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The Minuteman Launch

Minuteman was designed so that a minimum of four launch officers in two different locations could launch the missiles in a specific squadron.  The 50 missiles in a squadron were controlled days to day by five control centers, each primarily responsible for ten missiles/launch facilities.  To ensure survivability in a nuclear environment, the system was designed so that if any two of the five launch control centers completed key turn, which  entered the coded launch command, all missiles in the squadron that had been enabled for launch would do so.  The checklist, or procedure, used by the crews changed over the years as system modifications changed the equipment, but the basic sequence was and is similar.  Each crew processed the classified emergency war order checklist to verify the launch order, accomplished the required targeting tasks (Preparatory Launch Commands A and B, A for all missiles in a squadron, B for specific missiles), enabled the missiles that had been executed and entered the launch command using the launch switches/keys.   Crews could process the emergency way order and system checklists quickly, and the missiles began lifting off with a minute of the initiation of the launch command.   The missiles could be programmed to lift off at intervals after the command, rather than all at one time as soon as the command was received.

The link below will take you to the Minuteman Launch checklist from Minuteman technical order TO 21M-LGM30F-1-6.  This was the version used at Grand Forks for the Wing VI Sylvania ground system with the Minuteman II missile between 1965 and the early 1870s, when Minuteman III missiles replaced the earlier missiles.  Thgere are a number of launch checklists in the AAFM CD Data Collection.   

See a Minuteman Launch Checklist Here


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