Peacekeeper (MX) Missile Site Coordinates

Warren Air Force Base had 200 Minuteman missiles (initially Minuteman I, later Minuteman III); 50 of them (flights P through T) were converted in the late 1980s to the only deployment of Peacekeeper (MX) missiles. This left Warren with a peak of 150 Minuteman III missiles and 50 Peacekeeper missiles but Peacekeeper was retired as of mid-September 2005.

Peacekeeper (sometimes called Missile X, thus MX, early on) is a strange name to some for one of the most powerful weapons of mass destruction. But indirectly perhaps it did keep the peace. Another designation is LGM-118A. In the late 1990s there were grumblings of retiring it due to the cost of maintaining two different kinds of land-based ICBMs, coupled with international treaties that reduced the Peacekeeper's advantage of multiple re-entry vehicles. The retirement began October 1 2002, partly due to financial concerns and partly due to an arms reduction agreement between the USA and Russia that was signed in 2001. The deactivation, disassembly, and shipment of the missiles back to Hill AFB in Utah took about 17 days per missile and almost three years. The warheads will replace older ones on Minuteman III missiles.

The Peacekeeper used one of the most advanced inertial guidance systems ever built, the Advanced Inertial Reference Sphere (AIRS). After Peacekeeper's retirement, these were then placed into Minuteman IIIs, along with newly-purchased units, to bring Minuteman up to Peacekeeper's accuracy. (See http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/Airs.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Inertial_Reference_Sphere).

The Peacekeeper was large, with four stages. The first three stages were solid and the fourth was storable liquid (hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide). Each stage was manufactured by a different contractor. The fourth stage was liquid because it needed to be shut down and restarted many times as it deployed the independently targetable re-entry vehicles. But with arms-reduction treaties cutting the actual weapons down to one per missile, this seemed a moot point unless The US wanted to deploy multiple decoys to confuse missile defense systems.

An interesting quirk of fate is that the Peacekeeper launch control facilities used older Minuteman equipment from the 1980s, since that is when the Peacekeeper was emplaced in re-worked Minuteman silos. Later, Minuteman equipment was upgraded but not the Peacekeeper. Thus, old equipment controlled and launched the latest missile, while new equipment is used on the older missiles.

Because the Peacekeeper sites were remodeled Minuteman sites, refer to http://w3.uwyo.edu/~jimkirk/minuteman.html for descriptions of launch facilities and alert facilities.

One company, E'prime, has tried to market a Peacekeeper-derived launch vehicle. A significant delay was caused by arms reduction treaties which might have considered it a missile. Though contracts have been slow in coming, they have been contacted by the Missile Defense Agency about using their vehicles as a missile defense system (5/6/2002). See http://www.eprimeaerospace.com and http://www.islandone.org/SpencerAvLeakReports/Avweek-950220.html.

Meanwhile the decommissioned Peacekeepers are being acquired by Orbital Sciences Corporation for use as launch vehicles, which seems to be in direct competition (conflict?) with E'prime, above. See http://www.orbital.com/SpaceLaunch/Minotaur and http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_fact.pdf. Another article on re-using Peacekeepers is at http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/050922_peacekeeper_student.html.

Other references include:

Articles on Peacekeeper's retirement:

400th MS 400th MS 90th SW Mission Complete
(Patch images courtesy of USAFPatches.com, and eBay for Mission Complete)

The people: the 90th Space Wing (activated July 1 1963), comprised in part of the 90th Operations Group, 90th Logistics Group, the 90th Support Group 90th Medical Group, and the 400th Missile Squadron (which was activated July 1 1964, and is scheduled for deactivation October 4th 2005). Other resources:

Flights are denoted by a letter of the alphabet followed by 1 through 11, with #1 being the Missile Alert Facility (MAF) which consists of an above-ground structure plus an underground Launch Control Center (LCC) staffed by two officers. The Launch Facilities (LFs, i.e. missile silos) are connected to the MAF/LCC by the Hardened Intersite Cable System (HICS). For humor, I also include the nicknames given in Nuclear Heartland.

Warren also has two on-base training silos (U-01 for Minuteman III and U-02 for the Peacekeeper) as well as LCC crew training facilities. With Peacekeeper retired, the status of U-02 is unknown.

