We study the transient response of simply supported composite plates subject to close proximity explosions. Many studies are currently availiable in which the blast load is applied uniformly across the plate; and is described by step, N-pulse, or Friedlander equations. The novel aspect considered here is the case for which the blast pressure is due to a close proximity explosion, and is therefore taken to be both spatially and temporally varying. Two methods for calculating blast pressures are developed for arbitrary blast size and distance. A FORTAN program is described that automates the application of an arbitrary blast load to a generic finite element mesh. Modal superposition and NASTRAN solution procedures are verified for several load types and stacking sequences. Results are obtained within the framework of classical and first order plate theories for a variety of parameters including; stacking sequence, blast size, blast distance, and blast calculation method.