What happens to the nuclear missile operators after they fire the missile?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 22, 2020 09:10 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 22, 2020 09:10 AM

If you think the operators have it bad, consider the security on the surface. I was AF Security Police and though I never had to guard silos we were all trained on the basics and shown films. Security could go into the silo structure one, maybe two levels. A blast door prevented going any deeper.

Once the bird was away you had three options; get in your vehicles and drive as far as possible before a retaliatory missile hit, go down the stairs as far as possible, or sit down and wait on it all to be over. That’s all assuming we launched before we were hit.

Standing around and waiting was pointless. We were told, unofficially, that once the missile was launched, our duty was done. Guarding an empty silo while waiting to see if a missile is going to hit it made zero sense.

Going below was, at best, wishful thinking. You might as well be in a basement when a nuke hits your house. There was absolutely no chance to survive the strike.

Driving away seems the only option giving at least hope of survival. It’s the course I’d have opted for. Even then you need to drive fast and far with only maybe 15 minutes before the incoming nuke hit. Not far enough away to matter, really. And that’s if it hits the silo, or better, misses by a mile on the other side. But it could just as easily be off 15 miles the direction you’re driving so it’s all probably moot.

Some speculate there would be no strike on an empty silo, but remember we had a stated policy of hitting the Soviets in waves rather than launch everything at once. In case they held back a few “after” birds, I’m sure we’d hit their launch sites as well.

There was a “nuclear war and after” style movie that showed the security at a launch site doing what I just said. I’d guess someone who was trained as security police provided the film makers with an accurate scenario of what would happen

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