Rank: No. 6
Nuclear Warheads: 592
AIR FORCE BASE, WY
WYOMING ranks 6th in number of nuclear warheads deployed, a rise from 10th
in 1992 and 19th in 1985. But the number of warheads in the state has remained
virtually unchanged. F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne is the only nuclear storage
site, hosting both Minuteman III and MX ICBMs (one of foursoon to be
threeMinuteman III bases, and the only MX base). The missiles are assigned
to the 90th Space Wing (formerly Missile Wing) of the 20th Air Force, Air
Force Space Command, with three squadrons (319th, 320th, 321st) for the Minuteman
III and the 400th Missile Squadron (MX). The Wings 200 missile silos
are spread out over 12,600 square miles in eastern Wyoming, northern Colorado
and western Nebraska; 19 Minuteman III silos and 50 MX silos are physically
located in Wyoming. The warheads for the missiles are 57 W62/Minuteman IIIs
(plus 10 spares) and 525 W87/MXs.
The 90th Missile Wing received a comprehensive NSI on June 4 to 11, 1993
and was rated satisfactory, the equivalent of a failing grade
in nuclear certification. Problems were identified in the areas of Nuclear
Control Order procedures, facilities, and communications hardware maintenance,
all rated marginal. The marginal rating for Nuclear Control Order
procedures resulted from failed inspections performed on the missile combat
crews with the Missile Procedures Trainer. One crew opened the wrong positive
control document and another performed an unauthorized launch of an ICBM.
A Nuclear Surety Inspection (NSI) was conducted of the 90th Wing in March
Warren has had a long history with ballistic missiles. There were 15 Atlas
D ICBMs deployed, all in Wyoming in the early 1960s as were nine Atlas Es,
three in Wyoming, five in Colorado and one in Nebraska. Soon after there
were 200 Minuteman I silos which were converted to Minuteman IIIs in 1975.
In 1986 50 of the Minuteman III silos were used to house 50 MX missiles.