SAC To Deactivate First ICBM Silo Under Nuclear Initiatives
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Missile experts next week will remove a Minuteman II missile from the first ICBM silo to be deactivated under initiatives to cut U.S. and Soviet nuclear forces, the Strategic Air Command said Friday.
The single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile will be lifted from the silo at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, SAC spokesman Tech. Sgt. Alan Dockery said.
He said all 150 Minuteman IIs at Ellsworth, in addition to another 150 each at Malmstrom Air Base in Montana and Whiteman Air Base in Missouri, will be retired over the next few years.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow last July envisioned elimination of 35 percent of Soviet long-range nuclear weapons, and 28 percent of the U.S. arsenal.
START called for the cuts to be made over a seven-year period, but Bush, in announcing major unilateral reductions last September, proposed that the destruction of long-range nuclear missiles covered by START be accelerated.