Nuclear Missile Maintenance Convoy

Way back in 1998, I posted directions to my favorite Nuclear Missile Silo in Colorado. On 2 May 2003, I was driving through Wyoming on Interstate 80 and happened to encounter an Air Force convoy on the way to one of their silos. The convoys always drive painfully slow, so they occupy the right lane. The vehicles are spread apart by quite some distance. I passed convoy vehicles for about 40 miles as I traveled from Cheyenne, Wyoming, into Nebraska, and took pictures of some of the more interesting participants.

Nuclear Missile Convoy 2 May 2003 1024x768
Nuclear Missile Convoy 2 May 2003 1024x768

The rear of the convoy includes standard Air Force Chevy Suburbans filled with fully armed soldiers. For good measure, they also have Humvees with turrets. I therefore presume that the United States Government does not like people to mess with their thermonuclear materials--and such materials are fortunately rather well protected.

Nuclear Missile Convoy 2 May 2003 1024x768
Nuclear Missile Convoy 2 May 2003 1024x768

This is it: the truck with the nuclear materials for the missile. They literally park the big white truck on top of the silo so that the truck covers the entire silo opening while they perform maintenance on the missile. Notice that the lead car and chase car are less than 10 feet away from the truck: remember, they're traveling at 55 miles/hour!

Nuclear Missile Convoy 2 May 2003 1024x768
Nuclear Missile Convoy 2 May 2003 1024x768

The convoy is also followed closely by a helicopter. The helicopter flies back and forth for the entire length of the convoy repeatedly. Several miles before the nuclear material truck, the convoy starts with a US Marshal and more Suburbans and armored vehicles.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is one of the most secure vehicles in the United States.