How Wyoming Helped Win The Cold War
The beginning and end of the Cold War were fought from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne. Though many of the missiles at the base have since been decommissioned, they F.E. Warren still stands as the main reason no one messes with Uncle Sam.
Wyoming Public Television has produced a fascinating half-hour special on the history of the base and its role in the cold war.
The video guides the viewer underground and to the command and control stations where the people who actually have their fingers on, the button, sit and wait for the command they hope they never get.
But it's not just underground, there is literally an army guarding the base above ground, and they practice defending every day.
Finding the perfect location in the United States to place missiles and operate a base from was researched for years. Cheyenne turned out to be the easiest to launch from and the hardest to hit.
Cheyenne locals of that time learned to live with and even became used to new missiles arriving at the base as it was expanded during the height of the cold war. They also understood that should missiles be fired the City of Cheyenne itself was a target, with no chance of survival.
The closest the base ever came to actually firing a missile was during the Cuban missile crises. Local ranchers relate how they saw missiles up and ready to launch should president Kennedy have given the order.
The video then goes on the MX program and the protesters that arrived in Cheyenne when the idea was proposed.
When the Soviet Union fell, and the cold war ended, F.E. Warren Airforce Base declared victory in the Cold War. That is where the PBS video ends. But that is not the end of the mission of F.E. Warren.