The infamous Titan II nuclear-tipped missiles ringing Tucson and pointed at the USSR for nearly 20 years beginning in the early 1960s. The hardened, underground complexes were capable of withstanding a near-direct strike from a Soviet nuclear missile. The 390th Strategic Missile Wing, headquartered at Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, was active from 1962-84 and had command of the 18 sites in Southern Arizona. The Reagan Administration decided to retire the missiles by 1987. Demolition crews decommissioned the silos by imploding them and sealing access points with concrete. The last Titan II came off alert status in May, 1984.

Most recently, a missile silo went up for sale north of Tucson. Click here for more information.

Photo editor

Rick Wiley is the photo editor of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. From 1995-2004, he was director of photography at the East Valley Tribune in Mesa. From 1988-94 he was a photographer at the Tucson Citizen. He is a graduate of ASU (yes, that ASU).