Cactus Flat, SD – During the Cold War, thousands of US Air Force personnel worked in concert to maintain constant readiness in the Minuteman missile fields. Often overlooked were the men and women of the US Air Force Security Police, an armed sentry and mobile response force that provided constant over-watch throughout the entire missile complex, escorted maintenance teams while on site, and answered the call of launch facility alarms to ensure the safety of America’s nuclear deterrent.
At 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 15th, join park rangers at the Delta-09 missile silo for a special program exploring the work of the Security Police in the missile field of South Dakota, led by Bret Whitmore and his fellow veterans of the 45th Missile Security Squadron. Beginning outside the gate of the Launch Facility, this program will recreate both normal entry procedures for a routine maintenance “trip”, as well as walk through the procedures that 44th and 45 Missile Security Squadron personnel would have followed to “Strike the Site” in the event the control center crew received an unauthorized outer-zone intrusion alarm.
The Delta-09 missile silo is located ½ mile south of Interstate 90 at exit 116. Visitors are advised that parking is severely limited at Delta-09; at present parking is limited to the access driveway and adjacent country road. Large vehicle turnarounds can be difficult depending on traffic and road conditions.
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site’s headquarters and visitor center is located off of exit 131, Interstate 90. The park consists of three sites along a fifteen mile stretch of Interstate 90 in Western South Dakota. Authorized by Congress in 1999, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site preserves components of the Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile system, interpreting the deterrent value of the land-based portion of America’s nuclear defense during the Cold War era and commemorating the people and events associated with this recent period of American history. The park is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. More information about the park can be found on the internet at www.nps.gov/mimi or by phone at: 605-433-5552. Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ MinutemanMissileNHS and Twitter at https://twitter.com/mimi_ ranger