Safeguard Planned Locations

The placement of facilities for what became known as the Sentinel system announced by Defense Secretary McNamara was never fully revealed to the general public. However, the deployment plan, titled "Nike X DEMOD l-67," would have placed 15 systems within the continental United States and a system each in Alaska and Hawaii. Continental sites slated to receive Sentinel installations included Boston; New York; Washington DC; Albany, Georgia; Detroit; Chicago; Dallas; Salt Lake; Seattle; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Whiteman, Grand Forks, Malmstrom, and Warren Air Force Bases.

Construction of the first site at Sharpner's Pond near Boston began in late 1968. However, in that era of antiwar protest, opponents of ABM packed an Army community- relations meeting in late January 1969. The appearance of an adverse public reaction led Senator Edward Kennedy to write a letter to Defense Secretary Laird questioning the viability of the system. This act touched off a heated Senate debate and led to a Presidential review of the Sentinel deployment scheme. On March 14, President Nixon announced the deployment of a "modified Sentinel." Later that day Deputy Defense Secretary David Packard detailed the new deployment scheme to cover 12 sites. With the exception of Washington DC, the new Safeguard sites were to be located away from population centers. Instead of Boston, Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, and Dallas, sites were to be placed in southern New England, the Michigan/Ohio area, the Northwest, central California, Southern California, and Texas. The four previously designated SAC missile bases, as well as southern Georgia, would still receive ABM defenses. New York, Chicago, Salt Lake, Hawaii, and Alaska lost out in the new scheme.