The Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN) is a network of systems providing uninterrupted communications throughout the pre-, trans-, and post-nuclear warfare environment. At minimum, MEECN is designed to provide a one-way flow of information to activate nuclear forces during severe jamming and a post-nuclear environment.[1]


As of 1994, MEECN consists of various programs: Miniature Receive Terminals (MRTs) for nuclear bombers, High Power Transmit Sets (HPTS) for E-4B aircraft, Dual Frequency MEECN receivers (DFMRs) for ICBM Launch Control Centers.[2]

Ground Element MEECN System (GEMS)

The GEMS program, short for Ground Element Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network, is intended to replace deprecated communications facilities.[3]: 26–27  This system features improved infrastructure for alerting aircrew, and maintaining communications in the event of nuclear conflict. Notable elements include updated Extremely High Frequency (EHF) communications satellites, and redundant Very Low Frequency (VLF) communication paths for strategic message traffic. The changes will resolve problems associated with aging or ineffective devices such as pagers, klaxons, and Emergency Action Message (EAM) processing systems. [4]

Minuteman MEECN Program (MMP)

The Minuteman MEECN Program (MMP) replaced the aging Survivable Low Frequency Communications System (SLFCS) Launch Control Centers (LCCs) with an Extremely High Frequency (EHF) and Very Low Frequency/Low Frequency (VLF/LF) communications equipment.[5]

MMP consists of EHF Milstar and VLF/LF communications equipment.[6]

The 91st Missile Wing's Oscar-01 at Minot AFB, North Dakota was the last Minuteman Launch Control Center to have updated to the MMP configuration.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Aldridge, Robert C. (1983). First Strike! The Pentagon's Strategy for Nuclear War. ISBN 0-89608-154-0. LCCN 82061148. OCLC 82061148. OL 3509390M. Retrieved 15 July 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ Program Management Directive for Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN) VLF/LF System Improvements (Report). n.d. PMD 2070(29)/22131F/32015F/11213F – via Air Force Historical Research Agency.
  3. ^ Critchlow, Robert D. (3 May 2006). Nuclear Command and Control: Current Programs and Issues (PDF) (Report). Congressional Research Service. RL33408. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 1 August 2022 – via Federation of American Scientists.
  4. ^ "Rockwell Collins to build Air Force GEMS network". Retrieved 2022-06-22.
  5. ^ "Minuteman Missile - Strategic Air Command - Nuclear Warhead".
  6. ^ Air Force FOIA documents: 392d Training Squadron slides on MEECN, no date[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Williams, Carla (2 August 2006). "Minot completes final MEECN modifications" (Press release). United States Air Force. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2022. The 91st Space Wing completed the last modifications to its Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communication Network here at the Oscar-01 Missile Alert Facility in the Minuteman missile complex Nov. 11. The completion of Oscar-01 marked the final modification to the last of 50 launch control centers in Twentieth Air Force. The other bases where modifications took place include Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.