The Military 1949-Present

The Military 1949-Present (HM1SL4)

Location: Cheyenne, WY 82001 Laramie County
Country: United States of America

N 41° 8.721', W 104° 50.184'

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Francis E. Warren Air Force Base

In 1949, more than eighty years after it was founded, Fort Warren and the City of Cheyenne joined forces shortly after the new year to battle the "Blizzard of 49." Personnel and equipment from the 3450th Technical Training Wing cleared the City's airport, the Veterans Hospital, and plowed roads for Laramie County. The installation also delivered medical supplies and fuel. The massive ground blizzards forced the implementation of Operation Snowbound, a Presidential Proclamation providing relief for snowbound families and livestock in southeastern Wyoming. Bulldozers, graders, military vehicles, and snow plows operated by Fort personnel cleared some 1,700 miles of roads to reach more than 1,000 residents and 106,000 head of stranded livestock. It is estimated that 70,179 man hours were expended during the operation.

On July 7, 1949, Fort Warren was assigned to the newly emerging U.S. Air Force and was renamed Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. By 1957 the Base had become the first operational Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) unit in the nation and was assigned 24 Atlas missiles. The Atlas was a state-of-the-art liquid-fueled, radio controlled missile system emplaced in above-ground silos in eastern Wyoming, western Nebraska, and northern Colorado. It measured 82' 5" in length and weighed 267,136 pounds at launch. It had a speed of more than 16,000 miles per hour and could strike a target more than 6,000 miles away. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, Warren Air Force Base was placed on 24-hour alert status with missiles readied for launch.
In the early 1960s, a newer generation of solid-fuel missile, the Minuteman I, replaced the Atlas. The above ground Atlas launchers were replaced by 200 Minuteman I missiles that were deployed in hardened underground launch silos. By 1975 the Minuteman III, with is three-warhead configuration warheads had replaced the Minuteman I. The Minuteman III was the first ICBM to be outfitted with multiple warheads, each programmed to attack a different target.
In 1985 the Air Force added another missile, the Peacekeeper, to its nuclear armament inventory. The Peacekeeper missile was the most powerful ICBM in the world, capable of deploying ten, independently-targeted warheads with a greater accuracy than previous ballistic missiles. It was deactivated in 2005. Normalized global relations replaced nuclear proliferation. The Minuteman III nuclear package was also scaled back from three warheads to one. The reduction in America's nuclear arsenal does not compromise its quick strike capabilities. An extensive program has replaced aging guidance systems with newer technology that ensures United States dominance well into the 21st century.
In addition to being at the fore front of the nation's missile defense, the historic Base and Fort D.A. Russell was designated as a National Historic Landmark on May 15, 1975.
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HM NumberHM1SL4
Placed ByCity of Cheyenne, Cheyenne Historic Historic Preservation Board, Cheyenne Area Convention and Visitors Board, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund and Preserve America
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, June 13th, 2016 at 1:02pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 513728 N 4554905
Decimal Degrees41.14535000, -104.83640000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 8.721', W 104° 50.184'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 8' 43.26" N, 104° 50' 11.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307, 712
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1301-1399 Randall Ave, Cheyenne WY 82001, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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