Monday, June 14, 2010

Nike Missile Base and Mine #2

Nike Missile installations were the United States' first ground based anti-aircraft defense system, which became operational as early as 1953. They were placed in secluded locations throughout the country and were our last line of homeland defense against enemy bombers at that time. Eventually technology improved and these systems became obsolete.

There isn't much left of this old Nike Missile Base now. As per the typical construction of such Cold War era missile sites, the buildings are scattered and this particular installation is spread among 3 separate areas. I have arranged them here in the order in which I explored them.

Area 1 consists of the Integrated Fire Control (IFC) Area. This site contained the Nike system's ground-based radar target acquisition and computer systems. There are 3 buildings left of the IFC now. Near the entrance sits a guard shack. Further up into the woods are two more heavily overgrown structures whose original purpose has been long since forgotten.

Guard post:

IFC building 2:

IFC building 3:

Area 2 is the former Launch Area. Nike missiles were stored underground here and brought to the surface by a large elevator where they were pushed along rails to the launcher. Unfortunately, the entrances have been sealed off with concrete and all that remains to be explored is one small outbuilding and a large paved parking lot.

Launch Site building 1:

Launch Site:

Area 3 is the former Admin Area. All that remains is a small building in the woods which appears to have been a pumping station of some sort. Nearby is a small storage shed. The rest of the buildings here were razed some time ago.

On the way back, I decided to check out an old mine.