New Book

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Re: New Book

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:53 pm

Dang it, lost track. That was my 570th Arizona Heavy Missiles Squadron post. This is my 571st, and last numbered by me; no more squadrons to salute.
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Re: New Book

Postby silo warrior on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:09 am

TerrorOfTucson wrote:Major G, what did you think of the Dual-Qualified program Col. Wallace installed? Dick Duncan told me he liked it. How were the evals done? Did you spend time in each chair? I thought it was nuts, but my opinion carried no weight. And, do you know, or recall, how long that lasted after Wallace went to 15AF?


For and old TITAN guy what was the Dual Qualified program. Were both Crew Members qualified to be either a MCCC or DMCCC ?

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Re: New Book

Postby Capt. Bill on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:41 am

I know when I was a deputy in MM I with 24 hour alerts I spent more time in the commander's chair than I did in the deputy's chair. I think if most deputies were to switch places with a commander who never been a deputy they would do a better job on a check.
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Re: New Book

Postby MajorG1000 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:15 am

Ok then. Dual Qualified was a program implemented for the alert pulling shops; DOV and DOTI. This meant that as an instructor crew, you could pull alert as the DMCCC or MCCC, as there weren't points given or credit ascertained by being one or the other, it didn't matter which chair you sat in. Everyone who was hired into the shops was qualified as a MCCC. You took your check as a DMCCC to acquire your "Dual Qualified" rating; which was required in order to be an instructor or an evaluator. I don't remember taking a check as an instructor other than my dual qualified check. I don't remember swapping chairs during the check. That would seem to be a sure way to drop some status and ensure a bust. As an instructor on the floor of the MPT, I believe there was only one at any given time. One on the floor, and one in the cab with the MPTO. I don't remember if there were any special requirements for the evaluators, but I would imagine that an evaluator could give a check ride in either position. Having come onto crew after the full implementation of Dual Qualified, I didn't know anything different. It was what it was; although I do remember hearing griping about it being changed from the old heads. I liked it, and here's why: The people who instructed or evaluated you had a minimum of a year and a half to two years honing their profession. Those deputies who were made instructors or evaluators in my mind would have lacked the credibility and knowledge required to be in the shops. The flip side of the coin of course is that you learned a tremendous amount of Weapon System stuff once you were hired by DOTI or DOV, and of course having the opportunity to be in a shop as both a Deputy and Commander gave you access to BOTH shops during your time on crew. As I said; it was what it was. I had a great time as an instructor, and wouldn't have traded that experience for the world.
Oh, one other thing was that as a standby, you could relieve either Commander or Deputy, which made scheduling a bit easier, I suppose.
Last edited by MajorG1000 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Book

Postby MajorG1000 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:22 am

Every Deputy I know, myself included always sat in the Commander's chair when the Commander was sleeping. You could silence most of the alarms easiest from that position, and it was easier to kick back with your feet up on the Shocks sitting there. Either way, you had to get up when messages came across...at least I did. I was just too scared of missing something or screwing something up to physically silence any of the Alarms.
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Re: New Book

Postby Capt. Bill on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:35 am

MajorG1000 wrote:Every Deputy I know, myself included always sat in the Commander's chair when the Commander was sleeping. You could silence most of the alarms easiest from that position, and it was easier to kick back with your feet up on the Shocks sitting there. Either way, you had to get up when messages came across...at least I did. I was just too scared of missing something or screwing something up to physically silence any of the Alarms.


You had to sit in the commanders chair to see the Missile status panel and have access to the HF radio. SFLCS was the worst, we put toilet paper in it until they put a Cannon plug cover over it with small holes. SACCS was bad because it was across from the bunk. we used a ruler and a code pad to silence it. You didn't miss a message though because you could hear when the SACCS printed.
MM I, DMCCC 741st, 742nd SMS Oct 69 - Oct 71 3 HQs and a Select Crew rating
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Re: New Book

Postby MajorG1000 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:44 am

I remember the red cannon plug with the holes...some people even stuffed that with toilet paper. My god that was an annoying high pitched "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" I was one of those people who could sleep through almost anything. They changed out the SACCS machine while I was on crew. The New SACCS was much better, and didn't jam like the old one. I never slept through an Alarm Number Two though... I wish I slept that well now.
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Re: New Book

Postby Capt. Bill on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:03 am

When I started in 1969 the SLFCS alarm, which a fixed 1,000 HZ tone, did have the Cannon plug cover. We unscrews the cover and put toilet paper in it.
MM I, DMCCC 741st, 742nd SMS Oct 69 - Oct 71 3 HQs and a Select Crew rating
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Re: New Book

Postby PASMAN II on Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:18 pm

Capt. Bill wrote:When I started in 1969 the SLFCS alarm, which a fixed 1,000 HZ tone, did have the Cannon plug cover. We unscrews the cover and put toilet paper in it.


Heh! All missileers should automatically qualify with the VA for tinnitus and hearing loss due to the constant load alarms, SDR, motor generator, etc. Many, if not all, missileers practiced some form of alarm muffler to alarm silencer. on a daily basis. I have seen it all- toilet paper in the SLFCS cap plug, golf tees in the junction box, rulers/magazines and code pads on the SACCS reset button, you name it. To my knowledge, no crews were ever reported to higher-ups for any unauthorized alarm silencing/modification. I've changed over with DOV & DOT crews (who both only pulled 2 alerts a month) and even they did this stuff. Think how much worse the noise effect was for line crews pulling 8+ alerts a month.

