The Stanley R. Mickelsen SAFEGUARD Complex is comprised of a main 430-acre site located near Nekoma, North Dakota, and four 40-acre remote sites located 10-20 miles away in Cavalier, Walsh, and Ramsey Counties. The facilities retain most of their original buildings, roads, and infrastructure. For more facts on the site please click here.
SRMSC Site History
The Stanley R. Mickelsen SAFEGAURD Complex (SRMSC) was authorized by congress in 1969, construction began the following year, and Northeastern North Dakota thrived. The population of the community of Langdon swelled from 2,180 in 1970 to over 4,500 in 1974. In January of 1973 installation and testing of components at the Missile Site Radar (MSR) Complex and Remote Site Launch sites began and by December of 1973 live satellite tracking had been accomplished.
Limited operations began in October of 1974 at which time the equipment was manned by command personnel twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In April of 1975 initial operational capability at the SRMSC was achieved. Stages of operational capability were determined by how many missiles were in the ground. The site became fully operational on October 1, 1975 when 100% of the missiles were in the ground. Then, the following day, October 2, 1975 Congress voted to deactivate the system. Keys to the system were pulled on February 10, 1976 at 2:58 pm. On January 3, 1979 the doors to the MSR pyramid were welded shut. Overall the government had spent $5.7 billion on the site.
SRMSC Site Future
Currently, CCJDA’s largest project is the redevelopment and acquisition of the Stanley R. Mickelsen SAFEGUARD Complex. A number of government agencies, community leaders and commercial entities have identified future uses for the complex. There is considerable interest in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) research and operations, education, technology development, light manufacturing, and training.
CCJDA partnered with the University of North Dakota (UND), and state, local, community and Federal Government leaders to create a plan to redevelop SRMSC with emphasis on three missions:
- Technology—to provide a research and development center and test bed for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and other non-UAS technologies, bringing high skill, high wage jobs into the local area
- Education—to provide learning opportunities for North Dakota students of all ages
- Historic preservation—to maintain remaining structures and to interpret SRMSC’s role in the Cold War for public benefit.
Due to a grant from EDA, CCJDA retained SeaTec LLC to conduct a detailed site assessment and to devise a strategic redevelopment plan for SRMSC to fulfill the three missions. SeaTec formed a study team with experts from The Padina Group and Bucher, Willis, & Ratliff Corporation (BWR). The SeaTec study is complete and is available at www.ccjda.org/SRMSC.htm.
In February of 2011, CCJDA selected URS Corporation as the Redevelopment Partner/Engineering Firm of Record.
To see a more on the future of the SRMSC site please click here.