You are here
Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility (MAF) and November-33 Launch Facility, Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site
The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site preserves and interprets the Cold War strategy of nuclear deterrence, and the lives of people who staffed isolated sites like this one. The historic site covers two locations, the Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility (MAF) and the November-33 Launch Facility. For thirty years, Cold War defense strategy kept crews in place for solid-fuel Minuteman missile installations based in Montana, Missouri, Wyoming, and the Dakotas to counter a similar program by the former Soviet Union. This is the best-preserved and well-interpreted missile site accessible to visitors.
The MAF consists of an aboveground Launch Control Support Building that housed an eight-person security and maintenance team and provided access to underground launch control centers (LCCs). Each LCC housed a two-person crew of missileers, working twenty-four-hour shifts, monitoring the missiles and awaiting orders 24/7/365. Two-person security teams, a flight security controller, a facility manager, and a chef rounded out the essential crew at each site on a rotational basis. The underground launch facility (November-33) consists of steel-reinforced, shielded launch control stations for ten missiles. An interesting display of artistic creations by missile control crews remains in place as part of the interpretation that is occasionally given by former missileers. With the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), the missile at this site was removed and the silo filled in. An aboveground concrete blast door remains in place. All the single-warhead Minuteman II installations have been decommissioned, but Minuteman III missile fields, capable of delivering three warheads to widely scattered targets, are still operating in North Dakota, based out of Minot Air Force Base. Numerous aboveground Air Force command posts, often well signed and designated by combinations of letters and numbers, can also be seen in northeastern and north central North Dakota.
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.