Warren sites you can see from Interstate 80 and Interstate 25: OK, you're in a hurry and you don't want to detour but you want to say "I've seen a missile site!" There are a small number that can be seen but not necessarily clearly. K-11 is probably the best.


Around September 2006 it was noticed that the diesel tanks are being removed.

In late 2010 the LFs and MAFs seem to be in mothballs with no further activity.

On August 23, 2013, a press release discussed the impending "elimination" of Peacekeeper facilities. Unlike older Minuteman site demolition, these will not be blown up. http://www.warren.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123360918.

Photo Coordinates ID

Google Maps
41-28-20  104-28-05
28 miles NE Cheyenne Wyoming
(4.8 miles N Midway Wyoming)
P-1
"Little Horse Creek"
As you cruise the countryside you might see a fat wooden post, with a sort of junction box on it near ground level. In fact the two connectors (marked "operate" and "read") are air fittings with standard tire valve stems. The Hardened Intersite Cable System (HICS) is pressurized (for tamper resistance/detection and/or water elimination) and these are test/maintenance points. The two large bars on either side are probably to prevent damage from cattle that like to use posts for scratching.

Google Maps
41-32-20  104-26-23
32 miles NE Cheyenne Wyoming
(6.3 miles W Meriden Wyoming)
P-2
"Ed Herschler's"
Ed Herschler (D) was governor of Wyoming from 1975 to 1987. Ghostly images of what I assume are the cable runs, and a secondary enclosure that was possibly used during conversion from Minuteman to Peacekeeper.

Google Maps
41-28-05  104-20-11
32 miles NE Cheyenne Wyoming
(5.4 miles S Meriden Wyoming)
P-3
"Herrick Creek"
P-3 was the last Peacekeeper site to be decomissioned. The last segment of its Peacekeeper was moved to Cheyenne on Monday, September 19, 2005.

Google Maps
41-24-45  104-26-14
26 miles NE Cheyenne Wyoming
(11 miles SW Meriden Wyoming)
P-4
"Malcolm Wallop's"
Malcolm Wallop was one of Wyoming's Senators (R) from 1976 to 1994. On May 18 2003 this site was being deactivated.

Google Maps
41-19-50  104-27-55
21 miles NE Cheyenne Wyoming
(8.2 miles N Hillsdale Wyoming)
P-5
"Chevington Draw"
In the USGS photo, notice the white dot in the middle of the intersection. This seems to be a survey point that USGS uses, probably for geometry correction of the photographs. At this actual location there was an old survey point in the middle of the intersection, a thin metal disc nailed into the pavement, but in 2010 there was no trace of it.

Google Maps
41-23-42  104-32-22
21 miles NE Cheyenne Wyoming
(15.5 miles NW Meriden Wyoming)
P-6
"Alan K. Simpson's"
Alan K. Simpson was a Wyoming Senator from 1978 to 1996. There is a very small cemetery about 1600 feet southeast of the site.

Google Maps
41-27-23  104-36-46
23 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
P-7
"Wacker Draw"
This site is no longer publicly approachable. The road formerly called County Road 132 (CR132) is now a private road, P-132, and both ends are marked as such. While lifting the first stage during deactivation, August 26 2003, a hydraulic leak resulted in a slow fall back toward the longitudinal support assembly. The maintenance team kept the situation from getting out of control.

Google Maps
41-27-45  104-45-21
21 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
P-8
"Horse Creek East"
Interestingly angular/curved roads. Hardly anything in the immediate vicinity is straight or north/south!

Google Maps
41-30-17  104-41-25
25 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
P-9
"Mutation"

Google Maps
41-30-35  104-33-11
28 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
P-10
"Les Aspin's"
Les Aspin had a varied political career that included Congress (House of Representatives). He was a supporter of the Peacekeeper missile system and President Reagan's Peacekeeper policies in spite of being a Democrat. Later he was Secretary of Defense under President Clinton.

Google Maps
41-33-25  104-38-46
29 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
P-11
"Lost Hope"

Google Maps
41-32-35  104-54-09
28 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(.5 mile WSW I-25 Little Bear exit 39)
Q-1
"Bear Creek"
Odd, not laid out north/south.

