Utica Nike Base
During the 1950s the U.S. Army developed its Nike anti-aircraft program. The conventional Nike Ajax guided missile and its nuclear-capable successor, Hercules, provided America's cities with a "last line of defense" against attack by Soviet long-range bombers carrying atomic warheads. The Detroit region's Nike perimeter included fifteen missile bases. The Utica site comprised a launch facility (located one-half mile west of here) and an Integrated Fire Control center/administrative area (located one-third mile south). Army and Michigan National Guard units manned the site from 1955 until 1974, when it closed. The enemy bombers had been replaced by intercontinental ballistic missiles, a new threat against which the Nike system would be useless.