Deactivation of the Titan system went in phases. The sortie was taken
The RV removal (Liberty Bell), Propellant Transfer, Stage II
removal, Stage I
removal, Site Salvage Operations, and then Site Destruction.
Through all phases,
the Soviets were watching very carefully with their satellites.
Through it all, the
men and women involved waved and gave Ivan a "Big Smile".
The Reentry vehicle was removed
as well as all explosive components including
Stage I start cartridges, vernier rockets, VHPS
and APS batteries. Upon removal of the BVL
(Butterfly Valve Lock), the silo closure door
was opened and Liberty Bell procedures began.
The next stage was removal of the
Missile Propellants. This was the first step
the removal of the missile. These liquids
very dangerous to people. Special suits had
to be worn by maintenance person handling
them during transfer from the missile to
commercial transport trailers. Minor release
of these liquids were planned, especially during
the connecting and disconnecting of hoses and
equipment as seen in these photos.
The red cloud you see in these
pictures is the oxidizer, Nitrogen Tetroxide
(N2O4). It produces a reddish brown cloud
when it comes into with moisture or water.
The fuel was Aerozine-50. It was clear and
unable to be seen without the use of a portable
vapor detection system.
Here is a picture of the suits that were worn by
maintenance personnel during off loading of the
To give you an idea of what they looked like, picture
suits worn by NASA astronauts. They looked
very close to
After the propellants were removed,
the missile removal began. Here is the removal
of the Stage II part of the missile.
After Stage II removal, Stage I was removed.
Once the missile air frame was removed, site salvage
Site Salvage Operations consisted of removal of
all and any equipment
that could be used as replacement equipment on still
active missile sites
in the 390 SMW or other Titan II bases. The
missile airframes were
sent to Vandenberg AFB, California to be used in
satellite launches and
testing of new systems.
Here is a photo of Control Center Level 2 during salvage.
Here is a communications equipment rack
on Control Center Level 3 during salvage operations.
Everything was taken that could be used.
This was the last thing removed before site demolition.
Site demolition consisted of placement
of explosives in the silo head works,
access portal, blast lock area and control
center. Tires were placed on top to
prevent debris from flying and damaging
equipment or homes located in the area.
Notice the tires on the right of the photo
flying through the air.
This is the head works
after detonations of the
explosives placed in it.
This is a close up of the
After the site was destroyed the entire area was to be returned
to it's original pristine state. From what I have seen on SILOMAN'S
web site, that sorta went out the window. SILOMAN made a trip
to Green Valley to tour the Titan II Museum. He also made a trek
to locate destroyed missile sites that once belonged to the 390 SMW.
Check out the pictures he took on that trek. His link is in my