Willie Pete, is this accurate?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by nursetim, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    That reminded me of a funny. My quote above was the REQUIRED standard answer when asked if there was a nuke loaded on the missile; “ I can neither confirm nor deny that there is a nuclear warhead on the missile “.

    Crews sometimes had to host tours at the site; the local Chamber of Commerce, Ladies Club, Boy Scouts, etc. Of course everyone always asked “ The Question “ and you always answered with the standard “ I can neither confirm nor deny . . . “.

    Once, a shooting buddy of mine was hosting the Officers Wives Club for a tour of the site. The AF in their infinite wisdom thought the wives should see what their husbands did while they were away on alert. Fred was an irreverent SOB. He was giving the safety briefing before taking them out to see the missile and at the end asked if there were any questions. Of course, one wife asked “ the question “ and Fred answered with the standard AF answer. If he had held it at that, he would have been golden.

    However, Fred added his own little bit and said, “ but I can tell you one thing; it is a real crowd killer. “

    :rofl:

    Of course, the Wing Commander immediate heard about it and Fred was busted down to Deputy Commander for what the Wing Commander said was some much needed retraining. He later upgraded back to a Commander.

    Fred had spent a tour in SEA before coming to missiles, but he and SAC just did not get along. Later Fred left the AF and joined the Border Patrol on the Texas border eventually working at FLETC as a firearms instructor.

    He died a few years ago.

    RIP, my friend.

    :flag:
     
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  2. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    And I bet you thought Missilemen had no sense of humor.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA66cxQqCAU&list=PLxm3_XwBZAzMtRV6ORTMmQHU9gA4DMCo1&index=4

    I was driving way out to November A trip of a hundred or so Fighting the wind and the weather The wind and the rain and the snow I stayed awake through the briefings Though my bloodshot eyes could not see I've heard the same thing for the past eight months: "Let's get ready for the IG!"

    And nothing's too good for the missile-men, and nothing is just what we get The pilots get all the gravy, the missile-men get all the grit!

    I picked up my truck at the motor pool And drove for the rising sun With luck and a hell of a tailwind I'll be there before day is done I headed way out to the boonies Where mere mortals dare not tread 'Cause the missile-men guard the country While the pilots are shacked up in bed!

    And nothing's too good for the missile-men, and nothing is just what we get The pilots get all the gravy, the missile-men get all the grit!

    I asked the DO, "Where's November?" His answer, it gave me a fright "Just drive to the edge of the world," he said, "And when you get there, hang a right!" I drove 'til my gas tank was empy I drove 'til I ran out of gas To the left or the right, not a soul could be seen So I lay down to die in the grass

    And nothing's too good for the missile-men, and nothing is just what we get The pilots get all the gravy, the missile-men get all the grit!

    I shimmied the pole up to Heaven Ah, listen to what I do tell When I saw the SAC fist on the pearly gate I thought I was surely in Hell! St. Peter was watching me struggle He threw back his head and he laughed He said, "Everyone else rides the elevator, but missile-men still get the shaft!"

    And nothing's too good for the missile-men, and nothing is just what we get The pilots get all the gravy, the missile-men get all the grit!

    And nothing's too good for the missile-men, and nothing is just what we get The pilots get all the gravy, the missile-men get all the grit!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019

  3. aircarver

    aircarver Descent Terminated Silver Member

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    :rofl:
     
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  4. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    I never had a pocket rocket. Just radiator wings. But when I was assigned to the Air Division, I did attend the Staff Officer Missile course at Vandenberg. And I got to go out to one of your sites at Little Rock, and look around at what you guys did.

    Didn't look like as much fun as what I did.
     
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  5. Tomcat1977

    Tomcat1977

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    I was probably one of the few sky cops that somehow avoided northern tier AND SAC for my 4 year enlistment. I didn't plan it that way it just worked out that way.

    But you know when you work around these weapons you can really get used to them and while you never take their safety lightly it does become like "another day in the office".

    A big player you never hear about is Sandia Labs in N.M. at KirtLand AFB. While you can't visit the Labs they have a "nuclear museum" at KirtLand that tells the story of special weapons development and its worth a visit if your in the area.

    The Titan ll's may have been old but they scared the bejeezuz out of the commies cause they were the first ICBM that could be fueled and launched in the silo very quickly and they had a hell of a bang on the other end. Also they were accurate, "very", for the time. I was at a Titan base but didn't work missile's tho I knew guys that did.

