Air Force Bases

Nike Missile System

Once upon a time, not so long ago, hundreds of missile bases, holding thousands of missiles, some armed with nuclear weapons, surrounded our cities. They patiently stood guard as a last resort defense against soviet bombers. Below is the story of those missiles, the bunkers that housed them, and the men that kept them ready to fire at a moments notice.

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In 1974, the nation's last 48 Nike batteries were phased out, with the exception of four batteries of Nike Hercules in Florida and Alaska. These four batteries, which were strategically located to Cuba and the Soviet Union, remained open for training purposes. Overall, the total production of the Nike Hercules amounted to over 25,000 missiles, of which 2,650 were exported under the Foreign Military Sales Program and 1,764 under the Military Aid Program. Japan phased out its last Nike Hercules in November 1992.

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Nike Ajax next to a Nike Hercules Missile