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Minutemen

Minutemen


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A milícia estabelecida antes do início da Revolução Americana em Massachusetts e em outras colônias era chamada de Minutemen porque estava pronta para qualquer emergência "em um minuto". Esta organização foi criada para contornar a milícia regular, muitos dos oficiais dos quais eram conservadores. Depois que a organização começou espontaneamente em seções da colônia, o congresso provincial de Massachusetts ordenou que outras cidades fizessem o mesmo. A organização nunca foi concluída devido ao início das hostilidades. Apenas uma lista fragmentária da lista de Massachusetts está disponível.


Escondido à vista

Durante a Guerra Fria, um vasto arsenal de mísseis nucleares foi colocado nas Grandes Planícies. Escondidos à vista de todos, por trinta anos, 1.000 mísseis foram mantidos em alerta constante e centenas permanecem até hoje. O Míssil Minuteman continua sendo uma arma icônica no arsenal nuclear americano. Ele detém o poder de destruir a civilização, mas tem o objetivo de ser um dissuasor nuclear para manter a paz e prevenir a guerra. consulte Mais informação

Condições Operacionais Atuais

Saiba mais sobre quais instalações e serviços estarão disponíveis durante sua visita.

Visite um míssil nuclear em Delta-09

O silo do míssil Delta-09 permite uma rara oportunidade de ver um míssil nuclear que esteve em alerta constante durante a Guerra Fria.

Visite Delta-01

Caminhe até o portão da instalação que já controlou dez mísseis nucleares - dez mísseis da Delta Flight.

Reserve o seu passeio pelo Delta-01

Passeios pelas Instalações de Controle de Lançamento Delta-01 são oferecidos diariamente. Reservas antecipadas são necessárias para todas as visitas guiadas.

Passeios Virtuais

Visite a linha de frente da Guerra Fria no conforto do seu dispositivo digital. Conheça os bastidores de Delta-01 e Delta-09.

Tour pelo telefone celular

Um tour por telefone celular narrado por um ranger explica a história dos mísseis Minuteman da Guerra Fria nas Grandes Planícies.


Minutemen

Mais do que qualquer outra banda de hardcore, os Minutemen sintetizaram os ideais independentes de pensamento livre que formaram o núcleo da música punk / alternativa. Extremamente eclético e politicamente revolucionário, os Minutemen nunca ficaram em um lugar por muito tempo - eles mudaram do punk para o free jazz, do funk para o folk em uma velocidade estonteante. E eles fizeram turnês e gravaram em uma velocidade estonteante durante o início dos anos 80, eles estavam constantemente na estrada, lançando discos sempre que tinham uma chance. Como seus colegas Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, R.E.M., Sonic Youth e The Meat Puppets, os Minutemen construíram um grande e dedicado grupo de seguidores nos Estados Unidos por meio de suas incansáveis ​​turnês. Como suas outras bandas indie americanas, o trio estava prestes a entrar no mundo das grandes gravadoras em 1986, e o faria se não fosse pela trágica morte do guitarrista / vocalista D. Boon em dezembro de 1985. Mesmo sendo baixista Mike Watt e o baterista George Hurley continuaram com fIREHOSE no final dos anos 80, o legado dos Minutemen ofuscou a nova banda no final dos anos 80 e início dos anos 90, quando o trio de San Pedro influenciou várias gerações de músicos.

D. Boon e Mike Watt começaram a tocar música quando eram adolescentes em meados dos anos 70, cobrindo os padrões do hard rock dos anos 70. Depois de se formarem no colégio em 1976, eles ouviram seus primeiros discos de punk rock, que marcaram uma mudança significativa em seu desenvolvimento musical. Assim que Boon e Watt ouviram o punk, eles começaram a escrever suas próprias canções e decidiram formar sua primeira banda de rock & roll completa. Em 1980, a dupla montou um quarteto chamado Reactionaries, que contava com o baterista Frank Tonche e um segundo guitarrista. Em poucos meses, seu segundo guitarrista saiu e a banda mudou seu nome para Minutemen, já que a maioria de suas músicas não durava muito mais do que um minuto. Eles gravaram um single com Tonche antes de ele ser substituído por George Hurley. Depois que Hurley se juntou à banda, os Minutemen gravaram Paranoid Time, seu primeiro EP o álbum foi lançado pela SST Records em 1981. Desde o início, a banda foi eclética e política, mas eles não encontraram sua voz até seu primeiro álbum completo álbum, The Punch Line, de 1981.

Após o lançamento de The Punch Line, os Minutemen embarcaram em uma agenda de turnês punitiva, dirigindo pela América e tocando em qualquer cidade onde pudessem conseguir um show. Eles também estavam gravando com frequência. Todos os seus principais álbuns apareceram na SST Records, mas eles também lançaram faixas selecionadas e EPs para outras gravadoras independentes, começando com o EP Bean-Spill de 1982, que apareceu na Thermidor Records. O segundo álbum completo da banda, What Makes a Man Start Fires ?, de 1983, rendeu-lhes considerável aclamação da crítica na imprensa underground e alternativa. Mais tarde, em 1983, eles lançaram seu terceiro álbum, Buzz ou Howl Under the Influence of Heat.

No final de 1983, o Minutemen havia se tornado uma das bandas mais populares do underground americano, um status que só conquistou em 1984. Naquele ano, eles lançaram o álbum duplo Double Nickels on the Dime. A duração do álbum foi uma resposta ao álbum duplo de Hüsker Dü, Zen Arcade, de 1984, mas a extensão expandida deu ao grupo a oportunidade de esticar e mostrar sua crescente profundidade musical e visão. Double Nickels on the Dime foi um sucesso underground considerável, ganhando substancial jogo de rádio universitário e elogios da crítica que muitos críticos consideraram um dos melhores álbuns do ano. Também em 1984, a banda lançou uma coleção de outtakes e material inédito chamada The Politics of Time pela New Alliance Records.

Ao longo de 1985, os Minutemen produziram gravações, começando com o Tour-Spiel EP pela Reflex Records. Ele foi seguido pela retrospectiva apenas em fita cassete My First Bells, que foi lançada na SST. Depois de My First Bells, o grupo lançou outro EP, Project Mersh, que apresentava covers de bandas de rock de arena "comerciais" além de vários longos "spiels" originais. Na mesma época, o grupo gravou o EP Minuteflag, uma colaboração única com o Black Flag. Finalmente, o Minutemen lançou o álbum seguinte de Double Nickels on the Dime, 3-Way Tie (For Last), no final do ano. Como seu antecessor, o 3-Way Tie (For Last) recebeu críticas positivas esmagadoras, incluindo avisos em publicações convencionais.

Em dezembro de 1985, D. Boon e sua namorada estavam voltando da casa de um de seus parentes para casa quando se envolveram em um acidente automobilístico fatal. Na primeira parte de 1986, Mike Watt e George Hurley tentaram decidir se continuariam tocando. Durante esse tempo, o resultado da votação ao vivo foi compilado e divulgado. Depois de alguns meses, tanto Watt quanto Hurley decidiram deixar a música quando foram convencidos a continuar tocando por um apaixonado fã e guitarrista do Minutemen chamado Ed Crawford. Watt, Hurley e Crawford formaram fIREHOSE em 1986 e no final do ano, a nova banda lançou seu álbum de estreia, Ragin ', Full-On. fIREHOSE viajou e gravou pelos próximos sete anos, assinando com a gravadora principal Columbia em 1991.


Período da Guerra Revolucionária Americana [editar | editar fonte]

Este selo faz parte de um conjunto de três emitidos em 1925. O poema nas placas é de Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Em 1774, o general Thomas Gage, o novo governador de Massachusetts, tentou fazer cumprir as Leis Intoleráveis, destinadas a remover o poder das cidades. Samuel Adams pressionou por convenções de condado para fortalecer a resistência revolucionária. Gage tentou sentar seu próprio tribunal em Worcester, mas os habitantes da cidade impediram que o tribunal sentasse. Dois mil milicianos marcharam para intimidar os juízes e fazê-los partir. Foi a primeira vez que a milícia foi usada pelo povo para impedir que os representantes do rei agissem por ordem real e contra a opinião popular. Gage respondeu preparando-se para marchar para coletar munições dos provinciais. Por 80 quilômetros ao redor de Boston, milicianos estavam marchando em resposta. Ao meio-dia do dia seguinte, quase 4.000 pessoas estavam na comunidade em Cambridge. Os provinciais fizeram os juízes renunciarem e irem embora. Gage desistiu de tentar sediar um tribunal em Worcester.

