From the beginning of the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program in February 1961 until the closure of Chanute AFB in 1993, all Minuteman maintenance training was conducted here at Chanute. The building that now houses the museum, Grissom Hall, was the missile maintenance training facility. Consequently, the museum now features four minuteman silo trainers, three above ground and one below.
Two of the above-ground silo maintenance trainers simulate the upper 35 feet of Minuteman silos (two different versions of the missile) and the third
simulates the lower levels of the Minuteman silo and the missile suspension system. The below-ground complex simulates the upper portion of the Minuteman silo and launch tube for training personnel in attaching and detaching simulated warheads to the missile. This silo has a 100-ton blast door and crew entry hatch, but for easy access for training it was also constructed with a stairwell down into the sub-levels.
Minuteman Silo Restoration Project
Unfortunately, the restoration has proven to be too big of a problem to complete. Years of neglect has created a serious water leak problem that cannot be controlled. Consequently, the air in the silo is harmful, so the silo has been closed permanently.