Logistics: Getting An ICBM Back On The Road


October 7,2008:  Last July, a 66 foot long U.S. Air Force truck, carrying a 32 ton, 45 foot long first stage of a Minuteman III ICBM, had an accident. The damage, and the cost of recovering the truck and missile, cost $5.6 million. The truck drove too close to the side of a gravel road and flipped over on its side. This occurred 120 kilometers from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. The two airmen operating the vehicle, which was accompanied by a security vehicle, were not injured. Classified components of the missile were promptly removed, and the wreck remained there for eleven days while the incident was investigated. There was no nuclear weapon involved.

The air force did not give a breakdown of the costs, but it probably included the cost of the many air force personnel (security, investigators, administrative), the contractors that recovered the truck and missile, lawyers and other administrative costs. The air force admitted that there have been similar accidents every 5-10 years. 



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