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2015-03-23  
2013-11-29  
Titan II Missile Silo and DEL Benchmark, AZ
mini location map2013-11-29
41 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
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Titan II Missile Silo and DEL Benchmark, AZ 
Titan II Missile Silo and DEL Benchmark, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 29 2013
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking1.59 Miles 131 AEG
Hiking1.59 Miles   1 Hour   15 Mns   2.51 mph
131 ft AEG      37 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This was a short hike that started at a former Titan II Missile Silo Launch facility.
This former Titan II Missile Silo facility is located just off Oracle Rd, north of Tangerine Rd, near Marana, AZ.
There’s a benchmark (1962), in the desert just west of the former missile launch site. The benchmark was probably established in conjunction with the Air Force building the launch facility, in the early 1960s. I hiked out to find DEL Triangulation Station.

The Air Force had 18 Titan II Missile Silo Launch sites in southern Arizona from the early 1960s thru the mid 1980s. Six of these sites were located around the Tortolita Mountains.
All of the sites were capable of delivering a Titan II missile to a target 10,000 miles away, and the Titan IIs could reach a speed of 15,000 mph. (Yep - that’s 3 zeros) They were also used as the ‘rocket’ for the Gemini space launches in the 1960s.
These missiles are huge and were kept in (and launched from) underground ‘silos’. Many of my Air Force friends spent a tour of duty as a ‘missile man’. Probably not the most glamorous job but definitely one with huge responsibilities.
Go here for more Titan II info. http://www.techbastard.com/missile/titan2/index.php

Upon terminating the Titan II program, the 18 facilities were dismantled and demilitarized. Most of the properties were sold, with this particular site I visited being acquired by a church. Prior to the hike I asked a church official for permission to park on their grounds, and also asked him if he was aware of the history of the property. He said ‘yes’ to both.

The DEL benchmark is located on a small hill in the mostly flat desert, about 1/2 mile west of the former launch site. Many washes are along the way. There were no ‘rock outcrops’ for the surveyors to secure the benchmark disk and it’s two reference marks. Instead the disks are (their words) “set in the top of a 12 inch diameter cylindrical concrete monument”.
The DEL azimuth mark will surprise some. It too is atop a ‘12 inch diameter cylindrical concrete monument’, near Oracle Rd, and is presently pulled out of the ground, due to road work. Check out the photos of the ‘length’ of this ‘cylindrical concrete monument’. YIKES !

I hiked back to the site (church) and walked all around the property, finding telltale signs of the original launch facility. Since the missile control room(s) and actual silo were underground, only cement slabs are visible now. The slabs were used to secure the various communication antennas and fuel storage containers.

This was an interesting hike and a bit of a history lesson at the same time.
I’m glad we never had to launch one of these missiles for its designed purpose. If we had, there’s a good chance none of us would be ‘hiking’ now.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
HAZ Member
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