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Category: Military Installations

The Remains of Minot Air Force Station

The Remains of Minot Air Force Station

When we ran our Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of our first book, we offered supporters the opportunity to name a location they would like us to photograph in exchange for their support. One of our supporters asked us to visit and photograph the former Minot Air Force Station, about 14 miles south of Minot. Minot Air Force Station was the first major Air Force installation in North Dakota, predating the other Minot and Grand Forks bases. It was…

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Building a Nuclear Defense in Nekoma

Building a Nuclear Defense in Nekoma

Long before the Star Wars Missile Defense Shield was a thing, the US Government deployed a nuclear anti-ballistic missile system in Nekoma, North Dakota. It was the only operational facility of its kind. You can read more about it in our previous post, here. These photos are from spring and summer of 1971, taken by an unknown government photographer. The silver culvert center-right in the photo above is the escape tunnel, which was later buried. A beautiful shot, very reminiscent…

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Fortuna Air Force Station: 1977

Fortuna Air Force Station: 1977

Steve Sampson is a former airman once stationed at the Fortuna Air Force Station, and he took the photos you see here.  He posted a comment regarding one of the photos elsewhere on the site, and it’s such a great story, we wanted to highlight it here. We contacted Steve to get permission to post these photos, and of his time at Fortuna, he said: I was a rotating shift worker back then, so the time went pretty fast, because everything…

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Finley Air Force Station

Finley Air Force Station

Finley Air Force Station is an abandoned radar base outside Finley, North Dakota.  Closed in 1979, the site now functions as a landfill.  Similar to the Minot and Fortuna Air Force Stations, Finley AFS was a ground control intercept facility tasked with detecting and dispatching intercept aircraft in the event unidentified aircraft threatened to penetrate American air space. The role of facilities like this evolved with the advent of the ICBM, but eventually North Dakota’s Air Force Stations were phased…

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Exploring Fortuna Air Force Station

Exploring Fortuna Air Force Station

This is just a bit of our exploration and shoot at the abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station which is scheduled for demolition in late-summer/fall of 2013.  According to the caretaker, after asbestos remediation, all the structures above ground will be demolished and scrapped, with the exception of the concrete radar tower which will be left in place. Click Here to check out our photo galleries of Fortuna AFS. Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC…

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A Last Look at the Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station: part II

A Last Look at the Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station: part II

This is our second gallery for the abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station.  It was demolished in the summer of 2015.  Click here to start at part one. Stairway to nowhere. Terry ventured into the bowels of a structure at the top of the hill and came across this vivid reminder that the men and women who worked here were putting their lives on the line every day and facing a grim future if relations with the Soviets went the wrong…

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A Last Look at the Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station: part I

A Last Look at the Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station: part I

Fortuna Air Force Station was an abandoned Air Force radar station located in Divide County, about 6 1/2 miles from Canada and 8 miles from Montana.  Like the Minot Air Force Station, Fortuna AFS was a GCI (Ground Control Intercept) base designed to detect unidentified aircraft and coordinate interception. Originally opened in 1952, the mission evolved over several decades to suit changing technology until it was partially deactivated in 1979.  It was closed for good in 1984. The radar dishes and…

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Nekoma Safeguard Complex

Nekoma Safeguard Complex

The Nekoma Safeguard Complex is a unique place in the history of the US military’s anti-ballistic missile effort.  A portion of the Wikipedia entry for this place: The Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard complex in Nekoma, North Dakota, with the separate long-range detection radar located further north near the town of Cavalier, North Dakota, was the only operational anti-ballistic missile system ever deployed by the United States. It defended Minuteman ICBM missile silos near the Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota. It…

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