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Report - Greenham Common (GAMA), Berkshire - June 2014

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by The_Raw, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    This is one from a while ago, I'd forgotten all about it until star wars reminded me of it recently. I normally don't bother posting old stuff but fuck it. Figured I should dig my pics out and do something with them. This was the day I first met this strange Welshman called @Lenston. I've never been able to look at a sheep in the same light since. It's a fascinating place because of it's history this one. Bit of a bastard to get into but once inside it was pretty chilled and we didnt see a soul. A year or so later we returned at night hoping to see the Millennium Falcon but we were too late unfortunately. The history is quite extensive so skip to the pics if you can't be bothered reading it.

    Aerial view from Google images

    [​IMG]

    For many, Greenham Common is synonymous with the Cold War and the peace protests against the siting of Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCM) at the former airbase during the 1980‘s. At the end of the 1970’s, NATO member countries agreed to approve plans to deploy nearly 600 nuclear cruise missiles in Western Europe. Greenham Common Airbase was identified as one of the first airbases to receive the weapons and it was aimed to have Greenham as an operational cruise missile base by December 1983. In 1980 the British Government announced that Greenham Common would see the deployment of 96 Tomahawk Cruise nuclear missiles and in 1981 work began, preparing the airbase to receive the nuclear weapons.

    Also in 1981 a peace group called “Women for Life on Earth” marched from Cardiff to Greenham at protest against cruise and on arrival a number chained themselves to the perimeter fence at Greenham. Within a few days they established the first peace camp. Also in 1981 a peace group called “Women for Life on Earth” marched from Cardiff to Greenham at protest against cruise and on arrival a number chained themselves to the perimeter fence at Greenham. Within a few days they established the first peace camp. In early 1982 the camp became entirely for women and children only.

    The world watched the peace women protest. International media attention was drawn to the protests at Greenham and the site became a world famous icon for protests against nuclear weapons. In December 1982 around 30,000 women gathered to join hands around the airbase in what was known as the ‘Embrace the Base‘ event. A 14 mile human chain linked Greenham with other nuclear sites.

    GAMA remains a very visible reminder of Greenham Common‘s past and the history of international conflict during the late twentieth century. The six hardened shelters were constructed to protect the GLCMs from possible nuclear and conventional attack. Each shelter was designed to withstand a thermonuclear airburst explosion above Greenham Common and Newbury or a direct hit from a 500lb conventional bomb. It is believed that the shelters, that stand around 10 metres high, were built with a reinforced concrete ceiling about two metres thick, below a steel plate, around three metres of sand, a further reinforced concrete slab, all covered with tonnes of soil. Each shelter had six bombproof steel doors, three at each end.

    The missile silos at GAMA, in which ground launched cruise missiles of the USAF‘s 501st tactical missile unit were stored - 25th January 1989. The INF Treaty, signed by presidents Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987, meant that by the Spring 1991 Greenham‘s role as a base for nuclear weapons would be over and by 1990 the cruise missiles had gone from the airbase. In 1992 Greenham Common Airbase was declared redundant for military purposes by the Ministry of Defence and the fate of Greenham Common hung in the balance. The runway at Greenham lies deserted while its fate is decided. More site history: 1992 and beyond and the construction of GAMA.

    It was most recently used during the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) in which it was used as the location of the Resistance Base.

    1. Three high fences guard the site
    [​IMG]

    2. This is where military personnel would have entered the site
    [​IMG]

    3. Any weapons would be placed into the drawer and held inside the gatehouse.
    [​IMG]

    4. Both the door and the window had what appeared to be bullet holes all over them
    [​IMG]

    5. One of many storage units
    [​IMG]

    6. Behind here is the entrance to a bunker, you’d need a forklift to move that concrete block unfortunately
    [​IMG]

    7. Various outbuildings are scattered all over the site
    [​IMG]

    8. Looking down from the top of a silo towards two others
    [​IMG]

    9. This is one of the silos where nuclear missiles would have been stored
    [​IMG]

    10. The doors to the nuclear missile bunkers are required by NATO law to stay open so Russian satellites can see that they are empty
    [​IMG]

    11.
    [​IMG]

    12. Controls for the hydraulic doors
    [​IMG]

    13.
    [​IMG]

    14.
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    15.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking [​IMG]
     
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  2. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
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    I liked this place, ever so quiet.

    Were the big birds of prey flying about?
     
  3. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Very nice that, no Resistance though I see :thumb
     
  4. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    Liked that a lot....
     
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  5. Urbexbandoned

    Urbexbandoned 28DL Regular User
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    Nice Damo, like the little area where personnel entered. The bunker shots are ace, didn't realise that's why the doors were open too.
    I always knew there was something a bit sheepish about Lee haha!

    :thumb
     
    Lenston and The_Raw like this.
  6. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    I don't recall there being any but maybe....

    You obviously weren't looking close enough mate.....

    [​IMG]

    *I don't own photoshop so I had to cut and paste using Microsoft Paint. I realise how pathetic it looks :p*
     
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  7. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. hamtagger

    hamtagger 28DL Regular User
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    Nice to see the place covered thoroughly. I like that style of ESA door, not many places left with these :)
     
  9. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Access is different every time I go. Did it once without having to climb any fences! Anyways on my last visit, the place seems to be in use as a storage facility for a company that provides the gear for outdoor festivals and this was long after the Star Wars people packed up and left. Not sure if that is still the case.
     
  10. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    15 pics and no Millenium Falcon :D

    Some good pics mate, them hydraulics look awesome!
     
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  11. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator
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    10. The doors to the nuclear missile bunkers are required by NATO law to stay open so Russian satellites can see that they are empty

    Slight amendment.

    It is not a NATO Law, but an agreement as France (a major nuclear power, is not a signatory)

    It was the "Strategic Arms Limitations Talks/Treaty (SALT) I and II" between the United States & the Soviet Union leading to START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) in 1994

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/START_I

    The USA & UK still has Navel Cruse Missiles with nuclear capability , but not in the Land Based Role as used at Greenham Common.

    Both the USA & UK deploy nuclear Tridant Missiles at sea, which are not part of SALT/START
     
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  12. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Maybe being a bit thick here.. but surely a satellite will not be able to see if the doors are open or not as the doors are not facing the sky? (if I'm about to be called thick, in my defence can I just say been in the office for 12 hours so far today and feeling a bit tired)
     
  13. Bolts

    Bolts 28DL Regular User
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    Interesting stuff about the doors staying open :thumb
    Shame about the Falcon though...good stuff otherwise
     
  14. Cuuvin

    Cuuvin 28DL Colonial Member
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    "...you’d need a forklift to move that concrete block unfortunately ..." Wanna bet? :rolleyes: As an Engineer that knows the right way to do things, the wrong way to do things , & the way to get things done ... I can see at least 2 ways to move that block with non-powered man transportable tools. Normally said tools wouldn't make one think of "Breaking & Entering" but getting caught with them here, they'd hit you so hard with the "Book", you're Arse would pop up in China! (unless the block is obstructed with something permanently fixed in place ... then C4 :eek: is the answer !) :p
     
    #14 Cuuvin, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  15. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Nice pics mate, good day out that :)
     
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