Os colonos em Worcester se reuniram e criaram um novo plano de mobilização da milícia em sua convenção de condado. A Convenção exigia que todos os oficiais da milícia renunciassem. Os oficiais eram então eleitos por seus regimentos. Por sua vez, os oficiais nomearam 1/3 de seu regimento de milícia como Minutemen. Outros condados seguiram o exemplo de Worcester, elegendo novos oficiais da milícia e nomeando Minutemen.

Gage conduziu várias manifestações de poder "mostre a bandeira" em Massachusetts, que mostraram aos oficiais do governo local que o esquema de mobilização "Minuteman" funcionou bem. Quando se tratava de treinar formações com suas armas, os britânicos praticavam principalmente em formações e marchas. Além de não terem área para praticar tiro ao vivo porque estavam lotados em Boston, os britânicos sabiam que na guerra do século 18 o movimento dos corpos dos homens e suas formações para maximizar a linha de fogo era o mais difícil e, portanto, mais importante parte do exercício militar. A milícia planejou extensivamente com planos elaborados para alarmar e responder aos movimentos das forças do rei fora de Boston. A reunião frequente de empresas de pequeno porte também criou coesão de unidade e familiaridade com a queima ao vivo, o que aumentou a eficácia das empresas de pequeno porte. As autoridades reais inadvertidamente deram aos novos planos de mobilização Minuteman validação por várias manifestações "mostre a bandeira" pelo General Gage até 1774.

As autoridades reais em Boston viram esse número crescente de milícias surgindo e pensaram que se enviassem uma força considerável a Concord para apreender munições e estoques de lá (que consideravam propriedade do rei, já que era pago para defender as colônias dos índios americanos ameaça), a milícia não interferiria. Os eventos de 19 de abril de 1775 provaram que eles estavam errados quando a mobilização reuniu um grande número de minutemen para confrontá-los em Concord que, com a chegada da milícia mais lenta, rapidamente os superou e forçou uma derrota estratégica para o coronel Smith, forçando-o a voltar para Boston . O plano de mobilização funcionou tão bem que apenas a chegada oportuna de uma coluna de ajuda sob o comando de Lord Percy em Lexington evitou a aniquilação ou rendição da coluna da estrada original.

Monumento dos Minutemen em Hollis, New Hampshire


História

A Minute Men Staffing foi formada por Sam Lucarelli em 1968 com o dinheiro que ele economizou enquanto trabalhava como distribuidor de bebidas.

Em vez de investir na entrada de uma casa, Sam se concentrou em um tipo diferente de visão - ganhar a lealdade dos clientes redefinindo o termo "compromisso com o serviço" no nascente setor de ajuda temporária.

Os amigos de Sam ainda contam como ele equilibrava seu trabalho de tempo integral como motorista com as demandas do empreendedorismo. Ele frequentemente coordenava as remessas de refrigerantes com as mudanças de turno da fábrica, para o caso de um capataz ser pego com falta de pessoal. Uma chamada rápida de volta para a sala de despacho, e Minute Men preencheu a força de trabalho do dia. Naquela época, não era incomum ver Sam conduzindo funcionários até as instalações dos clientes em sua perua ou indo ao banheiro de um restaurante de fast food para vestir o terno bem a tempo de uma visita de vendas.

No início da década de 1970, a Minute Men Staffing estava ganhando sólida reputação não apenas pela capacidade de resposta aos clientes, mas também pelo tratamento justo de seus funcionários. Muitos dos atletas profissionais de Cleveland durante esse período complementaram suas rendas fora da temporada trabalhando para a empresa. Rocky Colavito e Buddy Bell são apenas alguns dos ex-jogadores do Cleveland Indians que às vezes acompanhavam Sam em vendas e visitas de serviço.

Em 1972, a Minute Men decidiu atender à crescente demanda de seus clientes por caminhoneiros qualificados em caráter temporário e, eventualmente, permanente. A Transportation Unlimited, Inc. se tornou a primeira ramificação do que hoje é conhecido como The Minute Men Human Resource System. A Transportation Unlimited e a Minute Men cresceram juntas de forma constante nas duas décadas seguintes, acompanhando algumas de suas empresas clientes com operações nacionais em Ohio e abrindo escritórios na Flórida, Nova Orleans e Pittsburgh.

Hoje, Minute Men Staffing está focado na região dos Grandes Lagos, atendendo clientes de filiais em Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus e Cincinnati.

A revista Harvard University and Inc. reconheceu o Minute Men Human Resource System como uma das 100 maiores empresas americanas com sede em um bairro do centro da cidade. Localmente, Minute Men foi nomeado em várias ocasiões para a lista Weatherhead 100 de empresas de rápido crescimento da Case Western Reserve University, e foi introduzido no Hall da Fama de Negócios Familiares da CWRU.

Saiba mais sobre Minute Men Staffing

Deixe que a Minute Men Staffing lhe forneça um orçamento rápido e gratuito hoje. Clique no botão abaixo para começar ou ligue para 1-877-873-8856.


Minutemen - História

Um míssil Delta Flight sendo removido de seu silo. ROBERT LYON

História dos locais com mísseis Minuteman

O Sistema de Mísseis Minuteman ICBM

Em 4 de outubro de 1957, a União Soviética lançou com sucesso em órbita o primeiro satélite artificial do mundo, o Sputnik. Operadores de radioamadorismo no leste dos Estados Unidos giraram seus dials para bandas de frequência mais baixas e ouviram ansiosamente enquanto o Sputnik de 184 libras emitia um ".. Bip... Bip... Bip. .Bip..." ao passar por cima. Outros operadores de rádio gravaram rapidamente a transmissão e, em poucas horas, os americanos em suas salas ouviram a transmissão do Sputnik por meio de noticiários de rádio e televisão. A mensagem parecia confirmar os piores temores da América: os soviéticos haviam ultrapassado tecnologicamente os Estados Unidos e conquistado a supremacia no espaço sideral. A comunidade científica soviética não perdeu tempo se gabando de sua aparente vitória. Imediatamente após o lançamento, um cientista moscovita comentou: "Os americanos projetam barbatanas traseiras de automóveis melhores, mas projetamos os melhores mísseis balísticos intercontinentais e satélites terrestres". Nos Estados Unidos, uma manchete proclamava: "Os EUA devem alcançar os vermelhos ou estamos Morto. "

Na verdade, o significado do lançamento bem-sucedido não foi tanto o Sputnik, mas o enorme foguete soviético que lançou o satélite ao espaço. Com o Sputnik, que significa "companheiro de viagem" em russo, os soviéticos demonstraram a capacidade de seu lançador SS-6 de propelir um míssil em direção a um alvo a milhares de quilômetros de distância. Quatro anos antes, os soviéticos explodiram o "Hbomb". Agora, a perspectiva assustadora de um míssil soviético lançando uma bomba nuclear em uma cidade americana em menos de uma hora reviveu o que alguns chamaram de "atmosfera de Pearl Harbor" nos Estados Unidos. A pedido de seus conselheiros militares e sob tremenda pressão pública, o presidente Dwight D. Eisenhower relutantemente acelerou o programa de ICBM da América.

O choque do Sputnik reverteu abruptamente o que o secretário da Força Aérea, Donald Quarles, havia caracterizado como a "abordagem do homem pobre" dos Estados Unidos ao programa de ICBM. Seis meses depois do Sputnik, o orçamento da Nação para pesquisa e desenvolvimento espacial disparou de meio bilhão de dólares em média por ano para mais de US $ 10,5 bilhões. Grande parte do dinheiro foi para o desenvolvimento do míssil Minuteman. Em 1958, o Congresso aumentou a dotação para o Minuteman de $ 50 para $ 140 milhões. No ano seguinte, o Congresso adicionou dois bilhões de dólares ao orçamento do Minuteman, a serem distribuídos ao longo dos próximos cinco anos.

