6/6/14: Last Friday members of the 556th Strategic Missile Squadron held a reunion at missile silo site 5 in Lewis, NY. Owner Alexander Michael is an Australian architect who goes by the moniker of "Silo Boy" and he welcomed the veterans with a BBQ and self-guided tours of the renovated underground complex. The 556ers gathered from across the country this weekend to attend the grand opening of the Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum.
Between 1962-1965, there were 12 United States Air Force Atlas F ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) silos scattered in a protective circle around the Plattsburgh Air Force Base - 10 in NY and 2 in VT. This was the Cold War era and the U.S. was desperate to bridge the perceived "missile gap" with the USSR. With a price tag of 15-18 million per silo, they built these nuclear missile sites to withstand an atomic blast and staffed their LCCs (Launch Control Centers) with the 556th SMS. And less than 2.5 years later, the elaborate complexes were decommissioned, abandoned and eventually sold to private individuals.
Eva meets the vets who once worked long hours in these missile silos, learns some Cold War history and gets a tour of this unique site.
Music: Swale, Verdigris, "Soft Fireworks," "Space Jam"
This episode of Stuck in Vermont was made possible by Hotel Vermont and Vermont Tourism.