My point is, the alarm silencing modifications were considered unwritten "field procedures" by Crewdogs. On the one hand, yes, these field procedures violated technical orders. On the other hand, these field procedures also helped protect the Crewdog's sanity. What eventually evolved was an unwritten pact among Crewdogs- certain "alarm silencing" field procedures would be tolerated, and even encouraged. This was one single crew-wide activity that was protected by a form of omerta. No Crewdog really talked about silencing alarms outside of the launch control center. During changeover, if the on-comming crew found golf tees in the junction box, they either laughed about it or gave the old crew a lot of s*** over it- nothing left the capsule. Every crew was supposed to police themselves, and most did.

The bottom line is, this breaking of technical orders, this illegal activity, this cheating, this (whatever you want to call it) was tolerated (and even encouraged) by Crewdogs because pulling an alert was intolerable without it. It's that simple. Higher-up knew nothing about it (or looked the other way) so the highest ranking Officer pulling alerts was a Captain (usually). All the squadron and wing managers (Major thru Colonel) were unqualified to pull alerts- and (for the most part) they did their alert time and didn't want to even get close to a launch control center for more than a short visit/inspection.

My final point is that nothing we say will ever qualify as an acceptable "excuse" for silencing alarms. My hope is that Jack Weinstein (and others) will remember what it was like to pull alerts. Maybe part of the fix is to just beat the hell out of every guilty Crewdog and start over. I hope not. But if we do end up starting over like that, I want them (Jack, et al) to consider initiating something: create a new office that Crewdogs can go to to help them deal with these type of situations before they mushroom into a giant clusterfuck. It has to be an office that will not punish Crewdogs for disclosing stuff. And don't give me the same old s*** about how that is the squadron commanders job. This new office must be outside the immediate chain-o-command, and actually have the authority to take some meaningful action(s).

Last but not least- implement Alert Pay ASAP. I have been pushing for this for decades. Do it. It is the right thing to do.
Bob

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Re: New Book

Postby Capt. Bill on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:43 pm

Toilet paper in the SLFCS muffled the sound but you could still hear it. Ruler and code pad did silence the SACCS alarm on the original system. But as I remember you couldn't hear the SACCS alarm until it stopped printing.
MM I, DMCCC 741st, 742nd SMS Oct 69 - Oct 71 3 HQs and a Select Crew rating
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Re: New Book

Postby rkfoos on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:33 pm

On the subject of dual qualified crew members, I think it was the best thing ever. As you can see from my timeline in my signature block, I was dual qualified for the better part of my time at Minot. In addition to dual-qualified, all of the instructors and evaluators at that time also had to be ACP qualified. This gave the scheduler a huge amount of flexibility. While in both shops we had "normal" crew pairings, we could also do "split" alerts at will. We even did split DOTI/DOV alerts, although that was not as common. The only real distinction was which crew member signed for the alert on the Commander's line. While in the shop, everyone got thier annual check as well as monthly trainer rides. Usually the Senior Evaluator crew gave those checks.

As for the "behind the blast door" crew procedures, everyone had them and used them when needed. I think everyone understood that the "procedures" could do no damage to the capsule equipment. There were times though when I assumed an alert and found strangely bent paper clips on the floor near the alarm silence button.
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Re: New Book

Postby MajorG1000 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:21 pm

I can honestly say that I never employed the alarm silencing techniques outlined in the above posts. I also never removed toilet paper from the cannon plug if it were present and placed there by someone else. One could see the nicks on the alarm silence pushbuttons from where people had used paperclips to keep them depressed. I always discouraged my crew partners from silencing alarms, but have no idea what they did when they were no longer crewed with me. I also did not wear the foam or rubber ear plugs except to sleep while on alert. I couldn't hear PAS Traffic when they were in. I am not passing judgement on those who may have employed those techniques to make their alerts more palatable, as I also never turned anyone in for for that. I considered all of us to be professionals and my personal professionalism made me too afraid to miss any status indication. Every other crewmember was just as professional as I was, from what I could tell, and they chose either to silence, or not silence alarmes based upon their own situational awareness. I would never have called the silencing of alarms "cheating", but I am sure I would have had strong words for any crew who missed important status that jeapordized the system because they had slienced an alarm.

...and yes, my hearing sucks now. I am sure it was from my time on crew.
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Re: New Book

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:49 pm

I had four squares of cork ~3/4" for the PAS speakers in Titan. I got a set of shooting earmuffs to wear on alert. I also had a Zippo with Danger tape on it for something that made noise. In MM, I found out about foam earplugs (the AF issue with the pull-out tab never worked for me), and have had a bunch around ever since. I kept them in while sleeping, too. I do not recall using anything to quieten alarms in the LCC. I am amazed that my hearing is as good as it is.
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Re: New Book

Postby silo warrior on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 am

We had covers on both the PAS speakers they were made out of the same material that the sound attenuating panels in the Control Center. Had the red cannon plugs on the 465L and 487L, also had one on the door 6 alarm on LCCFC. Were the 12" long tweezers used for clearing paper jams in the 465L standard issue in SAC or were they something that each wing issued? I remember most DMCCC worst nightmare was a paper change or a paper jam on the 465L during a Standboard.

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Re: New Book

Postby Capt. Bill on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:48 am

You often had a recently promoted captain come in from another field and was crewed with a deputy who had 6 to 18 months experience. The ones who felt since they were the commander and in charge and knew everything but did not rely on their deputy's experience often got in trouble quick.
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