No NATO country had such a strategic location as Norway, with its long coastline and border with the Soviet Union.
Nike Hercules was a surface to air rocket developed at Redstone in the 1950s.
It could carry nuclear warheads.
Nike was an important part of the military build-up within the NATO alliance due to the Cold War.
In 1957 Engvig and two other Norwegian petty officers were elected to receive training to become
specialists on this new rocket system that Norway would receive through NATO.
On January 23, 1958 they were sent to the US Army Ordnance Guided Missile School at Redstone Arsenal,
They were in downtown Huntsville on January 31, when a modified Redstone rocket lifted Explorer 1 into
orbit initiating the start of the US space program.
After eighteen months in the US, having been trained on the track radars and guidance system for the Hercules,
they returned to Norway with the rockets in the summer of 1959.
They were solely in charge of higher echelon maintenance for the
entire battalion of Nike Hercules missiles deployed to Norway.
Learn more details about the Nike system, international relations and Engvig's experiences.