Monday, January 23, 2017

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site


After visiting the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota I continued heading west. I saw a road side sign for this place... The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site was established in 1999 to illustrate the history and significance of the Cold War, the arms race, and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) development. This National Historic Site preserves the last remaining Minuteman II ICBM system in the United States.
The sprawling missile complex, one of six located in the central United States, was built as a deterrent to a nuclear first strike by the Soviet Union. By placing missiles underground in widely separated locations, it was hoped that regardless of the size of a Soviet missile attack, enough US missiles would survive to ensure devastation on the aggressor nation.
The Minutemen in this complex remained on alert for nearly 30 years, until the wing was deactivated following the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by President George Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991. 
Under the terms of the treaty, the missiles in this complex were removed from their silos, and in 1994 the 44th Missile Wing was deactivated. A bygone era.

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