O vice-presidente Richard M. Nixon, o presidente Dwight D. Eisenhower e o secretário de Estado John Foster Dulles (da esquerda para a direita) no Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, Colorado, agosto de 1952. DEPARTAMENTO DE HISTÓRIA OCIDENTAL, BIBLIOTECA PÚBLICA DE DENVER.

O Sputnik deu início ao desenvolvimento e implantação do míssil Minuteman. Mas as origens do programa de mísseis Minuteman estavam profundamente enraizadas nos anos imediatamente após a Segunda Guerra Mundial & # 151, quando as duas superpotências mundiais começaram a se envolver na corrida armamentista em espiral da Guerra Fria.

Em 7 de janeiro de 1954, o presidente Eisenhower fez seu primeiro discurso sobre o Estado da União à nação. Depois de declarar que "a liberdade americana está ameaçada enquanto a conspiração comunista existir em seu atual escopo, poder e hostilidade", o presidente esboçou seus planos para defender a Nação contra essa ameaça. "Não seremos agressores", disse ele, "mas ... temos e manteremos uma enorme capacidade de contra-atacar." Os comentários de Eisenhower refletiram a base doutrinária por trás de grande parte do planejamento estratégico da América durante a era da Guerra Fria.

A visão do presidente Eisenhower sobre a União Soviética era semelhante à que fora articulada quase oito anos antes por George Kennan, um diplomata da embaixada dos Estados Unidos em Moscou. Observando os soviéticos se cercarem de uma "zona tampão" que incluía grande parte da Europa oriental após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, Kennan argumentou que esses movimentos resultaram de um fanático "expansionismo" soviético que estava decidido a desorganizar a sociedade americana, destruindo o jeito americano de vida, e quebrando a autoridade internacional da América. A única maneira de lidar com essa ameaça, sugeriu Kennan, seria os Estados Unidos adotarem uma política de "contenção paciente, mas firme e vigilante das tendências expansivas russas".

Embora boa em teoria, a contenção revelou-se quase impossível de ser colocada em prática. A fim de realmente conter a ameaça soviética generalizada, observou um alto funcionário dos EUA em 1954, a Nação precisaria se preparar para o combate "no Ártico e nos trópicos da Ásia, no Oriente próximo e na Europa por mar, por terra, e por via aérea. "Mas, embora a União Soviética tivesse feito um enorme esforço para reconstruir seu exército e reabastecer as armas convencionais após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, os Estados Unidos se desmobilizaram em um ritmo vertiginoso. Explorando sua posição como o único possuidor da bomba atômica, os Estados Unidos seguiram o que alguns observadores chamaram de política de defesa de "porão de barganhas", usando armas nucleares como substitutos para soldados rasos.

Fiscalmente conservador, o presidente Eisenhower também queria manter o arsenal atômico dos Estados Unidos no mínimo necessário para deter Moscou. O presidente e seu principal assessor econômico, Arthur H. Burns, acreditavam que o governo federal precisava cortar gastos, reduzir impostos e equilibrar o orçamento para alcançar um crescimento econômico estável. Apesar dos protestos do Estado-Maior Conjunto, Eisenhower pressionou continuamente por grandes cortes nos gastos militares, que consumiram quase 70% do orçamento nacional na época em que ele assumiu o cargo em 1953.

O programa americano ICBM

O secretário adjunto de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento da Força Aérea, Trevor Gardner (à esquerda) e o Maj. General Bernard A. Schriever (à direita), foram atores-chave no desenvolvimento de mísseis balísticos intercontinentais, incluindo o Minuteman. FORÇA AÉREA DOS EUA, DIVISÃO DE HISTÓRIA.

Os planejadores militares americanos começaram a desenvolver mísseis balísticos imediatamente após a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Mas no final dos anos 1940, o programa de mísseis da América começou a definhar, em grande parte porque a superioridade nuclear da Nação parecia segura. Em 1949, quando a União Soviética desenvolveu sua bomba atômica, a América respondeu com uma arma ainda mais poderosa - um dispositivo termonuclear que usava um pequeno gatilho atômico para iniciar uma reação de fusão em isótopos de hidrogênio. Testada com sucesso em 1952, a bomba H parecia garantir a superioridade nuclear da América. Mas em agosto de 1953, os soviéticos explodiram sua própria bomba H, e muitos especialistas militares dos EUA também acreditavam que os soviéticos poderiam entregar sua nova arma por meio de um ICBM. Pela primeira vez, os soviéticos pareciam prontos para assumir a liderança na corrida armamentista.

Após o teste bem-sucedido da bomba H soviética, duas organizações americanas independentes reavaliaram a importância estratégica dos ICBMs para a segurança nacional. Como observou o Dr. Bruno Augenstein, da RAND Corporation, "Se a União Soviética vencesse os Estados Unidos em uma corrida pelo ICBM, as consequências seriam catastróficas". Um comitê da Força Aérea chefiado pelo Dr. John von Neumann, professor de matemática da Universidade de Princeton, também avaliou a corrida armamentista. Com o codinome de "Comitê do Bule", o grupo de von Neumann investigou "o impacto da [bomba] termonuclear no desenvolvimento de mísseis estratégicos e a possibilidade de a União Soviética estar um pouco à frente dos Estados Unidos". Em fevereiro de 1954, a RAND e o Teapot Committee divulgou seus relatórios, os quais chegaram à mesma conclusão: os avanços recentes na tecnologia termonuclear tornaram o ICBM prático. Além disso, um ICBM "poderia ser desenvolvido e implantado com antecedência suficiente para conter a ameaça soviética pendente se talentos excepcionais, fundos adequados e novas técnicas de gestão adequadas à urgência da situação fossem autorizados".

Em maio de 1954, a Força Aérea traçou um plano de desenvolvimento para a nova arma. Em junho, o Vice-Chefe do Estado-Maior General Thomas D. White ordenou ao Comando de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Aéreo "que prossiga com o desenvolvimento de um ICBM na mais alta velocidade possível, limitado apenas pelo avanço da tecnologia nos vários campos em questão". , a Força Aérea estabeleceu um escritório especial de projetos para administrar o programa. Com base na Costa Oeste, a nova agência foi, conseqüentemente, chamada de Divisão de Desenvolvimento Ocidental. Bernard A. Schriever, um general-de-brigada de 43 anos, chefiou a Divisão de Desenvolvimento Ocidental. A Força Aérea esperava que o jovem general recém-promovido colocasse um sistema de armas ICBM totalmente operacional nas mãos do Comando Aéreo Estratégico dentro de seis anos. A Força Aérea considerou a missão da Western Development Division tão importante para a segurança nacional que até suas iniciais, WDD, foram classificadas além de ultrassecretas.

Em 5 de agosto de 1954, o general Schriever e um pequeno grupo de oficiais militares convergiram para uma escola paroquial abandonada no subúrbio de Inglewood, em Los Angeles, para começar seu trabalho. Para não despertar a curiosidade dos moradores das redondezas, os policiais vestiram roupas civis. O jornalista Roy Neal, que fez a crônica do desenvolvimento do sistema de mísseis Minuteman, descreveu o que encontraram:

Nenhuma placa identificou a escola branca como a Divisão de Desenvolvimento Ocidental.

. . . As janelas estavam congeladas e fortemente gradeadas. Todas as portas externas, exceto uma, estavam trancadas. A única entrada era através de um estacionamento cercado de arame. Um segurança vigiava a porta. Alguns dos veteranos se lembram. . . o comentário do menino da escola que passeava pelo prédio da escola.

Olhando o vidro fosco e as janelas com grades de aço, ele disse a um amigo: "Cara, estou feliz por não ir para a escola aqui."

Nesse ambiente discreto, mas cuidadosamente protegido, a equipe escolhida a dedo da Divisão de Desenvolvimento Ocidental começou o esforço para construir um míssil balístico intercontinental.