Google Maps
41-45-53  104-51-58
42 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(2.5 miles WNW Chugwater Wyoming)
Q-2
"Air Burst"
Nuclear Heartland states this site was used for training crews to load/unload Peacekeeper missiles.

Google Maps
41-36-23  104-49-59
31 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
Q-3
"Frightful Effects"

Google Maps
41-32-46  104-48-32
27 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
Q-4
"Double Vision"

Google Maps
41-28-10  104-52-37
22 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
Q-5
"Remain Calm"

Google Maps
41-25-18  105-00-56
22 miles NW Cheyenne Wyoming
Q-6
"Military Xenophobia"
A nice site in that as you approach it, you are slightly above it and get a better top-down view than most other sites.

Google Maps
41-30-57  104-58-49
27 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
Q-7
"Bristol Ridge Road"
Curiously, the southwest corner of the enclosure is chopped.

Google Maps
41-35-51  104-58-55
32 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
Q-8
"Chalk Hill"
You can faintly see where the cable enters the south end of the enclosure, and possibly the north end as well. One set of lights has fallen off its pole, slightly damaging the fence.

Google Maps
41-46-03  104-57-47
43 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
Q-9
"Global Damage"

Google Maps
41-42-12  104-55-51
39 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
Q-10
"Radioactive Rain"
An unexpected location in that it's cut into the side of a hill in an area that apparently has erosion problems. The west side has been covered in rock apparently to arrest the erosion (look for the oval boundary inside the enclosure). The driveway also has lots of "stair steps" to reduce erosion on both sides.

Google Maps
41-38-25  104-54-54
34 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
Q-11
"Chugwater Creek"

Google Maps
41-44-18  104-30-00
43 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(13 miles WSW Hawk Springs Wyoming)
R-1
"County Commissioners'"
I just thought it was interesting to see a public access walk-in sign, from the Game & Fish department (implying public access for hunting) right at the corner of the entrance to a Missile Alert Facility (R-1 in this case). I imagine the crews would rather not see hunters walking around their facility but can't stop them. And now that Peacekeeper is retired, it's a moot point. 2010: though retired for years, the site still has power and an emergency generator; the assumption is the very tall radio tower needs to be lit due to FAA regulations.

Google Maps
41-43-50  104-25-11
44 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(9 miles WSW Hawk Springs Wyoming)
R-2
"Castle Rocks"

Google Maps
41-38-23  104-20-32
41 miles NE Cheyenne Wyoming
(9 miles W La Grange Wyoming)
R-3
"Phillips"

Google Maps
41-39-56  104-25-47
40 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(12 miles SW Hawk Springs Wyoming)
R-4
"Diamond Flats"

Google Maps
41-39-55  104-32-36
38 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(15.5 miles SE Chugwater Wyoming)
R-5
"Ignorance"

Google Maps
41-39-14  104-39-07
35 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(11 miles SE Chugwater Wyoming)
R-6
"Buy or Die"

Google Maps
41-43-10  104-36-56
40 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(10 miles E Chugwater Wyoming)
R-7
"Pol Pot"
Pol Pot, leader of the communist party Khmer Rouge, was blamed for the slaughter of 2 million Cambodians, which gave rise to the phrase (and movie) "The Killing Fields."

Google Maps
41-45-16  104-41-35
42 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(6.5 miles W Chugwater Wyoming)
R-8
"Authoritarian"

Google Maps
41-48-15  104-45-04
45 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(20 miles SE Wheatland Wyoming)
R-9
"Totalitarian"

Google Maps
41-48-51  104-39-46
46 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(22 miles SE Wheatland Wyoming)
R-10
"Burning Wound"

Google Maps
41-47-00  104-34-37
45 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(27 miles SE Wheatland Wyoming)
R-11
"Goshen Hole Rim"

Google Maps
41-52-24  104-13-20
58 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(5 miles SE Yoder Wyoming)
S-1
"Laramie Canal"

Google Maps
42-00-54  104-12-35
67 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(3.8 miles SSW Torrington Wyoming)
S-2
"Headbanger"

Google Maps
41-55-53  104-11-49
62 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(2.7 miles W Huntley Wyoming)
S-3
"Pornographic"

Google Maps
41-55-48  104-05-40
65 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(2.6 miles E Huntley Wyoming)
S-4
"Misogynist"
I took the color picture because the overall effect was nice, with the green fields and tree in the background. This is an unusual site in that it's in a depression so you can look slightly down on it. This area is called Rattlesnake Hill and I hear that's an accurate description.

