During the Cold War, U.S. nuclear munitions included 1,000 Minuteman missiles. Construction on the Minuteman II structures began in 1946. Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB) was headquarters for the 510th Strategic Missile Squadron of the 351st Strategic Missile Wing, consisting of 150 Minuteman II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silos and 15 launch control facilities spread over 14 counties of west central Missouri. Whiteman AFB was also home to the Oscar-01 Missile Alert Facility (MAF). The Oscar-01 was the only MAF built inside an air force base. All other Minuteman II missile silos and launch control facilities were built in rural areas that surrounded the base.
Between 1996 and 1998 the missile silos were deactivated/ dismantled under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I (START I) and are now going through the minimum five-year environmental monitoring process.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Role
Department staff are involved in reviewing, commenting on and supporting various activities conducted during cleanup of federal sites. The department works with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure the continuing safety of these closed missile sites through inspections and owner education.
MoDNR Project Manager: 573-751-3907