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Home > Alaska > One mile west of mile marker 293.5 on Parks Highwa > Clear Air Force Station, Ballistic Missile Early Warning System Site II, One mile west of mile marker 293.5 on Parks Highwa, Anderson, AK



B&W Photos
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Drawings


Item Title


Location
Ballistic Missile Early Warning System Site II, One mile west of mile marker 293.5 on Parks Highwa, AK

Find maps of One mile west of mile marker 293.5 on Parks Highwa, AK


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER AK-30-A
Significance: The Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) was constructed in 1958-61 in response to the threat of a potential Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) attack from the Soviet Union (demonstrated by the October 1957 launch of Sputnik). BMEWS Site II at Clear AFS in Alaska was one of three radar sites (the others were located in Greenland and Britain) that covered the polar regions. Although BMEWS was an expansion of existing radar technology rather than a significant innovation, it represented a major engineering achievement. MBEWS was an important part of the deterrence strategy (Mutual Assured Destruction) developed by both sides in the Cold War. It provided a minimum of fifteen minutes advance warning for a nuclear counterstrike, but not a missile defense. BMEWS remained in operation throughout the remainder of the Cold War, although the technology became increasingly antiquated and difficult to maintain in later years.

Subjects
Defense Industry
Weapons Industry
Cold War


Related Names
Sims, Gregory, Photographer
Media Specialties, Photographer
Hoffecker, John F., Historian
Easterling, Kathryn F., Delineator


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

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