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Air Force missile crew commander

This April 15, 1997 file photo shows an Air Force missile crew commander standing at the door of his launch capsule 100-feet under ground where he and his partner are responsible for 10 nuclear-armed ICBM's, in north-central Colorado. Twice this year alone, Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been caught leaving open a blast door meant to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post and potentially compromising secret launch codes, Air Force officials told The Associated Press. The missiles stand in reinforced concrete silos and are linked to the control center by buried communications cables. The ICBMs are split evenly among “wings” based in North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Each wing is divided into three squadrons, each responsible for 50 missiles. (AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)

GREAT FALLS – Crews have finished eliminating the last of the deactivated intercontinental ballistic missile silos operated by Malmstrom Air Force Base.

The silos were had been under the 564th Missile Squadron, which was deactivated in 2008. The silos are located in Chouteau, Pondera, Teton and Toole counties.

Under a nuclear arms-reduction treaty with Russia, the U.S. was required to eliminate 103 deactivated ICBM silos, including the 50 at Malmstrom, by February 2018.

The demolition of Malmstrom’s 50 deactivated silos fulfills almost half of the treaty’s requirements. Additionally, 50 launch facilities have already been eliminated at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.

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The Great Falls Tribune reports that the last Malmstrom silo to be eliminated was located about 25 miles west of Conrad.

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