1945
Bombardeio de Hiroshima e Nagasaki

1946
O discurso da cortina de ferro de Churchill

1948
Golpe comunista na Tchecoslováquia / Bloqueio de Berlim começa

1949
Criação da OTAN / URSS explode bomba atômica / Tomada comunista da China

1950
Pacto Sino-Soviético / Guerra da Coréia começa

1954
Partido Comunista banido nos EUA

1955
Pacto de Varsóvia / Primeiro exercício de defesa civil dos EUA

1956
Levante húngaro / Krushchev diz aos EUA: Vamos enterrar vocês

1958
Eisenhower autoriza o programa de mísseis Minuteman

1960
Avião espião U-2 abatido pela URSS

1961
Baía dos Porcos / Muro de Berlim construído / Eisenhower avisa sobre complexo militar-industrial / Primeiro voo de teste do Minuteman bem-sucedido

1962
Crise dos mísseis cubanos / Minuteman I entra em alerta

1963
A linha direta conecta os EUA e a URSS / Tratado de Proibição Limitada de Testes

1964
China detona bomba atômica

1966
Minuteman II entra em alerta

1968
Invasão soviética da Tchecoslováquia

1970
Minuteman III entra em alerta

1973
Guerra do Yom Kippur: EUA entram em alerta mundial

1983
Reagan propõe Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)

1989
Países da Europa Oriental rompem com Moscou / Muro de Berline é derrubado

1991
Bush e Gorbachev assinam tratado START / sistema Minuteman II começa a ser desativado

1993
66º Esquadrão de Mísseis, incluindo Delta Flight, inativado

ICBMs de primeira geração: Atlas e Titan

Mísseis V-2 alemães, que Adolph Hitler saudou como Vergeltungswaffe (armas de vingança), foram usados ​​contra os Aliados durante os anos finais da Segunda Guerra Mundial. MUSEU DE DEUTSCHE, MUNIQUE, ALEMANHA.

A equipe da Divisão de Desenvolvimento Ocidental começou seu trabalho revivendo um projeto de míssil que se originou logo após a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Em 1946, a Força Aérea havia contratado a Convair Corporation para projetar um míssil balístico de longo alcance chamado MX-774. Como muitos projetos de mísseis do pós-guerra, o MX-774 perdeu a maior parte do financiamento do governo depois de apenas um ano. Mas, em vez de abandonar o projeto, a Convair Corporation continuou trabalhando por conta própria, avançando constantemente no estado da tecnologia de mísseis. Em 1951, a Força Aérea reconheceu esses esforços ao contratar a empresa para desenvolver planos para um míssil mais avançado, chamado Atlas.

O Atlas era essencialmente uma versão altamente desenvolvida do míssil alemão V-2, que a Alemanha havia usado contra os Aliados durante os últimos anos da Segunda Guerra Mundial. Como o V-2, o Atlas era movido por motores de foguete que queimavam uma mistura de combustível líquido e oxidante. Mas enquanto o V-2 tinha um alcance efetivo de apenas algumas centenas de milhas, o Atlas teve que entregar sua carga a um alvo a mais de 5.000 milhas de distância. A Convair Corporation poderia ter atendido a esse requisito projetando o Atlas como uma versão enorme do V-2. Em vez disso, os engenheiros da Convair buscaram uma solução mais sofisticada. Percebendo que o alcance de um míssil poderia ser aumentado reduzindo seu peso, Convair equipou o Atlas com uma fuselagem ultraleve e inovadora. Convair montou o míssil a partir de anéis de aço inoxidável finos como papel, empilhados como tubos de fogão e soldados nas costuras para formar cilindros. Os cilindros foram então inflados com gás nitrogênio para dar ao míssil sua integridade estrutural.

Em 1954, o Atlas era o míssil balístico mais avançado da nação. No entanto, o míssil estava a anos de produção. Nenhum protótipo foi testado em voo, e alguns céticos temiam que, quando os poderosos motores do Atlas fossem acionados pela primeira vez, a estrutura de pele fina do míssil se dobraria, deixando as esperanças da América por um ICBM na plataforma de lançamento como uma bola gigantesca de folha de estanho.

O General Schriever e sua equipe estavam cientes dessas preocupações. Assim, enquanto prosseguiam com o programa Atlas, também procuravam um backup. Em outubro de 1955, a Força Aérea fez um contrato com a Glenn L. Martin Company para produzir um novo ICBM chamado Titan. Como o Atlas, o Titan usava propelentes líquidos, mas seu design avançado de dois estágios permitia uma fuselagem convencional e mais confiável.

Míssil Atlas aguardando lançamento de teste do Cabo Canaveral na véspera de Natal de 1958. Detalhe: lançamento de teste do míssil Atlas D. O desenvolvimento do míssil Minuteman de combustível sólido acelerou a aposentadoria precoce da primeira geração de ICBMs de combustível líquido, como o Atlas D e Atlas E, que a Força Aérea desativou em 1965. FORÇA AÉREA DOS EUA, foto inserida CONVAIR (DIVISÃO ASTRONÁUTICA ), GENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION.

Ainda assim, o programa de mísseis da América foi prejudicado por problemas de financiamento. Em 1956, o secretário da Força Aérea Donald Quarles rejeitou o orçamento operacional para o programa ICBM e propôs a eliminação de Atlas ou Titan, que considerou redundante. Naquele mesmo ano, a Força Aérea perdeu seu proponente mais eficaz de mísseis quando o secretário assistente Trevor Gardner, o "Czar do Míssil", anunciou sua aposentadoria, citando cortes contínuos em seus orçamentos de pesquisa e desenvolvimento de mísseis. Sem se deixar abater pela aposentadoria de Gardner, a campanha de austeridade de Quarles continuou em 1957, quando o programa de mísseis balísticos foi reduzido em US $ 200 milhões. Em julho, o governo Eisenhower iniciou ainda mais medidas de redução de custos, incluindo corte nas entregas de mísseis, redução das taxas de horas extras e atrasos nos pagamentos aos empreiteiros.

Força em números: The Missile Gap

Lançamento de teste do Titan I, Base da Força Aérea de Vandenberg, 4 de maio de 1962. O míssil Titan possuía um maior alcance e maior carga útil do que o Atlas. Ainda assim, o Titã teve vida curta. Todos os mísseis Titan foram desativados em junho de 1965. US AIR FORCE

Este clima econômico frugal mudou drasticamente após o Sputnik. Em outubro de 1957, quando a União Soviética anunciou que havia usado um ICBM de combustível líquido para lançar o Sputnik em órbita, cientistas e políticos americanos temeram uma "lacuna de míssil" significativa. Em poucos meses, jornalistas e analistas de inteligência começaram a afirmar que a força de mísseis soviética poderia superar o arsenal americano em até 16 para um em 1960. A crescente sensação de insegurança dos Estados Unidos não passou despercebida pelas autoridades soviéticas, que anunciaram alegremente que suas fábricas estavam se fechando mísseis "como salsichas". Enfrentando severas críticas por permitir que os Estados Unidos ficassem para trás na corrida armamentista, o governo Eisenhower despejou mais dinheiro em seus programas de mísseis & # 151, aumentando o orçamento anual de pesquisa e desenvolvimento espacial da nação em mais de vinte vezes dentro de seis meses após o Sputnik. A administração também destacou o desenvolvimento dos mísseis Atlas e Titan. Um porta-voz do governo observou que o programa de mísseis dos Estados Unidos estava sendo cuidadosamente planejado, primeiro para "atingir a perfeição" e, em seguida, para "desenvolver a capacidade de produzir em grande volume uma vez que a perfeição seja alcançada".

Mas os ICBMs de primeira geração da América não eram perfeitos nem produzidos em massa. Algumas semanas depois do Sputnik, o Wall Street Journal observou que as fraquezas dos ICBMs da América "são tão profundas que ... os generais têm certeza de que [os mísseis] serão totalmente descartados após a primeira meia dúzia de anos". Atlas e Titan eram máquinas extraordinariamente complexas e feitas à mão, contendo até 300.000 peças, cada uma das quais tendo que ser mantida em perfeitas condições de operação. Os propelentes líquidos que moviam os motores dos mísseis eram voláteis e corrosivos e não podiam ser colocados nos tanques de combustível até imediatamente antes do lançamento. Além disso, as tripulações dos mísseis precisaram de até duas horas para abastecer os mísseis. Conseqüentemente, em vez de serem "armas estáveis ​​em estado de prontidão permanente", esses ICBMs exigiam "a atenção desesperada e constante concedida a um homem que recebe respiração artificial". The missiles were not a "push button affair but will require a highly-trained crew . . . several times as large as the largest bombing crew. " Many of these problems could be solved, the Wall Street Journal suggested, by developing a simplified "second generation" of missiles powered by solid-fuel rocket engines.

