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Deactivation of the 390 SMW

Deactivation of the Titan system went in phases.  The sortie was taken off alert.
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 in
    the removal of the missile.  These liquids were
    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 propellants.
    To give you an idea of what they looked like, picture the
    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 operations began.
    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
    head works.

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 Links