This is what’s left of a clip from 60 minutes clip about the US’ woefully low-tech nuclear arsenal – it’s a hilarious John Oliver send-up.
60 Minutes took us on a tour of the “Jolly Rogers” at the 319th Missile Squadron, the United States Air Force unit stationed at Warren AFB, Wyoming. This squadron is equipped with the LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), with a mission of nuclear deterrence.
The scene at the underground bunker from which this missile, with the power of 20 Hiroshima bombs would be launched is not what you’d expect. “Manned” by a 25-year old “Missileer” and his 23-year old female deputy. No further information is given about their ranks, except that the one in charge graduated from the Air Force Academy 3 years ago and the woman had only ever been assigned this 24-hr shift 5 times.
The kicker, which has caused an uproar in certain tech circles is that these two Missileers operate clunky equipment more than twice their age, the most modern of which consists of computers running code stored on 8-inch floppy disks.
This earliest of disk formats was first introduced commercially in 1971 and has a storage capacity of 80 kb (!)