    I knew a few guys who went out to Damascus in '80. I went for a Long TDY right after it and up until I read the book "Command and Control" I never knew all the facts. SAC meant business and guys weren't talking.
     
  6. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Of course, Titan II was already fueled and ready to go 58 seconds after key turn. One of the downsides of storable propellants was, of course, Damascus. Atlas and even Titan I both had to be raised and then fueled ; a relative long process that exposed the un-hardened missile for about an hour before it could be launched. The liquid oxygen was also not easy to work with, but they were no where near as dangerous as the Titan II propellants.

    BTW, were you at Little Rock when the one security guard accidentally shot his partner with an M-16 taking it out of the vehicle at one of the sites? IIRC, he survived a chest shot.
     
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  7. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    This was a group of Minuteman crew members. They put out an album of songs about missile duty, all of them funny as hell ( to a missile crew member ).

    Someone posted all the songs on YouTube under their name.
     
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  8. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

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    That explains it. I started in '92.
     
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  9. Tomcat1977

    Tomcat1977

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    I don't remember it, then again I was assigned to MAC. He wasn't supposed to even have a round racked tho except for emergency's. I remember a few fools playing around with their rifles however.

    Like I said a spent a long time TDY in the S/W convoying.
     
  10. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    happened in the early 70's before I got there.
     
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  11. The Fist Of Goodness

    The Fist Of Goodness

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    And not a light switch in sight.
     
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  12. The Fist Of Goodness

    The Fist Of Goodness

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    My dad was stationed at Sandia Base in an MI unit after Vietnam. One of his duties was to collect the "mail" from a PO Box in Albuquerque in civvies. All of the mail going to this box was in brown wrappers. His unit would scan the personal section of the magazines in the brown wrappers to look for potential security risks among the scientists and others with clearances who might be compromised due to their alternative lifestyle (not that there was anything wrong with that.)

    He also spent several months in Greenland at a B52 crash site providing security to the Norwegian crew digging up the payloads. Many of the Norwegians later died from exposure to the radioactive material.
     
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  13. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    I used to pull alert with the AC of that crash (after the crash of course). Interesting experience being able to talk to him personally.
     
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  14. IamtheNRA

    IamtheNRA

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    So, if the missile accidentally launched during a drill, was it targeted for the open ocean, or would that have been World War III?
     
  15. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    He told you the answer yo such questions.
    "I can neither confirm, or deny that..."
     
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  16. GVIFlyer

    GVIFlyer Senior Member

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    Our avowed targeting policy of “second-strike counterforce” made little sense to me. On the face of it, we would be firing at empty silos.

    Because of the relative inaccuracy of their strategic arms, for most of the Cold War the Russians had a “first strike - counter city” targeting policy.

    Strategic arms are a very difficult target. They can be hidden. They can be hardened. They can be mobile. On the other hand, cities are relatively soft targets, they are difficult to hide and they move very slowly.
     
  17. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    It was not targeted for the open ocean.
     
  18. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    The only thing that probably stopped them was MAD and the relative inaccuracy of their missiles when I was involved. They tried to make up for inaccuracy with much bigger weapons, but in a lot of cases, a miss is still a miss against hardened targets leaving enough for a retaliatory strike.

    MAD and launch on warning probably convinced them it was a fool's errand to target our cities, since they knew theirs would be hit soon after.

    OTOH, they aren't called " Crazy Russians " for no reason.


    An airburst centered on Moscow with a Titan.

    moscow.PNG

    EDIT: for NukeMap
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  19. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    When you double the megatons, you don't get nearly double the damage. It's a logarithmic function. There's an unclassified chart around somewhere.
     
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  20. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    True. Don’t quote me, but, IIRC, the Titan silo was built to 10,000 psi specs. The biggest Russian weapon had to land about a mile away to break the missile. Since, the CEP of some of their missiles was as bad as 5000 meters, they told us that was a fair chance we would not be smashed like a bug. We never did find out if that was a snow job or not. ;)

    Russian CEP’s have gotten much better since then of course. I would not want be be in a Titan type silo where you were right next to your missile now.

    It would also depend on wether it was a ground burst or an air burst. A ground burst would maximize the damage to underground facilities and an air burst would maximize damage to above ground installations due to the Mach Stem effect. There is an optimum height to maximize the Mach Stem depending on the size of the weapon. For instance, the 9+ MT W-53 was about 6500 feet in altitude.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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