Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20

We got up early and drove to the Minuteman Missile National Historic Park Headquarters just outside Badlands National Park. We got there at 7:30 A.M. and were first in line to get on the waiting list for a tour of the Delta One missile command center and Delta Nine missile silo. These are part of 450 Minuteman ICBM facilities that were decommissioned under the START Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by George Bush Sr. and Mikhail Gorbachov. The installations we saw were made into a Cold War museum while all of the rest were destroyed. We went into one of the control centers where men were prepared to launch ICBM’s when given the proper commands which could reach their targets in Russia in 30 minutes with thermonuclear warheads. The U.S. still has hundreds of such sites but now they have updated Minuteman 3’s which carry three warheads. The current sites require four separate keys to be engaged simultaneously to initiate a launch instead of just two. In the 1960’s my brother John worked in a plant that made the solid fuel rocket propellant for the Minuteman missiles.

We drove to Crawford, Nebraska and set up the trailer in the city park. We had electricity, and it was free!

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