Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Titan Missile Musuem

As Canadians are oft to do, we follow the geese south for the winter. When temps get cold and skies are gray for days on end, we hunger for the sun. Wayne and I've made our way to Tucson, Arizona. In addition to some great USC Women's Basketball Games, we visited the Titan Missile Museum in nearby Sahuarita.

Underground command center.
The tour includes a video presentation about the Titan II Missile program that lasted during the height of the Cold War.

Double locked launch codes and keys.
The museum guides (some of whom worked in the silos during their military careers), take you down into the missile complex underground. You follow the same entry as officers and enlisted men from years past. The tour is handicapped accessible using the former supply elevator.

Cableway between the command center and missile silo.
The first stop is the underground command center. There the guide leads you through a simulated launch, explaining what life was life below ground during a standard 24-hour tour.

Looking up at the nosecone where the nuclear warhead would be housed.
A walk through the cableway tube leads to the silo. You see the Titan II missile as it would have looked, ready to go, armed with a nuclear warhead. Of course, that part has been removed.

Looking down into the 150 foot deep silo.
I grew up in the 50s and 60s, experienced the Cuban Missile Crisis, and all the drop and cover drills in school. Now with worldwide tensions somewhat lessened, nuclear arsenals have decreased. But they're still there, acting as deterrents. I pray that works. The alternative is too horrible to imagine.

Looking down from above through the open retractable silo door.
Here is a YouTube video by Wayne Devin about the museum tour.



If you ever get to Tucson, it's only about a thirty minute drive south. It's a piece of history that needs to be remembered.  Want to know more? Try Command and Control by Eric Schlosser and Titan II by David Stumpf. Both authors researched their books in the archives of the Titan Missile Museum. -- Margy

3 comments:

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

What a tour. Great post! Hubby would love this. We visited the Diefenbunker. You'd love it. It gave me the heebee jeebies, though!

Stephanie said...

Great tour through your lens. Good post!

Powell River Books said...

This was an excellent tour. In fact, the guide was actually one of the former Air Force officers responsible for that same missile silo. - Margy