Missile History Upgraded

The only former Minuteman ICBM site open to the public may soon get a permanent visitor’s center, thanks to legislation introduced by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, located 70 miles east of Rapid City, S.D., became a historic landmark in 1999. Overseers currently run it from a temporary trailer and a second trailer serves as the visitor’s center, reported Keloland.com. If approved, Johnson’s measure, S.1478, would grant 25 acres of National Forest Service land to the Park Service to construct an 8,000 square-foot historical center, as well as separate parking and office space nearby. The measure last week cleared the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with bipartisan support, moving to the full Senate, according to a Johnson release. The historic site’s Delta-01 launch control facility and nearby Delta-09 silo were part of Ellsworth AFB, S.D., during the Cold War. The former 44th Missile Wing operated them. (S.1478 full text) (Minuteman Missile NHS webpage)