Google Maps
41-51-27  104-05-33
61 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(5.8 miles SE Huntley Wyoming)
S-5
"Table Mountain"
A good example of what you might see with a south-entry site.

Google Maps
41-46-32  104-12-33
53 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(2.9 miles E Hawk Springs)
S-6
"Present Danger"

Google Maps
41-44-29  104-18-49
48 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(4.1 miles SW Hawk Springs Wyoming)
S-7
"Only One Earth"
S-7 was the first Peacekeeper site to be retired, starting October 1, 2002. The color photo shows lots of vehicles topside during this process but does not clearly show the security personnel looking at me with their binoculars while I looked at them with my binoculars. I did stay well away and made no sudden movements :-) S-7 was chosen as the first for retirement because it was due for maintenance. The gate picture shows that the right-hand gate was either installed backward or is a left-hand gate installed on the right (wrong) side; the diagonal brace goes the wrong way and pulls the gate into the ground rather than holding it up off the ground, note the trench it's dug by doing so. Years later, the right-hand gate has been turned over but it was not constructed for this and the lower hinge pieces do not mate; in a way it is now worse than before. It looks like it now needs to be turned on both axes to fully correct it.

Google Maps
41-47-55  104-24-13
49 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(7.3 miles W Hawk Springs Wyoming)
S-8
"Friendly Fascism"

Google Maps
41-51-05  104-21-52
53 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(5.8 miles SW Yoder Wyoming)
S-9
"Stoking Ovens"

Google Maps
41-56-28  104-28-40
57 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(9.5 miles W Yoder Wyoming)
S-10
"Red Bill Hill"

Google Maps
41-55-21  104-22-59
57 miles NNE Cheyenne Wyoming
(4.5 miles W Yoder Wyoming)
S-11
"Rivers of Blood"

Google Maps
41-59-51  104-47-31
58 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(9.4 miles ESE Wheatland Wyoming)
T-1
"Macabre Experiment"
Though the utility power is disconnected and the windows are boarded up, there is a solar panel on the ground. It appears that signals from the T-9 security system (see below) are received and sent on to some other location, probably a Minuteman MAF. I'm told T-1 was the alternate command post.

Google Maps
42-02-57  104-43-55
62 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(12 miles E Wheatland Wyoming)
T-2
"Eagle's Nest"
The second picture was taken of a house between T-2 and T-3.

Google Maps
42-06-18  104-39-54
66 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(15.7 miles ENE Wheatland Wyoming)
T-3
"Deer Creek"

Google Maps
41-58-51  104-43-37
57 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(13 miles ESE Wheatland Wyoming)
T-4
"Magistrate's Extrajudicial"
A clear example of a road dead-ending at a launch facility.

Google Maps
41-52-22  104-43-44
50 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(17 miles SE Wheatland Wyoming)
T-5
"Munition Execrable"

Google Maps
41-55-50  104-47-15
54 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(12 miles SE Wheatland Wyoming)
T-6
"Mandatory Exode"

Google Maps
41-52-14  104-49-51
50 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(12 miles SSE Wheatland Wyoming)
T-7
"Mangled Exit"

Google Maps
41-51-19  104-54-50
49 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(13.5 miles S Wheatland Wyoming)
T-8
"Mussolini's Exile"

Google Maps
41-55-54  104-56-00
54 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(8 miles S Wheatland Wyoming)
T-9
"Antelope Creek"
July 21, 2003 -- Russian inspectors watched as T-9's first stage was removed as part of the ongoing decommissioning of the Peacekepper system. This was the 14th site to be deactivated. Of course it's interesting that they just happen to show up during Cheyenne Frontier Days and get to watch a rodeo (a friend tells me that many Warren AFB inspections just happen to be scheduled during Frontier Days).

T-9 appears to be fully powered, and endowed with much more security than any Peacekeeper site ever was: many cameras, and sensors on the two enclosure gates. There are two padlocks rather than the usual one padlock and a plastic seal. But the grounds are covered in weeds and the Personnel Access Hatch is disabled in the usual manner. It would appear the signals from the security systems go to MAF T-1 over the HICS cable, from where they may go to a Minuteman MAF.

