NPS Minuteman Missile
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  • 15. Can You Hear Me Now?

    The UHF Receive antenna and satellite dish.
    The UHF Receive antenna and satellite dish.

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    Can You Hear Me Now?

    How many antennas can you see inside the fence? The ability to quickly and reliably communicate with the ten missiles of Delta flight and the other flights in the squadron and missile wing was critical to the every-day operation of the missile field. Communication systems at Delta-01 include commercial telephone, the hardened high frequency transmit antenna, hardened high frequency receive antenna, hardened ultrahigh frequency antenna, survivable low-frequency communication system antenna, very high frequency antenna, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile super-high-frequency satellite terminal antenna, television satellite dish, and the cables of the hardened intersite cable system. 


    Why so many antennas? First, multiple methods ensured constant communication within Delta Flight and to the wider Strategic Air Command regardless of operational circumstances. Second, these antennas chart the near constant evolution of technology and operations. The two concrete circles mark the sites of the hardened high frequency transmit and receive antennas; built in 1963, both of these were abandoned and replaced by other systems.  The code burner sits at the site of another high frequency antenna removed by the early 1970s. Obscured behind the building is the white dome of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile super-high-frequency satellite terminal antenna, installed in 1992, the year before Delta-01 was retired.


    The round white satellite dish in the yard did not serve a military purpose. Added to the site in 1988, it provided satellite television reception for the airmen stationed here.