV. President Vladimir Putin has said Russia does not want a new arms race.
Swipe below to see the other potential targets mentioned by state Russian TV.