Hidden in plain sight
After visitors walk through the security fence at Quebec 01, they are met by interpretive images that show Air Force crew members who worked at this site when pulling alerts. They include the flight security controller, facility manager, missile combat crew commander, and deputy missile combat crew commander.
Visitors tour the top of the facility, which includes a recreation area, dining area, and barracks. The walking tour of the exterior of the site also includes high frequency antennas and air ducts, as well as the recreation areas the women and men who worked the site used when they had free time.
The tour continues underground, where visitors see launch control and the equipment room. After a review of the security protocols (and a few modern precautions), visitors enter the elevator for the slow descent to where two-person crews spent 24 hours on red alert. Down below, the elevator opens into a tunnel that connects the equipment room to the capsule. Two sets of blast doors separate the equipment room from launch control, offering what protection they could to the crew should a mishap occur.
In the control capsule, visitors quickly notice that the two-person crews had a small space in which to spend their shifts. Besides two control chairs, there was a small sleeping area. From this tight vantage point, visitors appreciate the immensity of the Cold War era.
Admission to the site is $6 for adults (Active military with ID: $5); $2 for children 12–17; free for those under 12. The site is located north of Cheyenne, off Interstate 25 at exit 39.
Candy Moulton produced the award-winning film, “Beneath the Plains: The Minuteman Missile on Alert.” She makes her home near Encampment, Wyoming.