Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

History in the making graces Peterson

2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile alert operations.

2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile alert operations.

By Thea Skinner

21st Space Wing Public Affairs

An icon of the Cold War – history in real-time is coming to Peterson. The Minuteman III LGM-30G Intercontinental Ballistic Missile known as ICBM, a decommissioned missile, will be positioned for display in a circular outdoor plaza in 2009.

“This is an important part of history – we really tried to tie it (the display) back to the heritage of Peterson itself,” said Paul Scoggins, 21st Space Wing Civil Engineer Squadron operations landscape architect and designer of this display.

Since 1993, Air Force Space Command, located at Peterson, has led the charge of land-based nuclear weapons and is working to reinvigorate the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise. The display comes as AFSPC realigns its inter-continental ballistic missile to the new Air Force Global Strike Command and gains responsibility for the Air Force cyberspace mission.

History in the making

“The ICBM mission is being transferred to the new Air Force Global Strike Command when it activates later this year,” said Jeff Nash, Peterson Air and Space Museum assistant director. “The Minuteman III display will illustrate and preserve the history and legacy of the ICBM mission when it belonged to the Air Force Space Command for nearly 20 years.”

The display is an effort to enhance knowledge of the role of the missile in the nation’s defense and AFSPC.

During the Cold War, the United States had a deterrence capability with the national will to use land-based ballistic missiles, said Gail Whalen, Peterson Air and Space Museum director.

The missile is presently on alert at several Air Force bases in the United States.

“It is an awesome responsibility. They are still active – we still have men and women doing this job,” Mr. Scoggins said.

Visual appeal replicated in display

The missile display will include six Air Force wing mission emblems, past and present, equipped with the Minuteman III, etched into stone in a natural Urban Pocket Park setting. The outdoor area will also include directional signs to other to static displays. Three of the six wings are presently inactivated.

“We are about 45 percent through construction. The detailed work and natural stone will be part of a plaza as a gathering area,” Mr. Scoggins said.

The missile, painted in warrior colors, will mirror the real world silo that views upward at the big missile, instead of a white color painted on other static displays.

The missile will be disassembled and shipped in three sections, then reassembled here, said Brian Hub, 21 SW CES Program Flight project manager.

With the addition of the missile, Peterson is home to 16 aircraft and five missile system displays. The 21 CES will mount the missile outside building 1470, at the corner of Peterson Boulevard and Otis Street in several months. An aerospace and defense company offered to reassemble the parts, which belong to the Air Force and the National Museum of the Air Force.

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