To counter the Soviet Union’s Cold War nuclear threat, the United States government enhanced its offensive nuclear capability in the 1950s by creating intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the Soviet Union. The first American ICBM was the Atlas missile. Southwest Oklahoma near Altus Air Force Base (AFB) played a crucial role in the nation’s nuclear arsenal from 1960 through 1965 by building several missile launch sites that housed Atlas F missiles. The state was rewarded with jobs, massive amounts of federal dollars spent here, and the satisfaction of deterring Soviet aggression while defending the nation against possible attack.
The Chronicles of Oklahoma
Brewer, Landry, "The Missiles of Oklahoma: Southwest Oklahoma's Role in the American Cold War Nuclear Arsenal, 1960-65" (2017). Faculty Articles & Research. 1.