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MSR Missile Support HAER Info > Warhead Handling Building Description

Warhead Handling Building Description

(Excerpt from Historic American Engineering Record, HAER No. ND-9-E,
Warhead Handling Building (Building 456)


Within Exclusion Area, Nekoma Vicinity, Cavalier County, North Dakota.


The building provided temporary storage for Sprint warhead sections and space for checkout and temporary storage of Spartan warhead sections prior to their installation on the missiles within their launch cells/chambers within the respective silos. This building also provided for replacement of selected components of the Spartan warhead section fairing assembly. The fairing was a structure that reduced air resistance or drag.


The Warhead Handling Building (WHB) is a reinforced concrete, non-debris-forming, single story structure with earth embankment covering the roof and three sides. The building had approximately 1,421 ft2 of floor area with out-to-out dimensions of 35 by 43 ft in plan and 27 ft in height. The building was equipped with a 5-ton monorail hoist. The WHB required only its rebar and earthen shielding (18 db attenuation) for electromagnetic pulse (EMP) protection. On its east side, there is a 52 ft corrugated metal emergency exit tunnel.


The Ralph M. Parsons Co. designed the WHB. Construction by Morrison-Knudsen and Associates was completed on 3 November 1972 at an approximate cost of $315,000. Activity at the WHB was terminated on 7 October 1976; final closure occurred on 15 July 1977.