Oscar-One MAF

Schematic drawing of the Oscar-One control center

Quick Facts
Whiteman Air Force Base, MO
Oscar-01 was the only Minuteman control center that was built within the confines of an air force base; all other control centers were constructed in the rural areas surrounding bases. Oscar-01 was also the first control center where all-female, mixed-gender, and all African-American crews served alerts. In addition, Oscar-01, which was the designated Squadron Command Post (SCP) for the 510th Strategic Missile Squadron, is significant for its association with the Emergency Rocket Communications System.
The Oscar-01 Missile Alert Facility (MAF) was constructed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri in 1963, and determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) by Missouri SHPO in 1998. The facility consists of a one-story surface structure, assembled as a Launch Control Support Building (LCSB), and two sub-surface, re-enforced concrete encapsulated steel pods- a Launch Control Center (LCC) and Launch Control Equipment Building (LCEB). These two sub-surface wings are connected by a Tunnel Junction and accessed by an elevator. The Support Building is a non-descript ranch-style structure of wood-frame construction, typical of the period of construction, and currently sheathed in aluminum clapboard siding and a modern asphalt shingle roof. The exterior and interior of the above-ground building have been updated in the recent past for energy efficiency and sustainability, however, the original floorplan has been retained with minor modifications and system upgrades. With the exception of the Security Control Center and the elevator, all current interior materials and building systems are modern. However, in the lower level, forty-five feet below ground, the underground facilities have remained largely original, and retain an exceptional level of historic integrity.

The Oscar-01 facility is an intricately-engineered historic built environment, and unique surviving physical example of US military history. The individual character-defining features in the LCC and LCEB are numerous, and include original, structural and mechanical system elements, objects, and personnel effects, contributing to the exceptional level of overall historic integrity. Additionally, custom building systems, such as the two blast doors and escape hatch are uniquely character-defining, and join created features such as hand-painted murals, historic inscriptions and other period finishes and effects associated with the Oscar-01 mission.

Since 1996, Whiteman Air Force Base has continued to maintain the Oscar-01 site as a military heritage center and historic site. As the Oscar-01 MAF is one of only two surviving Minuteman II ICBM missile alert facilities in the world, it will continue to remain a rare and important historic resource, and integral to the interpretation of the Cold War history of the United States.

Last updated: November 22, 2017