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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.

Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Fortuna Air Force Station is an abandoned Air Force radar station located in Divide County, North Dakota, about 6 1/2 miles from Canada and 8 miles from Montana.  Like the Minot Air Force Station, Fortuna AFS was a GCI (Ground Control Intercept) base designed to detect unidentified aircraft and coordinate interception.  Originally opened in 1952, it served its purpose until it was partially deactivated in 1979.  It was closed for good in 1984.

The radar dishes and domes were removed long ago, and the site has since been heavily vandalized and scavenged.  The salvage rights were sold some years back and the team that did the salvage knocked holes in the walls of most of the buildings to remove boilers and scrap metal.

We got word that this base was to be demolished in 2013, so we set out to photograph it before it was too late.  We got permission to explore it and directions for how to access the base.  Upon arrival, we were not able to access the base in the manner the owner suggested, so we played it by ear, starting with the former family housing units on the south side of the base and working our way through a gate and up the hill on foot to the former site of the radar tower.

The photos assembled here are a fraction of what we shot.  See more.

Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Terry ventured into the bowels of the building above, and ran into the ominous warning below.

Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota

Fortuna Air Force Station, North Dakota


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

This is a mirror post from GhostsofNorthDakota.comSee the original here.