The photo is my missile pneudraulics (pneumatic/hydraulic) class taken in September 1980. I am the one in uniform with glasses. Photo taken inside the tail of an inert missile. The old guy in mufti is a civilian instructor. The course lasted 3 months. Some subjects taught were silo layout, security procedures, principles of pneumatic and hydraulic systems, reading of electrical and hydraulic schematics, safety procedures including emergency breathing apparatus, fault detection and tech order compliance, and hydraulic/pneumatic hose fabrication. The missile was built by Martin-Marrieta corporation.
"The mission of the Titan II weapon system was deterrence. It has never been the intent of the United States to launch a nuclear-tipped missile against another nation. To be an effective deterrent, a weapon system must possess a high degree of reliability and accuracy. The philosophy of deterrence encompasses the idea that the retaliatory capability of an armed force is of sufficient magnitude to make the cost of armed aggression prohibitive. Over the years the Titan II had proved its worth as an element in the United States deterrent force on the basis of its reliability and capabilities.
"The Titan II weapon system was first activated in 1962. As a result of arms and nuclear reduction treaties, the Titan II weapon system was deactivated in the mid 80's. All but two Titan II sites have been dismantled. Site 571-7 in Green Valley Arizona, just south of Tuscon has been converted to a museum, and is open for public tours. The picture on the left, is of an actual active Titan II on alert. A viewing platform at the museum will give you the same view of a training missile.
"One other Titan II site still intact is located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. This site was originally used as a test launch site."
The Titan II missile system was designed to destroy enemy strategic targets in a minimum of time. To do so, the warhead must be placed on a target with a high degree of accuracy and from a distance of over 5500 miles. This degree of accuracy is comparable to your throwing a golf ball into the mouth of a teacup 150 yards away. It is obvious that many variables must be considered in attaining this degree of accuracy. The powered portion of flight lasts less than one-sixth of the total flight time. Control of the flightpath was not possible after powered flight ends. So all factors such as velocity, attitude, and altitude must be attained before the end of powered flight to permit the warhead to freefall to the target. All missile systems exist solely for this purpose."
All Titan II missiles and silos were deactivated in 1986 per provisions of the START talk agreements with the Soviets. It was the last US liquid fueled missile, all modern missiles run on safer solid propelllant. The Titan II's were not simply scrapped - they continue to serve alone, or as boosters for satellite launch.
Click to view image: 'Titan II class'