Cold war historic properties of the 21st Space Wing Air Force Space Command

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A Legacy-funded inventory and evaluation of facilities dating to the Cold War era was conducted for the USAF 21{sup ST} Space Wing (AFSPC). The mission of the Wing includes early warning of missile launches and detection and tracking of space objects. The political and military strategic context for these facilities was developed through an overview of Cold War history, subdivided into four major periods: (1) origins of the conflict, (2) confrontation and crisis, (3) sustained superpower balance based on mutual deterrence, and (4) renewed confrontation and collapse of the Soviet Union. The enormous importance of early warning systems in maintaining ... continued below

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13 p.

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Hoffecker, J.F.; Whorton, M. & Buechler, C.R. March 1, 1996.

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Description

A Legacy-funded inventory and evaluation of facilities dating to the Cold War era was conducted for the USAF 21{sup ST} Space Wing (AFSPC). The mission of the Wing includes early warning of missile launches and detection and tracking of space objects. The political and military strategic context for these facilities was developed through an overview of Cold War history, subdivided into four major periods: (1) origins of the conflict, (2) confrontation and crisis, (3) sustained superpower balance based on mutual deterrence, and (4) renewed confrontation and collapse of the Soviet Union. The enormous importance of early warning systems in maintaining the balance of power between the USA and the Soviet Union is discussed in more detail as a subset of the general context of the Cold War history to provide additional background for evaluating the 21{sup ST} Space Wing systems. In addition, a history of each installation was prepared and placed in the context of the broader history of the Cold War. For instance, the effort to develop a credible nuclear threat in the early 1950s is represented by the construction of Thule AB as a forward bomber base in 1951. The growing concern with a Soviet ICBM threat in the late 1950s is reflected in the construction of BMEWS at Thule AB and Clear AS during 1958-1961. Development of an antiballistic missile (ABM) system, subsequently abandoned during the 1970s, is represented by the Safeguard System at Cavalier AS. The U.S. response to the Soviet submarine-launched missile capability during the 1970s is embodied in the deployment of phased-array radar systems to cover the ocean flanks of North America at Cape Cod AS (and later at Eldorado AS). The establishment of AFSPC at Peterson AFB in 1982 reflects the increased strategic importance of space in the later phases of the Cold War. A set of recommendations regarding NRHP eligibility and management of Cold War historic properties was developed as part of the inventory.

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13 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE96007072

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  • Conference on a cold war, Pensacola, FL (United States), 9-12 Jan 1996

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  • Other: DE96007072
  • Report No.: ANL/EA/CP--89254
  • Report No.: CONF-960181--1
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 211543
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc664327

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • March 1, 1996

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  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • April 21, 2016, 10:15 p.m.

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Hoffecker, J.F.; Whorton, M. & Buechler, C.R. Cold war historic properties of the 21st Space Wing Air Force Space Command, article, March 1, 1996; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc664327/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.