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Report - Greenham Common , August 2011

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Treadstone, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Treadstone

    Treadstone 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Likes Received:
    One of the first urbex reports I ever saw was on Greenham Common, and my first throught was "Holy Wossnames you can do that place". Anyone over 35 today will remember the nuclear missiles which came to Greenham. It was major stage in the cold war. Getting in was something which would take planning, special equipment, and a mate. I took Mookster.
    The place is a monument so it deserves some respect A precis from ENGLISH HERITAGE’S RECORD OF SCHEDULED MONUMENTS

    The monument includes the Ground Launched Cruise Missile Alert and Maintenance Area (GAMA), including an earlier 1950s Igloo Bomb Store group [and fences]. The ground to the south falls gently down towards the River Enborne. This river is fed by a north-south running stream which runs through the GAMA site in a depression known as Drayton’s Gully.
    The GAMA area. Igoo Bomb stores on the left, 6 cruise missle shelteters on the right

    Although Greenham Common was an operational airfield from 1941 to 1946 the area around Drayton’s Gully was not developed until the base was reopened in 1951 to house United States Air Force (USAF) Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombers. B-47 Stratojets were then based at the airfield with its 3048m runway and a bomb store for nuclear weapons was built in the Drayton’s Gully.
    In 1980 it was selected [for] the deployment of Ground Launched Cruise Missiles and this made the airbase a prime target for Soviet attack. The site around Drayton’s Gully was refurbished and expanded to include the necessary accommodation, maintenance and security facilities required to house and protect the missiles, both from possible Soviet air or ground attack and, subsequently, from peace protestors who set up camp outside the perimeter fence in a series of camps which made the GAMA complex an internationally recognised focus of debate about the nuclear arms race.
    Six cruise missile sites were constructed in Europe during the mld-1980s, two in England and single bases in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy. The two sites in England are at RAF Molesworth, Cambridgeshire (which remains an active RAF/USAF installation) and Greenham Common, Berkshire (which has been decommissioned); both survive intact.
    The cruise missile shelter complex at Greenham Common Airbase was the longest commissioned of the European bases and is believed to have been the only one in England to have housed operational cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. It is dominated by six massive earth covered, concrete Ground Launched Cruise Missile shelters which are located in two east to west aligned rows of three shelters, within the north east quadrant of the complex. The shelters all have massive concrete and steel blast doors to each end (north and south) which when open, form drawbridges across deep external trenches. Internally the shelters were three lane tunnels, each capable of housing two mobile launch control centres and four Transporter Erector Launchers (TEL)which each held four missiles. Together, each shelter could house 16 missiles and the complex as a whole could hold 96 launch-ready missiles.
    Subsequent to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987 most of the missiles and launchers were destroyed; GAMA remains as one of the few tangible relics of this technology. It remains a potent symbol of the positive power of arms control treaties to render advanced military technology obsolete.
    Out plan was to visit at sun rise which was rewarded with shots like this one (oh and a siting of Deer on the top of a shelter).


    I mentioned special equipment, but no we didn't use a hot air balloon[​IMG]

    Here's a selection of others.



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