"A lot of work had been done on solids prior to the initiation of the ICBM program in 1954," recalled General Schriever in a 1973 interview, "but there were a number of things that ruled against using solids at that time." Solid propellants in the mid-1950s could not provide enough power to hurl a thermonuclear warhead across an ocean. Also, solids were difficult to manufacture. They were hard to ignite, and there was no way to control their combustion or direct their thrust after ignition. Given these constraints, the Air Force believed that liquid-fueled missiles were "the only immediate way to go ahead. " But the Air Force did not entirely abandon the concept of a solid-fuel missile. In 1956, Schriever reluctantly approved a low-level research program "aimed toward the evolution of a high-thrust . . . solid-fuel rocket." Schriever selected Colonel Edward Hall, Chief of Propulsion Development for the Western Development Division, to head the program. According to historian Robert Perry, Hall was a "near-fanatic" about the potential of solid-fuel missiles.

Colonel Edward Hall spearheaded the US Air Force effort to develop a solid fueled ICBM. COURTESY EDWARD HALL.

Colonel Edward Hall and his staff of engineers diligently researched their solid-fuel missile program. Within two years, Hall's group had solved most of the problems associated with solid-fuel rocket engines. In August 1957, the Air Force asked Hall to develop a medium-range, solid-fuel missile to be the land-based counterpart to the Navy's submarine-launched, solid-fuel Polaris. Within two weeks, Hall drew up specifications for a remarkable new missile whose range could be varied by simply assembling its three interchangeable propulsion stages in different combinations.

The new missile, dubbed "Weapon System Q," was "the first strategic weapon capable of true mass production," wrote Duke University historian George Reed. "To Hall, the new missile was the perfect weapon for a defense policy characterized by minimum expenditure and massive retaliation and he urged that this be its chief selling point." Sputnik made it easy for Colonel Hall to make the sale. A few days after the Sputnik launch, Hall went to the Pentagon with General Schriever to build support for the new missile. As they ascended the ranks of the military hierarchy, Hall refined his plans. By the end of 1957, he determined that "the ICBM version of Weapon System Q would be a three-stage, solid-fuel missile approximately 65 feet long, weighing approximately 65,000 pounds, and developing approximately 100,000-120,000 pounds of thrust at launch. " The missile would be stored vertically in underground silos and "would accelerate so quickly that it could fly through its exhaust flames and not be significantly damaged."

In February 1958, Hall and Schriever presented Weapon System Q to the Secretaries of the Air Force and Defense. "We got approval . . within 48 hours," Schriever recalled. The officers immediately renamed the project. On February 28, 1958, the New York Times reported that the Air Force had been authorized "to produce an advanced type of ballistic missile . . . called Minute Man."

By the end of March 1958, at least seven of the Nation's foremost aircraft manufacturers, including the Boeing Airplane Company, were competing to build the new missile. Although Seattle-based Boeing had built many of the Nation's largest strategic bombers, the company had virtually no experience with missiles. Still, Boeing mounted an all-out effort to win the Minuteman contract, assigning more than 100 employees to work on the project. When the Air Force selection board met to examine the proposals, one top official recalled that "there was no question . . . that Boeing was the right company for the job." In October 1958, the US government contracted with Boeing to assemble and test the new missile.

During the next few months, the rest of the Minuteman missile team came into place. The Thiokol Chemical Company of Brigham City, Utah, the Aerojet General Corporation of Sacramento, California, and the Hercules Powder Company of Magna, Utah, all won contracts to work on the missile's propulsion stages. Minuteman's guidance and control systems went to the Autonetics Division of North American Aviation in Downey, California. The AVCO Corporation of Boston contracted to build the missile's thermonuclear warhead.

Much of the development work for Minuteman took place in northern Utah. Thiokol and Hercules already operated plants in the area and, within a few months, Boeing moved into a new assembly plant that occupied 790 acres at Hill Air Force Base near Ogden. By the beginning of 1960, Boeing's Minuteman work force had grown to nearly 12,000, as the company started to assemble the missiles. Time magazine reported that the desert north of Salt Lake was "boiling" with activity:

Strange lights glare in the night, making the mountains shine, and a grumbling roar rolls across the desert. By day enormous clouds of steam-white smoke billow up . . . and drift over hills and valleys. Monstrous vehicles with curious burdens lumber along the roads.

All these strange goings-on mark the development of the Minuteman, the solid fuel missile that its proponents confidently expect will ultimately replace the liquid fuel Atlas as the US. 's standard ICBM.

Minuteman I test launch. Inset: A Minuteman ICBM, ready for testing at the Air Force Missile Test Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. US AIR FORCE.

According to journalist Roy Neal, the ICBM program created a new national industry: "Tens of thousands of industrial and Air Force managers, engineers, and workers [had] to be trained. New machine tools and test facilities [had to] come into being. . . . " These efforts changed "the face of America, the make-up of the Armed Forces and the industries that support them. "

At the end of 1960, the Air Force took the first Minuteman missile to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for flight testing. The compact new missile was only six feet in diameter and 53 feet high — about half the size of a Titan. Minuteman's three cylindrical, steel-cased propulsion stages were stacked one atop the other, with each stage slightly smaller in diameter than the one beneath it. Each stage was filled with a rubbery mixture of fuel and oxidizer, molded around a hollow, star-shaped core. The Minuteman's guidance system occupied a small compartment above the third stage. The "reentry vehicle" at the tip was identical to the nose-cone that would eventually contain a thermonuclear warhead.

Following two aborted launch attempts, the Air Force successfully fired the first Minuteman missile at 11:00 a. m. on February 1, 1961. Even the most experienced missile watchers found it to be "a dazzling spectacle." When the missile's first-stage engine ignited, there was a loud bang. Then the missile began to rise on a column of flame and smoke. Unlike the Atlas or Titan missile, which one observer said left the ground "like a fat man getting out of an easy chair," the Minuteman missile "shot up like a skyrocket." The missile performed flawlessly. The three propulsion stages completed their burns on schedule, then detached themselves and plummeted back to earth, while the unarmed warhead hurled on toward its assigned destination. Twenty-five minutes after lift-off, the reentry vehicle splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean squarely on target — 4,600 miles away.

From his office in Washington D. C. , Air Force Chief of Staff General Thomas D. White described the launch as "one of the most significant steps this Nation has ever taken toward gaining intercontinental missile supremacy." An engineer who witnessed the event put it another way: "Brother," he said, "there goes the missile gap."

The "Underground" Air Force

By the time the flight test took place, the Air Force was already planning for Minuteman missile deployment. According to historian Jacob Neufeld, the Air Force conceptually developed its "ideal" ICBM base in 1955, during the early days of the Atlas program:

The missile would be sited inside fixed, underground facilities it was to have a quick launch reaction it was to be stored in a launching position the launch site would require minimal support and the launch units were to be self-supporting for two weeks.

Turning these ideas into reality, however, proved difficult. During the height of the "missile gap" hysteria, the Air Force hastily activated the Nation's first Atlas missiles at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Here, the Air Force stored the missiles horizontally in "coffins" — concrete-walled, above-ground enclosures. Before the missiles could be fired, servicemen had to raise each missile vertically on a launch pad and add fuel. The later Titan and Atlas F series missiles were stored upright in underground silos capped with massive "clamshell" doors. But Air Force engineers were worried that vibrations from the rocket engines might shake the missiles apart before launch. As a result, the Air Force equipped each silo with an elevator that raised the missile to the surface for firing. Although the missiles were stored with their tanks full of fuel, workers still needed to add volatile liquid oxygen right before launch.

The Air Force took a major step toward achieving its ideal basing system in 1960 with the development of Titan II, which used storable liquid propellants. The Air Force could store Titan II missiles with fully-loaded propellant tanks, and fire them directly from underground silos. Nonetheless, Titan II missiles still needed constant attention from an on-site crew.

