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The Inskter Missile


On this date in 1965, the first Minuteman Missile in North Dakota was installed in its launch facility near Inkster, in the northeastern part of the state.

The first Minutemen were kept on alert in unmanned underground silos approximately 80 feet deep and 12 feet wide. Covering these missile tubes were 100-ton blast doors that had to be blown off before the missile could be launched. Environmental control equipment and standby power sources were buried nearby in support buildings, and electronic surveillance was used to detect intruders.

For every cluster of ten missiles, Missile Combat Crews manned a centrally located launch control center. These control centers were from 40 to 100 feet below ground level and placed at least 14 miles away from neighboring centers. A nearby, above-ground, missile alert facility provided living quarters and support equipment for the site’s crew, which consisted of a manager, security personnel, and a chef.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm