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24 August 2003 (385 pages, 3.5MB)

Nuclear Weapon Accident Response Procedures (NARP) Manual


This manual has been developed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under the authority of the Department of Defense (DOD) Directive (DODD) 3150.8, DOD Response to Radiological Accidents, June 13, 1996, and supersedes DOD Manual 5100.52-M, Nuclear Weapon Accident Response Procedures (NARP) Manual, September 4, 1990.

This manual applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Military Departments (including the U.S. Coast Guard when it is operating as a Military Service in the U.S. Navy), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), the Combatant Commands, the Defense Agencies, other Federal organizations when operating with DOD, and the DOD Field Activities (hereafter referred to collectively as "the DOD Components"). The term "Services," as used herein, refers to the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. This manual is effective immediately (its use is mandatory by all DOD components).

The NARP provides Combatant Commanders, Services, Response Task Force (RTF) Commanders and Initial Response Force (IRF) Commanders with the information necessary to understand the overall response concept, the role of the IRF and RTF, the relationship of the IRF, RTF, and DOD to other Federal agencies. This manual also provides guidance in conducting site remediation activities following an accident involving a nuclear weapon in DOD custody or other types of radiological accidents or incidents. It assumes that a radiological release of some magnitude has occurred and that some remediation of the affected land is required. It is not intended as a comprehensive document to encompass all aspects of site remediation, but seeks to define a process by which response organizations may effectively face the challenge of site remediation.

This manual provides a notional RTF organization, identifies applicable DOD publications and resources used in response efforts, describes the policies and responsibilities outlined in these publications, identifies specific radiological information available in other publications, and provides a basis for Combatant Command and RTF planners to develop detailed plans tailored to each Theater of Operations and RTF area of operations. It provides a framework for DOD elements responding to non-DOD radiological events. This manual also describes the substantial resources other Federal agencies make available to assist in the response effort.

This manual will be widely disseminated and made available to all commanders and staff who are tasked to primarily respond to a nuclear weapon accident and, secondly, to radiological accidents or incidents. It should serve as a guide for more detailed planning by response forces and will be used to improve training and exercise programs.

BENT SPEAR. A DoD term used to identify and report a nuclear weapon significant incident involving a nuclear weapon/warhead, nuclear component, or vehicle when nuclear loaded.

BROKEN ARROW. A DoD term to identify and report an accident involving a nuclear weapon, warhead, or nuclear component.

DULL SWORD. A team used in DoD to identify and report a nuclear weapon safety deficiency.

EMPTY QUIVER. A reporting term used by DoD to identify and report the seizure, theft, or loss of a U.S. nuclear weapon.

FADED GIANT. A reporting term to identify an event involving a nuclear reactor or radiological accident.

Radiological Event. Used to refer to any accident, incident, or significant incident involving radioactive materials in DoD custody or any Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) incident involving other materials. This includes BROKEN ARROW, BENT SPEAR, and EMPTY QUIVER.

20 June 2002. Add Ellsworth AFB and Loring AFB. Thanks to M, see related nuclear missile fields associated with some of these bases:


A Defense Special Weapons Agency (DSWA) funded and Air Combat Command sponsored force-on-force exercise, called “Mighty Guardian 94” was held at Ellsworth AFB in May 1994. The exercise showed that increased physical delay is crucial in resource allocation and security police training and tactics for the security of nuclear weapons. On December 30, 1994, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force signed a memorandum, concerning “Nuclear Storage Area Security Improvements,” and emphasized the need to enhance the security facilities and tactics used to secure nuclear weapons and urged units with WSAs to “find effective and affordable ways to address the problems.” This has led to improved anti-terrorism security measures at nuclear facilities throughout the U.S.

18 June 2002. Add Fairchild AFB and number of nuclear weapons at each base.

M writes:

You published:
>Bangor, WA, Naval WSA (portion; big color photo at link)
>47N 43' 05", 122W 42' 53"
>5,285,000.0, 521,400.0 

Alas, you are missing the UTM longitude and latitude zone.  Also, to be strictly pedantic about it, the easting should come before the northing.  So the above entry ought to read:

>10T 521400 5285000

However a more compact notation which allows for variable precision is the "military grid reference system" (MGRS), which has recently become the "United States National Grid" (USNG). If you have seen gun-sight footage from helicopters or bomb-site stuff from planes, you may have noticed the MGRS references of the platform near one edge of the display.

In that form, the above becomes:


Though some like to add spaces:

10T ET 214 850

Anyways, in this form, your entire list is:

WSA BANGOR      10T ET 214 850
WSA BARKSD      15S VR 396 968
WSA CHARLE      17S NS 956 526
WSA DYESS       14S MA 222 888
WSA GFORKS      14T PU 213 109
WSA KINGSB      17R MQ 488 056
WSA KIRKLD      13S CU 624 746
WSA MALMST      12T VT 876 618
WSA MINOT       14U LU 289 645
WSA NELLIS      11S PA 836 138
WSA NORTHI      11S MS 792 168
WSA WARREN      13T EF 101 545
WSA WHITEM      15S VC 532 866
WSA YORKTN      18S UG 590 212

Suitable for entry into the weapon system of your choice!  ;-)

If you want more challenging targets, you can try these [North Dakota missile silos]:

N48o27.46' W102o24.48' [TerraServer URL]
N48o44.23' W102o19.65' [TerraServer URL]

[48N 12' 05", 102W 13' 39" TerraServer URL]

I found these by browsing around TerraServer with the hints from some online maps of ICBM silos.  Look for small, but bright, rectangles with some whitish areas inside.  Tedious work.  Better to send a local out with a GPS receiver.  Perhaps a cartome community mapping project?

17 June 2002

To see more of these sites enter the coordinates at TerraServer, Advanced Find, or MapQuest, Latitude and Longitude.

See related US Nuclear Power Plants:

These show US nuclear weapons storage areas (WSAs) based on the report Taking Stock: Worldwide Nuclear Deployments 1998, by William M. Arkin, Robert S. Norris and Joshua Handler, published in March 1998 by the Natural Resources Defence Council. The report emphasizes that the information on nuclear weapons is highly secret and may be different from that described. Locations may have changed since 1998, the date of the report, as well as since the date of the photos below. This covers weapons storage areas only, not those on naval vessels, in aircraft and missile silos or overseas. The NRDC report describes the full range.

Source of base locations and weapons count only:

Photos and coordinates of the WSA within bases by Cryptome.

(TerraServer aerial photos are all the same scale.)

Bangor, WA, Naval WSA (portion; big color photo at link)
47N 43' 05", 122W 42' 53"
5,285,000.0, 521,400.0

Bangor, WA 1600

1600 W76/Trident I

USGS photo 7 Jul 1994

Barksdale AFB, LA, WSA (big photo at link)
32N 30' 25", 93W 38' 35"
3,596,800.0, 439,600.0

Barksdale AFB, LA 540

50 B61 Mod 7
90 B83
300 W80-1/ALCM
100 W80-1/ACM

USGS photo 16 Jan 1998

Charleston, SC, Naval WSA (portion; big color photo at link)
33N 00' 28", 79W 58' 36"
3,652,600.0, 595,600.0

USGS photo 21 Jan 1994

32N 26' 01", 99W 49' 39"
3,588,800.0, 422,200.0

USGS photo 30 Jan 1995

Ellsworth AFB, SD, WSA
44N 09' 57", 103W 06' 33"
4,892,000.0, 651,200.0

Nuclear weapons 0 according to

SOUTH DAKOTA no longer hosts nuclear weapons, with the deactivation of the Minuteman II ICBM Wing at Ellsworth AFB and the 1996-97 conversion of the 28th Bomber Wing to conventional only B-1B missions. On September 13th 1996, the 149th and last silo was blown up at Ellsworth, well ahead of schedule. The 150th silo, and an associated underground launch control center were nominated as National Historic Landmarks.

USGS photo 3 Apr 1997

Fairchild AFB, WA, WAS

47N 36' 24", 117W 38' 19"
5,272,800.0, 452,000.0

Fairchild AFB, WA 85

25 B61 Mod 7
60 B83

USGS photo 16 Jul 1995

Grand Forks AFB, ND, WSA
47N 56' 24", 97W 22' 33"
5,310,900.0, 621,300.0

Grand Forks AFB, ND 145

25 B61 Mod 7
60 B83
60 W78/Minuteman III

USGS photo 17 Sep 1997

Kings Bay, GA, Naval WSA
30N 46' 56", 81W 32' 06"
3,405,600.0, 448,800.0

Kings Bay, GA 2000

1600 W76/Trident I
400 W88/Trident II

USGS photo 31 Jan 1993

Kirtland Underground Munitions Storage Complex, NM (small portion; big color photo at link)
35N 00' 17", 106W 30' 28"
3,874,600.0, 362,400.0

Kirtland AFB, NM 2450

85 B61 Mod 7
365 W80-1/ALCM
600 B61 Mods 3, 4, 10
450 W56/Minuteman II
550 W69/SRAM
400 W84/GLCM

USGS photo 6 Oct 1996

Loring AFB, ME, WSA
46N 58' 11", 67W 52' 28"
5,202,400.0, 585,600.0

No nuclear weapons listed in

USGS photo 9 May 1996

Malmstrom AFB, MT, WSA
47N 30' 34", 111W 09' 53"
5,261,800.0, 487,600.0

Malmstrom AFB, MT 550

150 W62/Minuteman III
400 W78/Minuteman III

USGS photo 08 Jul 1995

Minot AFB, ND, WSA
48N 24' 37", 101W 18' 43"
5,364,500.0, 328,900.0

Minot AFB, ND 995

50 B61Mod 7
90 B83
100 W80-1/ALCM
300 W80-1/ACM
455 W78/ Minuteman III

USGS photo 18 May 1995

Nellis AFB, NV, WSA (portion; big color photo at link)
36N 15' 06", 114W 57' 24"
4,013,800.0, 683,600.0

Nellis AFB, NV 1300

175 B61 Mod 7
575 W80-1/ALCM
600 B61 Mods 3, 4, 10

USGS photo 2 May 1990

North Island, CA, Coronado Naval Air Station WSA (big color photo at link)
32N 41' 19", 117W 13' 19"
3,616,800.0, 479,200.0

North Island NAS, CA 160

160 W80-0/SLCM

USGS photo 01 Jun 1994

Warren AFB, WY, WSA
41N 08' 30", 104W 52' 46"
4,554,500.0, 510,100.0

Warren AFB, WY, CO, NE 610

610 W62/Minuteman III

USGS photo

Whiteman AFB, MO, WSA (big photo at link.)
38N 43' 36", 93W 32' 18"
4,286,600.0, 453,200.0

Whiteman AFB, MO  550

200 B61 Mod7
50 B61 Mod 11
300 B83

USGS photo 8 Mar 1997

Yorktown, VA, Naval Weapons Station (big photo at link.)
37N 13' 36", 76W 35' 21"
4,121,200.0, 359,000.0

Yorktown NAS, VA 160

160 W80-0/SLCM

USGS photo 12 Mar 1994