Museum of the Month: Malmstrom AFB


At the height of the Cold War, the US military had over 1,000 nuclear-tipped Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) missiles scattered across rural areas of the country.

Surprisingly, these weapons of mass destruction were not hidden away in large military bases. Instead, they were often placed in farmland within sight of main highways. Perhaps more surprisingly, there are still about 400 silos containing loaded and functional ICBMs on alert.

Of course, these missiles, and their warheads, were, and are, extremely well secured in steel-reinforced concrete silos, behind high-tech motion sensors and beneath huge concrete blast doors. These ICBMs were the Minuteman type, originally Minuteman-I (LGM-30A), followed by Minuteman-II (LGM-30F), and finally the Minuteman-III (LGM-30G).

The Boeing Transporter/Erector Loader (TEL) was used to transport the Minuteman series of missiles to and from the launch facility. The container was 19.81m long and 3m wide and contained 227m3 of interior space.

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