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Old 07-05-2013, 21:40   #1
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Cool Climax: The History of Colorado's Climax Molybdenum Mine

From: Climax: The History of Colorado's Climax Molybdenum Mine - Stephen M. Voynick (1996) pg 304-305

In 1979, Climax hosted troops of the 82nd Airborne Division and 5th Special Forces Group. Both units were conducting mountain war games, and officers thought Climax would be an ideal industrial facility to add realism to defense and infiltration exercises. When Climax agreed to the officers' request to use the mill, the war was on. As Special Forces commandos parachuted into nearby Camp Hale, 82nd Airborne Division troopers, dressed in full combat gear, set up a defense perimeter around the mill buildings.

Had the M-16 rifles been loaded, the Climax mill hands would have suffered the heaviest losses. The Special Forces men, disguised as mill mechanics, "killed" five airborne troopers and seven mill hands in their first assault. The military evaluation of that assault noted "the valiant but unsuccessful efforts of the crane operator in dodging mock machine-gun fire." To the great amusement of the mill hands, the Special Forces men staged another successful assault by infiltrating a visitors' tour group. But the Climax Mine's first effort to support military exercises was also its last; mill supervisors, concerned with molybdenite flotation and not military infiltration, finally ordered a premature end to "this damned circus."
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