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USAF Gioia del Colle

Last modified: 27 Sep 2019, submitted by: Joker

Country: Italy   

Latitude: 40° 47' 5" N     Longitude: 16° 55' 32" E

Area use / Military Branches: Closed


Gioia del Colle airbase.
- Former Hq 36 Aerobrigata Interdizione Strategica (36 Strategic Interdiction Wing) in the SM-78 Jupiter Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) system (1959-1963)

April 1959, the implementing instructions had been issued to USAF deploying 2 Jupiter wings to Italy. These Wings totaling 30 missiles were operational at 10 sites in Italy manned by Italian Air Force crews, USAF personnel however controlled arming and securing the nuclear warheads. The deployed missiles were under command of 36 AIS at Gioia del Colle airbase.

- Old missile crew training site at grid 4047′6″N 1655′33″E still clearly visible

- Former Launchersite 1 at grid 4044'25"N 1655'58"E After its deactivation in the 1970's converted into a Special Ammo Storage for NATO USAFE use in case of war

All Jupiter IRBMs were deactivated and scrapped by the end of 1963, as a backdoor trade with the Soviet Union after removal of Russian missiles fom Cuba.

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