A Terraforming Tower, also called an Atmospheric Tower, is a massive structure used by the United States Empire for turning the planetary atmosphere of an inhospitable world into conditions habitable for humans.
Constructed during the early days of colonization, Terraforming Towers seem to release stores of oxygen into an atmosphere, as well as purify any elements in an atmosphere that would be harmful to humans, then releasing useful elements that are beneficial to terraforming as a result.
In such an inhospitable world like New Madrid, the loss of even one Terraforming Tower would cause the planet's oxygen content to plummet. Death by asphyxiation would follow shortly afterwards in those that are not properly protected.
A Terraforming Tower was seized by the rogue army of supersoldiers, the Orion's Spear, on New Madrid during the Spear Crisis, in the Spear's campaign to terrorize the United States Empire. The Spear had originally intended to pump a lethal toxin directly into the tower, causing it to release the toxin into New Madrid's atmosphere, killing millions of colonists. However, that plan was thwarted by General Stone's 8th Armored Infantry Division when the elite 1st Recon Platoon discovered their plans, allowing them to locate and destroy the Spear's entire store of toxins as well as kill the leader of the operation, Decimus.
Their first plan having failed, the remaining Spear forces were ordered by their leader, General Salvador, to simply destroy the tower by disabling its coolant systems and causing it to overload, killing New Madrid's millions of colonists by asphyxiation instead. Fortunately, this plan was thwarted when, supported by a massive USIF assault, 1st Recon Platoon managed to fight its way into the Terraforming Tower. In a climactic one-on-one battle, General Salvador was killed by 1st Recon leader Captain Corde, who also managed to reactivate the Tower's coolant systems before it could overload, keeping the Tower intact.
With the gravest threat to the Tower eliminated, the remaining Spear forces were wiped out by the USIF, preserving other Terraforming Towers and saving New Madrid's colonists.