Monday, April 13, 2015

Homeschool Travels - Visiting the Minuteman Missile Facility

On our recent trip to Mount Rushmore, we came across a very interesting National Park to visit.

There is a Welcome Center that explains the Nuclear arms program as well as the different types of missiles that our government has in storage.

The Minuteman Missile was an iconic weapon in the American nuclear arsenal.  It held the power to destroy civilization, but acted as a nuclear deterrent which maintained peace and prevented war.

It's not a big area, but it's interactive and they are working at expanding the displays.

There is history on the Cold War also.

At the Welcome Center you can get tickets to tour the Delta-01 launch facility where the soldiers would live while serving.

This truck is what they would drive between missiles.  If there was a warning of any sort, they had to check it out.  This all-terrain vehicle helped them get where they needed to be.
The black grill on the right side of this picture is where they would burn orders and numbers that needed to be destroyed.

This is really the building where soldiers lived for months at a time.

It was small quarters in some areas depending on your rank.
But still comfortable.
Gotta have food...

The men who served at this location.
Gate area for the guards.

Elevator down to the bunker.
Vault door.
This is the bunker that we went to looks like.  This is a picture at installation.  No one, I mean no one except two personnel were allowed in there during shifts.  They rotated 4 specially trained soldiers in the pod.  If war happened, the door above would shut and only the two personnel on duty stayed in there.

How thick the wall is...
It is held in place by shock absorber

They had everything they needed down here.

The escape hatch they would dig out of after so many months if war occurred.

Their uniforms.  They had everything they needed for an extended period of time if they were to be locked in during a war.

How far below the ground we were.
The ones above ground had basketball and other activities to keep them occupied.

You can also visit a decommissioned missile at another sight near the base.

It was hard to get a good picture because of sun glare.

This was a very interesting side trip.  I highly recommend visiting if you are in the South Dakota area.  Tickets are limited for the Base tour each day, but there is no charge.  You need to visit the Welcome Center first, and get your tickets there.

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