T-9 was used for a security training exercise in which the site was "recaptured" from a mock opposing force: http://www.afgsc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123360690.


Google Maps
42-00-03  104-57-06
59 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(3.4 miles S Wheatland Wyoming)
T-10
"Magnified Exploitation"

Google Maps
42-06-45  104-52-04
66 miles N Cheyenne Wyoming
(6.4 miles NE Wheatland Wyoming)
T-11
"Masculine Excrescence"
Directly east of a major coal-fired power plant constructed long after the launch facility. I wonder what havoc the site's existence had on the power plant siting and layout, and/or what effect the plant has on the site (e.g. vibration might impact the missile's navigation system, and ground water seepage might increase sump pump rates in the silo). The imagery is quite nice if you zoom out a bit.

On March 3, 2008, Rich Burton sent me a great story about this site: Around early summer of 1978 I believe, work was well under way building that power plant. My flight always worked the north sites P Q R S and T. I was the Flight Security Controller working nights one tour at T-1, the Launch Control Facility. As you can image it was awfully awfully boring during the 7 pm to 7 am shifts, usually nothing ever happens, but the MCN line (the ringer from the missile commander to me topside) begins ringing, we had had severe thunderstorms most all day so my expectation from the commander was a another security alert message from one of the LFs, we often got them during severe weather that I would have to dispatch my Alarm Team to, they had been running these all night and it had just calmed down and they were on their way back to the LCF. In a panicked voice the commander says quick go to the window on the north side of the Security Control Center. Still very anxious he says what do you see, I replied what I usually see just a lot of darkness beyond the boundaries of the LCF. He says nothing? Just about that time there was a flash of lightning on the horizon that was pretty dazzling and I said wow. He sounds like he's crapping himself by now and said what do you see? I said just a flash of lighting. By now I can hear warning buzzers going off over his line with me and he say we've just had a missile away light on the console for T-11, are there any streaks in the sky. I said no and of course we all began our processes to respond and see what was going on. Some time the next day they finally go to the site, seems with all the construction the runoff from the power plant and the heavy rains flooded badly and went to the natural lowest point right beside but outside the T-11 LF and harmlessly into a big gully beyond the site to the west, but it washed out the cables that connect the LCF to the LF. They still had full control over the LF during that time via HF and UHF so there was no true incident. I visited the next day and the erosion was unbelievable to wash out cables that deep and as big around as 6" of hardened cable. To this day, I laugh when I tell that story but I but the poor officer that thought he had lost a missile was downright scared.


Google Maps
41-08-43  104-50-51
0 miles W Cheyenne Wyoming
U-01, U-02
U-01 and U-02 are on Warren AFB and are used for training. U-01 is for Minuteman III training, U-02 for Peacekeeper. So far these are the only two "sites" where the leading zero is included on the sign on the fence (out in the field you see A-1, not A-01). I visited these during an open house 7/22/01. We saw the interior of U-02 including the top of a dummy re-entry vehicle (also the security "A-plug"), but did not go into U-01 due to work in progress. In the USGS photo, the two sites are in the lower right with U-02 on the west, U-01 immediately adjacent to the east. Note they are aligned north/south as in the field while the rest of the base in this area is not. Visited again 7/21/02. In U-02 the payload was removed; saw U-01 this time. Note that while U-02 has 4 gates to allow presenting all 4 field configurations to trainees (and to get to U-02's west gate one must drive through U-01), U-01 is missing a south gate.

Google Maps
41-08-30  104-52-50
0 miles W Cheyenne Wyoming
WSA
Weapons Storage Area (WSA). Note the concentric fences, helipad immediately east, and the apparent small unpaved landing strip just southeast in the USGS photo. The strip is essentially gone in newer Google imagery.

Google Maps
41-10-11  104-52-45
0 miles W Cheyenne Wyoming
Peacekeeper assembly and storage
I'm told this was the Peacekeeper missile assembly, storage, and checkout area. In fact there is a nice diagram in the Environmental Impact Statements referenced near the top of this web page. Note the rail line that comes in from the east and continues to the southeast of the complex.