Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

This is the Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex, just north of Nekoma, North Dakota.  It is a unique place in the history of the US military’s anti-ballistic missile effort. A portion of the Wikipedia entry for this place:

The Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard complex in Nekoma, North Dakota, with the separate long-range detection radar located further north near the town of Cavalier, North Dakota, was the only operational anti-ballistic missile system ever deployed by the United States. It defended Minuteman ICBM missile silos near the Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota.

It had reinforced underground launchers for thirty Spartan and sixteen Sprint nuclear tipped missiles (an additional fifty or so Sprint missiles were deployed at four remote launch sites). The complex was deactivated during 1976 after being operational for less than four months, due to concerns over continuing an anti-missile-missile arms race, cost, effectiveness, and changing political rhetoric.

Today, the former launch complex is abandoned and rusting.

Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

This complex was recently purchased by a local Hutterite colony, and they are farming the land surrounding this facility.  We’re told the local historical society still holds out hope of preserving these structures, somehow.

Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

Some of the housing and administration buildings on this base are still in very nice shape.

Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

This is a mirror post from GhostsofNorthDakota.com.  See the original here.

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