Hey, is that a missile in your pocket?


Last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the underground silo for the only Titan II missile left in the US. Located just south of downtown Tucson, the museum provides a snapshot of a very wary and anxious time. 1963. The Cold War. Soviets vs. the U.S. Seventy-nine weapons of mass destruction. (That was just on our end.) Peace by deterrence. A potential fight to the death. (And even if we were annihilated, our warheads were capable of evening the score.)

Fortunately, the day the military prepared for never occurred. Despite the grandiose rhetoric, both governments relented and in 1985, began to disarm.

The tour included a top-side peak at the massive, however hidden, launch doors. A multiple array of secret communications antennas. A few above and others, retractable, buried discretely under the ground. (After all, a call from the President commanding a nuclear attack isn’t something to miss.) Clandestine cans to burn entry codes, eight feet thick steel blast doors, space-like fueling suits, expert docents and a command station that rallied the bridge on the USS Enterprise. (Absolutely in line with the like of a good sci-fi thriller.)

Fifty-eight seconds. Less than one minute is all the time required for the Titan II to deliver a 9-megaton nuclear warhead over eight hundred times stronger than the bomb dropped during the second World War.

Kind of adds a little weight to the saying ‘time is short.’

E.L. Chappel author of Risk/Spirit Dance

Hoping the past can predict the future

aka The Glamorous Wife

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