A nuclear missile silo in operation through the Cold War is now officially owned by Wyoming.
Quebec 1, a missile silo that over the years housed three different kinds of nuclear missiles, opened Aug. 17 as a part of the state Department of Parks and Cultural Resources.
The silo was built in 1962 and served through the height of the Cold War, housing the Minuteman I, Minuteman III and Peacekeeper missiles, along with their launch controls and crews of U.S. Air Force personnel who were in control of the weapons.
The site was decommissioned in 2005 and since 2015, Wyoming officials have worked to get the silo in state hands for use as a historic site.
One of the state officials involved in the effort was Milward Simpson, former director of the Department of Parks and Cultural Resources.
“I couldn’t be more respectful of and pleased the the military had the vision to see the this was a way to tell a story that really needs to be told,” he said.
Simpson was on hand for the facility’s grand opening, as was Vilma Ortiz Vergne, a “missileer” who was part of the missile crews that controlled various silos.
Vergne said she spent most of her time at the Tango missile silo near Torrington, but did spend some time at Quebec 1. She was on duty at the Tango site when the United States was attacked by Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001 and she said she and her fellow crew members relied on their training to stay calm during the incident.
“The way the missileers are trained is that as you react, you follow your training to the letter, without exception,” she said. “There cannot be any error, there cannot be any deviations. Your lives and the lives of so many people are in your hands.”
Quebec 1, found about 30 miles north of Cheyenne just off of Interstate 25, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.