Amado, AZ High 68 Low 39
First of all, I need to apologize because I am so far behind in reading blogs and I know there is no way I will be able to catch up. I guess what that boils down to is: I either have time to read blogs or I have time to party. So guess which one is winning now.
Tuesday afternoon Jim and I went up to Green Valley to the Titan II Museum. We had reservations to take a tour with former Titan crew members, Bob and Steve.
This silo was staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week from 1963 to 1987 with four crew members. These people were responsible for pushing the button to launch the Titan II nuclear missile IF any country attacked the United States with a nuclear missile.
So many cables:
You watch a movie before you begin the tour and it appears in the movie that these four crew members are busy the entire 24 hours, however, Bob told us that the job was really, really boring. He, himself, never believed that the USA would be attacked. They played a lot of cards.
Only tall people needed to wear hard hats down this corridor. That wouldn’t be me.
The crew members were told they had a 30 day supply of food and air in case of attack. So I guess their choices were to die of starvation or go outside and die a nuclear death because 30 days sure wouldn’t be long enough to clear the air.
Bob then took us into the command center and explained the sequence of events that would take place before the launch button was actually pushed.
Bob gave a great presentation but he talked very rapidly and in some cases, very technically so I didn’t understand some of it.
After we left the command center we got to see the actual Titan Missile.
A few facts:
The Titan II was the largest Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ICBM). Atop the missile sat the massive Mark 6 warhead. It measured 110 feet in length and 10 feet in diameter.
The Titan II was capable of launching from its underground silo in 58 seconds and could deliver a nine megaton thermonuclear warhead to its target more than 5,500 miles away in less than thirty minutes.
Titan II carried the largest single warhead of any American ICBM and consisted of a two stage, rock engine powered vehicle and a Re-entry vehicle (RV).
For more than two decades, 54 Titan II missile complexes across the United States stood "on alert" 24 hours a day, seven days a week, heightening the threat of nuclear war or preventing Armageddon, depending upon your point of view.
Radio Antenna – there were several of these for communication purposes.
Bob made a statement that when he was stationed here security was good but not great. Then something happened and things changed. After the tour I asked him about what happened. Seems a guy came to the Commander and told him that he could break into the command center. The Commander asked him to prove it.
So one night he and the commander climbed over this fence.
He was then able to pry open the elevator doors (they weren’t locked at that time) and they repelled down the elevator shaft. Walked right into the command center and surprised four crew members. Things changed after that. One of the procedures implemented (besides the lock on the elevator doors) was a four phone call system and a few more locked doors.
The above ground part of the tour is on your own. I didn’t know what this thing was so asked the guy who was keeping an eye on things. This is the decoy stage of the rocket. Anything to confuse the enemy.
Other parts of the missile.
These are tipsies (AN/TPS) which is a radar surveillance system or motion sensors and were placed around sensitive areas of the complex to alert the crew to the presence of intruders. During their 25 year history, intruders were never a serious problem.
We both really enjoyed this tour. It’s always interesting to learn more about the history of the times we grew up in.