91st Strategic Missile Wing, Launch Facilities
The 91st Strategic Missile Wing (SMW) is responsible for 150 ICBM Minuteman missiles dispersed over an area of about 8,500 square miles surrounding Minot AFB. The wing comprises the 740th, 741st, and 742nd Strategic Missile Squadrons, each responsible for 50 missiles individually housed in hardened underground silos at remote Launch Facilities (LF). The LFs are widely dispersed to prevent any attack from being able to destroy more than a handful. Each of the three squadrons consists of five Flights, with each Flight consisting of ten missiles monitored by two Missile Combat Crew Commanders (MCCC, or capsule crew) stationed in the hardened, underground Launch Control Center (LCC) beneath each Launch Control Facility (LCF). Since the remote LFs are unmanned, multiple security alarms are linked to the LCC where the security and missile status is constantly monitored. For purposes of command, control, and communications with the Wing Command Post, hardened underground cables link all of the Launch Control Centers.
In 1968, there were six active Minuteman ICBM complexes in the United States. As a result of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in the 1990s, Whiteman AFB, Mo., Ellsworth AFB, S. Dak., and Grand Forks AFB, N. Dak., were decommissioned; while Malmstrom AFB, Mont., Minot AFB, N. Dak., and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., remain active to this day with Minuteman III. See: Map of the six active Minuteman ICBM complexes in 1968.