Practicing The Unthinkable: 60 Minutes Goes Inside The U.S. Nuclear Arsenal!

nukes

David Martin will interview Admiral Cecil Haney from inside Strategic Command Headquarters on this week’s 60 Minutes.

With a potential second Cold War building, viewers will get a close-up view of America’s nuclear arsenal and the extraordinary measures the U.S. military takes to make sure that one person and one person only – the President of the United States – can give the order to launch a nuclear weapon.

For details, follow the jump.

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David Martin interviews Adm. Cecil Haney inside Strategic Command Headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

The next president will become commander-in-chief at a time when a new Cold War is brewing and both the U.S. and Russia still keep enough nuclear weapons on alert to end civilization. In a story to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Sept. 18 (7:30-8:30 PM ET, 7:00-8:00 PM PT) on the CBS Television Network, viewers will get a close-up view of America’s nuclear arsenal and the extraordinary measures the U.S. military takes to make sure that one person and one person only – the President of the United States – can give the order to launch a nuclear weapon.

Pentagon correspondent David Martin and cameras went aboard the USS Kentucky, a ballistic missile submarine which hides beneath the ocean, waiting for an order from the president to launch some of the nearly 200 nuclear warheads it is capable of carrying. Asked if his submarine has ever been detected during one of its undersea patrols, the Kentucky’s captain, Cdr. Brian Freck, does not hesitate. “No. Not even close.”  Watch an excerpt.

Martin and his team also went inside Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha, Neb., the nerve center for U.S. nuclear forces. They went three stories underground to the Global Operations Center and interviewed the man in charge of the nation’s nuclear arsenal, Admiral Cecil Haney, who would speak directly to the president in a crisis, recommending specific options for a nuclear strike. “Would they tell him what kinds of weapons you would use and what targets you would hit?” Martin asks. “They would be that specific, yes,” Haney replies.