When Minuteman was added to the Nation's arsenal, America acquired its first truly pushbutton — literally turn-key — missile system. Historian Ernest Schwiebert noted:

With the successful utilization of solid propellants, the Minuteman could hide in its lethal lair like a shotgun shell, ready for instant firing. The operational launcher could be unmanned, underground, and hardened to withstand the surface burst of a nuclear weapon. Each launcher housed a single weapon and the equipment necessary to support and fire it, and required only periodic maintenance. The missiles could be fired . at a moment's notice.

Just as ICBMs evolved, so did their launch facilities. The first Atlas missiles were stored upright on launch pads, where they were vulnerable to attack. Later, the missiles were kept in horizontal, concrete "coffins" and raised vertically before launch. Eventually, the Air Force moved ICBMs to underground silos elevators lifted them to the surface for launch. Titan II and Minuteman were the first ICBMs launched directly from underground silos.

Minuteman Deployment and Site Selection

President John F. Kennedy (center), accompanied by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (far left), SAC Commander General Thomas S. Power (right), and Lt. General Howell M. Estes, Jr. (right background) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, March 1962. US AIR FORCE, HISTORY DIVISION.

The Air Force wanted to deploy Minuteman as a single, immense, "missile farm," equipped with as many as 1,500 missiles. However, the Air Force soon determined that "for reasons of economy 150 launchers should be concentrated in a single area, whenever possible, and that no area should contain fewer than 50 missiles." Consequently, the Air Force organized the Minuteman force into a series of administrative units called "wings," each comprised of three or four 50-missile squadrons. Each squadron was further subdivided into five smaller units, called "flights." A flight consisted of a single, manned, launch control facility, linked to ten, unmanned, underground, missile silos. The silos were separated from the launch control facility and from each other by a distance of several miles.

The Air Force initially considered putting Minuteman missiles as far south as Georgia, Texas, and Oklahoma. But when early models of Minuteman missiles fell short of their intended 5,500-mile range, the Air Force selected sites in the northern part of the United States, which was closer to the Soviet Union. In 1960, the Air Force decided to locate the first Minuteman installation on the high plains around Great Falls, Montana, at Malmstrom AFB. In the event of a nuclear accident or attack, the low population density near Malmstrom AFB would minimize civilian casualties. In addition, the region offered an established network of roads and, like much of the West, a large amount of easy-to-acquire public land.

The Air Force began constructing the Nation's first Minuteman missile field on March 16, 1961. In the spring of 1962, the Associated Press reported that the Montana silos were being "rushed to completion," and that the first missiles, each loaded with "one megaton of death and destruction," would be ready by late summer. Air Force crews began lowering the weapons into the silos at the end of July, and Malmstrom AFB's first ten-missile flight was hurriedly activated on October 27, 1962, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Minuteman Comes to Ellsworth Air Force Base

Military strategists began planning for a second Minuteman installation shortly after work got underway at Malmstrom AFB. In June 1960, the Air Force was authorized to add another 150 missiles to the Minuteman force. By early October, military strategists had narrowed their search for a new site to three locations in North and South Dakota. On January 5, 1961, US Senator Francis Case of South Dakota announced that Ellsworth AFB would be the headquarters for the Nation's second Minuteman deployment. Located about 12 miles east of Rapid City, Ellsworth AFB was founded in 1941 as the Rapid City Army Air Base. The Air Corps used the airfield to train B-17 bomber crews, and Ellsworth eventually served as home base for many of America's largest strategic bombers. The base was also headquarters for a Titan I missile squadron.

US ICBM Size Comparisons Atlas, Titan I, Titan II, Minuteman

Typical of all Minuteman installations, I the forces at Ellsworth AFB were organized into a missile wing. The 44th Strategic Missile Wing at Ellsworth AFB was activated in 1963, and was comprised of three 50-missile squadrons: the 66th, 67th, and 68th Strategic Missile Squadrons.

Each squadron was further subdivided into five smaller units, called flights. A flight consisted of a single, manned, underground launch control center (LCC), which was linked through a system of underground cables to ten, unmanned, launch facilities (LF). Each LF held one Minuteman missile stored in an underground silo. The silos were separated from the LCC and each other by a distance of several miles.

Although the Defense Department had not yet officially authorized the South Dakota Minuteman installation, Senator Case wanted the land acquired immediately so there would be "no loss of valuable time" once the project was approved. Local ranchers did not share Case's sense of urgency. Fearing that the government might offer below-market prices for their land, the ranchers established the Missile Area Landowners' Association to negotiate fair prices. The association assured fellow citizens that its actions would "not necessarily slow the national defense effort."

While real estate negotiations were underway, the South Dakota State Highway Department spent $650,000 from the Federal Bureau of Public Roads to improve 327 miles of roads leading to the proposed missile sites. By June 1961, Boeing was busy improving the infrastructure. Anticipating that the project would bring in more than 3,000 workers, the company raced to build mobile home camps and cafeterias near Wall, Sturgis, Belle Fourche, and Union Center, as well as in Rapid City.

By early summer, more than three-quarters of the local landowners agreed to give the government access to their land. Once the sites were finalized, the Ralph M. Parsons Company, an architectural and engineering firm from Los Angeles, prepared plans for the Minuteman installation. The Air Force assigned responsibility for construction to the US Army Corps of Engineers Ballistic Missile Construction Office. In July 1961, four of the nation's largest construction firms submitted bids for the project. The low bid came from Peter Kiewit Sons Company of Omaha, whose estimate of $56,220,274 was nearly $10 million below government projections.

On September 10, 1961, the groundbreaking ceremony for Ellsworth AFB's Minuteman installations took place at Site L-6 near Bear Butte. The festivities started with a bang. While the Sturgis High School band played, representatives from Boeing, Kiewit, the Corps of Engineers, and Ellsworth AFB set off an explosive charge to begin the excavation.

Despite extreme cold, high winds, and heavy snowfall, construction proceeded at a furious pace through the winter of 1961-62. In mid-December, the Corps of Engineers told reporters that "men are working seven days a week, three shifts a day on Minuteman construction. " A Corps spokesman said that crews were "able to dig five silo emplacements simultaneously. Each takes from four to ten days . . . " The first squadron, near Wall, was well underway, said the Corps, and work on the second squadron, near Union Center, had already started. In February 1962, General Delmar Wilson told the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce that despite an ongoing labor dispute between Peter Kiewit Sons and the Ironworkers Union, South Dakota's ICBM deployment suffered fewer work stoppages than any missile program in the Nation. "We're all out . . . to assure that our way of life is maintained," stated Wilson. "This missile project . is the number one project in the country today. If this guy in Russia wants to start a show, we'll be there to put a hole in him to the best of our ability."

By early summer of 1963, the steel fabrication was finished at all 165 South Dakota sites, and crews were completing the silos at the rate of one per day. On the last day of June, the first 20 silos were turned over to the Strategic Air Command. On October 23, the Nation's second wing of Minuteman ICBMs was fully operational. The work was completed nearly three weeks ahead of schedule.

The 44th Strategic Missile Wing
Construction of a Minuteman LF

Peter Kiewit Sons of Omaha, Nebraska, received $56 million from the US Air Force to construct the 150 missile silos and 15 control centers in South Dakota. The Rapid City Journal described how a Minuteman silo was built: "Conventional earthmoving equipment scoops an open cut 12 feet deep. A backhoe perclies on the edge of a large hole in this cut and digs a hole 20 feet deeper. The remaining 52 feet of depth is `mined' by a clamshell . When each hole is at the full depth of 84 feet, a steel `can' 12 feet in diameter is carefully positioned in it. Reinforced concrete is poured between the can and earth. " Work began on South Dakota's first Minuteman silo on September 10, 1961. By 1963, all 150 launchers were declared fully operational.

The Air Force excavated lengthy trenches several miles long to install the underground cables that connected the underground launch control centers with the distant missile silos. OMAHA WORLD-HERALD


US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

Delta One's underground launch control center (LCC) was constructed as two separate structural elements. The outside protective shell is 29 feet in diameter and 54 feet in length, and is made of reinforced concrete with four-foot-thick walls. The shell's interior is lined with 1/4-inch-thick steel plate. Suspended inside the shell is the second element: a box-like acoustical enclosure that contains the launch control consoles, communications and monitoring equipment, and crew accommodations. Delta One's "topside" structures include sleeping and eating facilities.


