Thursday, April 8, 2010

Snake Creek Training Facility : Previously Nike Missile Defense Base

Miramar has come a long way in the past decades. When I moved to Miramar in 2004, there was an overgrown field across the street from where I live, the community of Vizcaya. Trees and vines everywhere. I thought nothing of it.

A few years later, some heavy equipment crews came in and took out all of the trees and brush, put up a giant chain-link fence and built sidewalks around  the field. Was a little strange, but OK. I guess we're going to have a new strip mall, right? Nope. Up went a sign that this was to be the future Snake Creek Readiness Training Facility run by the Florida National Guard. It seems as though several of my neighbors already knew that, and I was the one not in the know all along.

The Florida National Guard has owned the land for over 30 years, but they are just now developing it to replace armories that are aging in Hollywood and Miami. After all the trees and brush were cleared a few years ago, nothing happened for a while. Then a bunch of backhoes and bulldozers pushed sand and dirt around for several more months. Now I am no engineer, but I haven't seen anything accomplished there since the initial clearing. But I could be wrong.

In the past few days, I decided to investigate what's to become of this desert they made. Here is a construction report that shows that there are huge plans. It's going to be exciting to see all of those project happen in front of my eyes. Or maybe I am just not used to viewing bid forms for construction of a few buildings. Regardless, I was looking because of my general interest.

After reading a few articles, it became apparent to me that the history of this field was extremely interesting! President Kennedy ordered the site to be used during and after the Cuban Missile Crisis to protect Florida and the United States! That's right, from 1962 until 1979, the military used this as a Nike defense missile site. That is so interesting! I'm sure Miramar back then was mostly uninhabited and had many dirt roads still, but, let me repeat this again. Across the street from my house there was a missile site aimed at Cuba. If that doesn't get your blood going, nothing will!

The Nike252.org website is absolutely the best I've found at providing facts and details. I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering author Charles D. Carter actually served in the Army at this location at that time. I actually exchanged emails with him just yesterday. Here are some relevant links that you will also find interesting, but my favorite part of the site, besides the history lesson, shows actual photographs. I've included two of them on this posting, but there are several more, and there is also a way to share more if you happen to be in possession of any. By all means, please do so. The website is super awesome!

Now I am willing to bet my smartie neighbors didn't know all of that! So I guess I'll be giving the next history lesson of sorts.

Please comment if you are interested or know something more or if I somehow got a fact or two wrong or if you have a photo or for whatever reason. Thanks for reading and your participation.

This is a picture of a sentry tower on the missile base, with warning signs.

No comments: