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Near Cooperstown in Griggs County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Launch Facility Security

Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site

 

— November-33 Launch Facility —

 
Launch Facility Security Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, July 24, 2020
1. Launch Facility Security Marker
Inscription.   The November-33 Launch Facility (LF), which held a nuclear missile from 1966 to 1997, was unstaffed for nearly all of its history. Rather than securing the LFs (like November-33) of the 321st Strategic Missile Wing with continually on-site, armed personnel, the Air Force devised electronic systems that maintained security from remote Launch Control Centers (LCC). The electronic security system at the LF consisted of an above-ground, motion-sensing portion called the Outer Zone (O-Z) and an Inner Zone (I-Z) portion that detected intrusions to the below ground area. The tall, white pole in front of you (the Improved Minuteman Physical Security System [IMPSS] pole) was the key to the O-Z portion of the system. When the IMPSS pole detected motion it sent and alarm to the LCC that was in command of this site.

For over 31 years, effective and well-trained Air Force security forces (and electronic security systems) protected the 150 nuclear missiles of the 321st Strategic Missile Wing. Below is scenario describing the O-Z system:

A suspicious van approaches the security fence. After scanning the roads for vehicles, a passenger
Launch Facility Security Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, July 24, 2020
2. Launch Facility Security Marker
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jumps out f the van, approaches the fence, and cuts the lock. The intruder swings open the fence and the van quickly drives onto the LF.

Immediately the white IMPSS pole detects the motion and sends an alarm to the LCC.

Inside the LCC, approximately 20 miles away and 60 feet below ground, an Air Force officer receives the O-Z alarm from the IMPSS pole. The officer immediately calls the Flight Security Controller (FSC) who is working in the above-ground Security Control Center (SCC) (directly above the LCC).

The FSC then contacts a two-member Alarm Response Team (ART) and directs the ART to depart the SCC and drive the 20 miles to November - 33 to investigate the O-Z alarm. Time is of the essence.

The team members quickly put on protective gear, grab their M-16 rifles, climb into their armored vehicle, and depart the facility for the LF and a confrontation with the suspicious van.

Photo captions
A view of a Launch Facility (LF) with the tall, white Improved Minuteman Physical Security System (IMPSS) pole which detects motion around the LF (photo taken in 2006 in the 91st Space Wing, Minot air Force Base, North Dakota).
In 1991 an Air Force lieutenant in a Launch Control Center calls the Flight Security Controller to report a security violation at the one of the flight's 10 Launch Facilities.
In
November-33 wide view image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, July 24, 2020
3. November-33 wide view
1983 two Air Force Peacekeeper armored vehicles are parked at a Missile Alert Facility in the 321st Strategic missile Wing - security forces will use these vehicles to respond to security violations.
1997 security forces responding to an Outer Zone alarm confront an unauthorized individual on the Launch Facility (this photo was taken during an exercise procedure).

 
Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, Cold. A significant historical year for this entry is 1966.
 
Location. 47° 26.395′ N, 98° 3.959′ W. Marker is near Cooperstown, North Dakota, in Griggs County. Marker can be reached from 2nd Street NE (North Dakota Route 200) 0.2 miles east of 116th Avenue NE, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11622 ND-200, Cooperstown ND 58425, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Missile Maintenance (a few steps from this marker); More than Meets the Eye (a few steps from this marker); Missile Transport (a few steps from this marker); Launcher Closure Door (a few steps from this marker); The Minuteman: America's "Ace in the Hole" (within shouting distance of this marker); Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)
Historic Site Sign image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, July 24, 2020
4. Historic Site Sign

Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile
State Historic Site
November-33
State Historical Society of North Dakota

(within shouting distance of this marker); November-33: "Ace in the Hole" (within shouting distance of this marker); Oscar-Zero: Command, Control and Support (approx. 4.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cooperstown.
 
Also see . . .  Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site Information. (Submitted on March 26, 2021, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 25, 2021, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 99 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 26, 2021, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 1, 2022