US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

Backbone of the US Nuclear Arsenal

While the Ellsworth AFB sites were under construction, the Air Force was building several other Minuteman installations. By the end of 1967, the Nation had 1,000 Minuteman missiles on alert in six separate deployment areas located throughout the north-central United States. In addition to the original installations at Malmstrom AFB and Ellsworth AFB, Minuteman complexes were deployed at Minot AFB and Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota, Whiteman AFB in Missouri, and F .E. Warren AFB in Wyoming. In addition, another squadron was established at Malmstrom AFB. At each installation the Air Force continued to improve and refine the Minuteman operational system.

Newly-elected President John F. Kennedy instigated one of the first significant improvements to the Minuteman weapon system. Soon after taking office in 1961, Kennedy learned that even if he ordered a massive nuclear retaliation to a Soviet attack, a portion of the Soviet's long-range nuclear force would survive to strike again. As a consequence, the Kennedy administration quickly abandoned the strategic policy of releasing America's entire nuclear arsenal in "one horrific spasm." Instead of massive retaliation, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara recommended a "flexible response." Should deterrence fail, McNamara proposed that America's nuclear weapons be deployed selectively. The first ICBMs would target enemy bombers and missile sites. The remaining ICBMs would be held in reserve, for potential use against Soviet cities. McNamara hoped that the threat to the civilian population would persuade the Soviet Union to end the conflict. McNamara began retooling America's nuclear forces, including Minuteman, to reflect the new military strategy.

However, Colonel Edward Hall and his engineers designed Minuteman to be a fastreacting, mass-attack weapon. Upon receiving the launch command, the officers at each Minuteman facility had to fire all ten missiles under their control. A selective launch of fewer than ten missiles was impossible. In order to conform with the new defense strategy, Air Force engineers had to redesign Minuteman's launch control complex. Historian Clyde Littlefield described the changes:

In order to conform to the new concept, engineering changes had to be made to allow a combat crew in a control center to switch targets and to fire one or more missiles selectively, conserving the remainder for later use. Greater flexibility in targeting and firing required a significant extension to the limited survival time [of each operational site]. The [original] Minuteman facility design did not provide for the protection of the power supply. At a control center, power generators were above the ground. When and if these generators stopped functioning, the operational potential of the system would be reduced to only six hours. Revised strategic concepts required that the weapon survive at least nine weeks after an initial enemy attack.

To meet this requirement, the Air Force put the generators in underground capsules next to each launch control center. Although the Air Force considered incorporating these generators into the Minuteman facilities at Ellsworth AFB, construction was already underway there, making the changes impractical. Consequently, the generator capsules began with the third Minuteman deployment area at Minot AFB in North Dakota.

The Next Generations: Minuteman II and III

By the time planning began for the final Minuteman deployment area, the Air Force had developed a vastly improved version of the missile. Called Minuteman II, the new missile offered improved range, greater payload, more flexible targeting, and greater accuracy, leading one Air Force spokesperson to estimate that its "kill capacity" was eight times that of Minuteman I. Minuteman II was deployed first at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota. In September 1965, South Dakota Congressman E.Y. Berry announced that the Ellsworth AFB facilities would also receive the new missile system. According to Berry, Minuteman II would help Ellsworth AFB remain "one of the nation's most important military installations." In October 1971, Boeing began refitting the Ellsworth silos to accommodate Minuteman II, and completed the project in March 1973.

Ellsworth Air Force Base: Delta Flight, Minuteman II ICBM. HISTORIC ENGINEERING RECORD, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

In May 1964, the Soviet Union displayed a battery of anti-ballistic missiles in Moscow's Red Square, prompting concern about the vulnerability of Minuteman I and II missiles. The following year, the Air Force began to develop an even more advanced version of the missile. By late summer of 1968, Minuteman III was ready for testing. Longer and more powerful than its predecessors, Minuteman III offered an improved guidance system that could be retargeted in minutes. But, according to the New York Times, the missile's "most telling advantage" lay in its "revolutionary new warhead: the MIRV, or multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle." The MIRV could deliver three hydrogen bombs to widely scattered targets, a capability that would "render current and contemplated antimissile defense systems largely inadequate," and "thrust the world into a new era of weapons for mass destruction."

The Air Force deployed Minuteman III at Warren, Minot, Grand Forks, and Malmstrom Air Force Bases, and extensively modified the Minuteman launchers at these locations to accommodate the new missiles. Each launch tube was equipped with a new suspension system that could hold the missile absolutely motionless during the aftershocks of a nuclear attack. The Air Force also installed a system of seals, filters, and surge arrestors designed to prevent electronic equipment from being damaged by the powerful electromagnetic waves generated during nuclear explosions.

In July 1975, when the last of the Nation's 550 Minuteman III missiles was lowered into its silo at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, only 450 Minutemen II remained in the American arsenal — at Malmstrom, Ellsworth, and Whiteman Air Force Bases. This force structure remained intact for nearly two more decades.

The first Minuteman LCCs, such as Delta One, were dependent on life-support equipment in the above-ground LCF support building. In later versions, the Air Force buried the life-support equipment underground to help it better withstand a nuclear attack.

The Air Force also redesigned the launch facilities to improve survivability. The power supply unit (shown to the right of each silo) was buried deeper underground, and encapsulated in hardened concrete. The Delta Nine site represents the earliest configuration.

Deactivation of the Minuteman II Weapon System

The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. On July 31, 1991, President George Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which placed a limit on the worldwide number of ICBMs and prescribed a process for their destruction. The treaty coincided with the end of the Cold War, and the Air Force's growing disenchantment with the escalating costs of repairing and maintaining the Minuteman II system. On September 27, 1991, President Bush announced on national television his "plan for peace." As part of the plan, Bush called for "the withdrawal from alert, within 72 hours," of all 450 Minuteman II missiles, including those at Ellsworth AFB.

On December 3, 1991, an Air Force crew arrived to remove the first of Ellsworth AFB's 150 Minuteman II missiles: Golf Two (G-2), a launch facility near Red Owl, about 60 miles northeast of Rapid City. The Rapid City Daily Journal reported on the crew's progress.

Disarmament began with snow shovels at dawn . as Airman 1st Class James Comfert and his colleagues cleared the launch-door rail. Six hours later, a Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile was stored safely in its transporter/erector truck. G-2 was just a high-tech hole in the ground.

According to the Rapid City Daily Journal, the Minuteman deactivation process at Ellsworth AFB would continue for at least three more years:

First, warheads and guidance systems [will be] removed. Then the missiles will be pulled. . . . The headframes of the missile silos will be destroyed and the tubes will be filled with rubble. The launch control capsules will be buried under rubble and a thick concrete cap. The land and above-ground buildings at launch control centers will be sold.

Although all of the Minuteman II facilities at Ellsworth AFB were slated for demolition, the Air Force, in conjunction with the National Park Service, selected two representative sites — Launch Control Facility Delta One and Launch Facility Delta Nine — for possible preservation as nationally significant icons of the Cold War. When the Minuteman II deactivation is completed in the mid-1990s, these two Ellsworth AFB sites will be the only remaining intact examples of the original Minuteman configuration.

Evolution of Minuteman Facilities

On September 27, 1991, President George Bush announced his "plan for peace," which included the "withdrawal from alert, within 72 hours, of all 450 Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missiles." The actual physical removal of the missiles began in December 1991, when Air Force crews began pulling the unarmed Minutemen from their silos. Cables were lowered from a transporter/erector truck and attached to the missile by a crew inside the silo. The missile was then slowly raised into the truck and secured for transport.


Minutemen - History

Delta Nine Missile Pull, 1993
The Acton Minutemen were a group of men, mostly farmers, from the town
of Acton, in the colony of Massachusetts, who formed a company for the
purpose of defending the town and the colony against attack. Eles eram
trained and drilled in the use of their weapons, namely the musket and
bayonet. They were able to muster (or gather) in just a few minutes' time
after the signal was given throughout the town. Their ability to ready
themselves so quickly gave rise to the term "Minutemen". All of the
surrounding towns to Acton also had militia or Minute companies, and
each was ready to defend their own town or join together to defend the
greater colony.

