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Archive for minuteman missile silo

Beneath the Plains

By Linda Tancs

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site preserves two facilities that were once part of a Minuteman Missile field that covered the far western portion of South Dakota from 1963 through the early 1990s. The only National Park Service unit specifically designated for the Cold War, the park’s enabling legislation states that Minuteman Missile’s purpose is “to interpret the historical role of the Minuteman II missile defense system as a key component of America’s strategic commitment to preserve world peace and in the broader context of the Cold War.” Ranger-guided tours of Launch Control Facility Delta-01 and the underground Launch Control Center are conducted throughout the year, but the elevator taking visitors down to the underground control center can only hold six visitors at a time. Fifteen miles west of the visitor center is the Delta-09 missile silo, where visitors can see a Minuteman II missile in the silo.

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