Acton's Minute company, under the leadership of Captain Isaac Davis, mustered at Davis's house, (which still stands at 39
Hayward Rd. today) and departed from there with their fifer, young Luther Blanchard, playing "The White Cockade" , to march
the seven miles to the fields overlooking the North Bridge in Concord. At the town line crossing into Concord, Isaac Davis
stopped and gave any man who did not wish to proceed, the chance to turn around and return to his home - no one did. No
Barrett farm in Concord, which lay directly in the path that Acton was marching on, an advance scouting party of British soldiers
were searching for stored weapons and munitions - the reason for the entire British advance from Boston. Alerted by perhaps
Colonel Barrett himself, who had ridden back to his farm from the North Bridge, Acton's Minutemen skirted around them by
going off the road, once again playing "The White Cockade" , through a section of woods and fields, and rejoining the road
again about a half-mile ahead at the Widow Brown's tavern, thus avoiding an early confrontation. The Minutemen continued the
rest of the march to the bridge. (Today's Acton Minutemen still march the same 7-mile route to the Old North Bridge on Patriot's
Day, commemorating the courageous acts of those original Acton patriots. And the public is always encouraged to join us - a
great family activity!)

In Lexington, the main column of British forces met their first resistance a small group of armed men. To this day, no one is
sure who fired first, but in the ensuing brief but deadly battle, 8 townspeople were killed on Lexington green. O britânico
reformed and marched on. By the time the redcoats got to Concord, however, the Minute companies from many of the
surrounding communities had begun to arrive and were waiting for them in numbers. The point of confrontation was at the
North Bridge, and when the order was given for the colonists to attack, The Acton Minutemen, led by Captain Isaac Davis, were
first in line to advance. History tells us that Acton's company was the only one present that was entirely outfitted with bayonets,
perhaps because Isaac Davis himself was a blacksmith and a gunsmith. When asked if he was afraid to advance, Davis
replied, "I am not, and I haven't a man who is"! They advanced on the British, engaging them at the bridge itself. In the ensuing
3 minute battle, Davis was shot in the heart and died instantly. Thus Isaac Davis became the first commissioned officer to die
in the Revolutionary War, and thus was the first to die for this country. By his side, young Abner Hosmer was also mortally
wounded. Later in the day, James Hayward would also fall dead in a sudden duel with a Regular, whereby each one shot and
killed the other. Although technically not a member of Davis's Minute Company, Hayward will forever be remembered as a
courageous son of Acton.

The British were turned back at the bridge, in large part due to Acton's stand. As the British forces retreated back into Concord
Center, and then all the way back into Charlestown and Boston, they were pursued by colonial forces and armed civilians. o
Redcoats took heavy losses, and eventually had to hole up within the confines of Boston, around which the colonial forces set
up a siege line, setting the stage for a protracted war. April 19th, 1775 was the day it truly all began, and the turning point at the
old North Bridge was the first time the British had been forced to retreat in the field in the face of Colonial opposition.

Acton had other companies of militia, commanded by other officers, but only the company under Isaac Davis was referred to
as a "Minute Company." Many descendants of these men still live in Acton and the surrounding area, and the names of these
brave souls live on in the names of streets and neighborhoods in Acton and surrounding towns. As you drive around the area,
look to see if any of the road signs display the name of one of these great men, and ask yourself, "What brave act would allow
my name to be remembered for hundreds of years?" These men knew the danger of making that fateful march, and they did it
qualquer forma. Here are their names:

And for a vivid and detailed account of the background of the Minute man concept, and the battle of April 19th, 1775, read "The
Minutemen" by General John R. Galvin, US Army


Minutemen - History

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American Revolution begins at Battle of Lexington

At about 5 a.m., 700 British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, march into Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, a shot was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.

By 1775, tensions between the American colonies and the British government approached the breaking point, especially in Massachusetts, where Patriot leaders formed a shadow revolutionary government and trained militias to prepare for armed conflict with the British troops occupying Boston. In the spring of 1775, General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, received instructions from England to seize all stores of weapons and gunpowder accessible to the American insurgents. On April 18, he ordered British troops to march against the Patriot arsenal at Concord and capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington.

The Boston Patriots had been preparing for such a military action by the British for some time, and upon learning of the British plan, Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes were ordered to set out to rouse the militiamen and warn Adams and Hancock. When the British troops arrived at Lexington, a group of militiamen were waiting. The Patriots were routed within minutes, but warfare had begun, leading to calls to arms across the Massachusetts countryside.

When the British troops reached Concord at about 7 a.m., they found themselves encircled by hundreds of armed Patriots. They managed to destroy the military supplies the Americans had collected but were soon advanced against by a gang of minutemen, who inflicted numerous casualties. Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, the overall commander of the British force, ordered his men to return to Boston without directly engaging the Americans. As the British retraced their 16-mile journey, their lines were constantly beset by Patriot marksmen firing at them from behind trees, rocks, and stone walls. At Lexington, Captain Parker’s militia had its revenge, killing several British soldiers as the Red Coats hastily marched through his town. By the time the British finally reached the safety of Boston, nearly 300 British soldiers had been killed, wounded, or were missing in action. The Patriots suffered fewer than 100 casualties.

The battles of Lexington and Concord were the first battles of the American Revolution, a conflict that would escalate from a colonial uprising into a world war that, seven years later, would give birth to the independent United States of America.


Words nearby Minutemen

She founded Minutemen American Defense several years ago, supposedly to keep America safe from “illegals.”

Other rumors swirling around the Phoenix area pin the killing on Minutemen or narcotraficantes.

Hearing shots in that direction, the British hurried back, to find their men falling rapidly beneath the fire of the minutemen .

No one saw the minutemen march and countermarch, and no one could hear their feet in the soft grass.

Soon after dawn of April 19 the British troops approached Lexington where they found sixty or seventy minutemen under arms.

Although he acted with the greatest secrecy, he was unable to keep his plans from the watchful minutemen .

About two hundred of them stood guard at the North Bridge, while a body of minutemen gathered on a hill on the opposite side.


Minutemen - History

History Lesson, Pt. 2

Songfacts®:

Minutemen formed part of the influential California Punk movement that emerged in the late 1970s. This song is about that scene and the different subcultures within it, including the Hardcore scene, which compromised of bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Suicidal Tendencies. Mike Watt of Minutemen told us that he wanted to pay tribute to the multifaceted Punk movement: "You've got to understand, Punk in the US in those days was this tiny scene. But we were so involved in it, it seemed important. So this was a history lesson. The meaning is like, I'm going to tell the story of this band and show you guys that we're not elitist over you, but I never really heard the meaning of the song described to me like I wrote it. It means something different to other people."

Watt told us that he was specifically addressing the younger punks in this song: "Nowadays, when people talk about the old days, I don't say scene. I say movement. Because I really believed it was. I don't believe the Minutemen would have even existed without that movement. So, in 'History Lesson Pt. II' I was commenting on this thing where even though Minutemen was kind of from a different world from these young hardcore people, we weren't old men yet. So I was trying to say, the way I looked at the aesthetics of this punk scene, there's not a lot of difference between us, except some stylistic things, which is natural, because we've all got different kinds of expression. I was actually talking to those younger guys, the younger punk guys in a way, saying we don't look down on you."

Double Nickels on the Dime is a double album, spanning 45 songs, which blend a myriad of genres and tackle a variety of themes, including the Vientam War and racism. Watt told us that Hüsker Dü's double album, Zen Arcade, inspired Minutemen to write a similarly long LP: "We had an album done and ready to go. They didn't have a title for it yet, but the Hüskers came to town and recorded Zen Arcade. And we go, 'Wow, they made a double album, we should do that, too.'" Watt said that he considers Double Nickels on the Dime to be "the best album" that he has ever played on. In 2004, Pedra rolando magazine ranked it at #411 on their "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.

The album title was a response to the Sammy Hagar song, "I Can't Drive 55," which protested against the federally imposed speed limit of 55 miles per hour on all US highways. Watt said Minutemen thought Hagar's complaints were absurd: "We couldn't really have a concept as much, except this idea that Sammy Hagar couldn't drive 55 miles an hour. You know, that stupid thing. 'We'll drive the speed limit and we'll try to play crazy music.'" "Double nickels" means 55 miles per hour in trucker lingo, while "the Dime" refers to Interstate 10 - the highway on which Boon later died.


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