Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman console?

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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:35 pm

Thanks, Maj G; I go over there every other week or so, randomly, just to check for updates. I see the new post is not yet up.
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:53 am

That story is up at Mollison's; it's a humdinger! Go read it!
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby DataDude on Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:16 pm

MajorG1000 wrote:That IS a great story! So...did you guys ever determine if it was propellant, or just a rabbit turd from a Jackalope?

...a bit off the subject, but not really. I had a talk with John Mollison this evening after reading his latest blog entry. (I get to read them prior to them being put out for general consumption, and I get to make comments on them too...not that he listens...) I mentioned that he needs to sit down with us sometime and get some of OUR stories... Sure, they aren't combat, edge of the seat tales, but we accumulated a lot of stories, that taken as a group are worth having written down. Like this one. Put that in the back of your minds as something to think about. We all know we have them...stories that is, and there may come a time in the not too distant future where they are actually taken seriously.
There I was, flat on my back, on the cot with the blackout curtain drawn...(ok...maybe not that one...)


It was either solid rocket propellant or petrified scat from the purportedly extinct Pacific Coast Chupacabra. Rumor has it they both have similar flash/explosion points. I personally haven’t seen a Jackalope since driving through Mohall many years ago. Jackalopes are just about as scarce as the rare NoDak Snow-Snake.

I know 95% posts on this little forum are from former ops folk. I enjoy reading, but don’t always agree with, many of the opinions expressed concerning the current state of affairs in the missile community. That’s OK, everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you took a relatively well read individual off the street and had them read some of the posts on this board they wouldn’t have the remotest idea of what was being discussed.

The technical and political aspects of developing, deploying, maintaining and operating the Atlas, Titan and Minuteman ICBM fleet has been well documented. From my perspective there is a huge gap in documenting the human side of the equation. Maverick and Goose aren’t sitting on alert and Chris Kyle is not roaming the missile field “offing” the bad guys. Ops guys and gals don’t get medals for not turning keys and maintenance folks don’t get medals for now blowing things up. I’d like to know, for instance, what is it like to be sitting on alert and you get a call about someone that has gotten themselves injured (or worse) while you’re on duty? For those of you that were in the fleet in October of ’73, how did you feel about the events in the Middle East at the time? I know what I was thinking but I’d like to hear some other perspectives. How did you feel when you knew your wife wanted to get pregnant and expected you to be there but you were stuck 60-80’ below grade because road conditions were red?

Maintenance guys have it a bit easier when it comes to anecdotes and war stories. Just the physical act of preparing for a dispatch, driving a hundred miles in crappy weather, getting diverted, etc., can sometimes make for some interesting camp fire stories. Some of these stories are funny as hell and, unfortunately, some have tragic endings. I tend to focus on the funny and/or interesting aspects of my previous life. Here is a short list of things I’ve personally experienced or know about:

• The congressman and the three legged ground squirrel (Dak Rat)
• An EMT troop going into anaphylactic shock from wiping his butt will shop rags
• A Security Escort executing a cow with 20 rounds from an M-16
• A Ward County deputy sheriff being disarmed and arrested by AF security escort
• An MMT team dressing out a deer in a PT van on the way back from site
• Watching the capsule crew at H01 get big droopy puppy dog eyes because they wanted something we had
• Open cans of tuna and PSRE leaks
• Riding a launch tube work cage with a massively overweight Undersecretary of Defense for Atomic Energy Affairs

And the list goes on and on…
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:34 pm

Yes, Data, most of us do seem to be Ops guys, but that means maintenance stories are new, new, NEW to us, and enjoyable. Even we Titan guys generally had little idea what the mnx guys did out in the silo, regardless of what they told us during the maintenance briefing.
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby bedbug on Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:26 am

Our crew was one of the first 3 instructor crews in the 570th. The BMAT or I went out with almost every work party that came while we were on duty. Recorded what was done how they new it needed repair and how crews could detect the problem before the equipment actually broke down. Wrote it all up in a report the MCCC maintained. We based a lot of crew training on the info. we collected.
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby MajorG1000 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:21 pm

Several things in answer to datdude's post. I spent a couple of years at Ellsworth in the 44th DCM as a maintenance officer. Most of my trips to the field with MMT or EMT were pretty non-descript as those guys knew what they were doing, and didn't have any accidents or screw-ups...at least not while I was watching. Maintenance guys and gals would probably see the same things from the Ops people as we tend to keep the "no s***" stories within our own groups. I don't have too many stories from my maintenance days other than Major Bill Bollock's hunting trip where he bagged the rare "White Faced Buck" while hunting on some cattle rancher's land...
Crew Stories I have a T.O Bag full of. The most intense was probably the suspected PSRE Leak at one of my Missiles. The Maintenance Team team processed on site, dropped the B-Plug and entered the launch tube. It was then that they smelled "rotting fish". They pulled out their "sniffer" to check for MMH and it read "high". They called us and that's when the fun began. From that moment until the termination of the problem it was assholes and elbows in the capsule. I don't remember much, but I DO remember that all my training, all the scenarios in the MPT and all the reading of the regs made it seem as though we had an error free Standboard. Everything went just like it was supposed to: The evacuation and backing the team off site, the ART/SRT and local police response, Cordoning off the area and closing of all access roads until the Haz-Mat team could enter the site and determine that it was just a bunny who had decided to make that particular launch tube his final resting place. From that moment in my career onward, Training became the key to success in the world of the SIOP. There wasn't really time to "think" about what we were doing, but instict and training took over. I am not normally a person whom you would associate the term "flawless" with. This time however...
Last edited by MajorG1000 on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby DataDude on Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:53 pm

Was sitting in a classroom in the PRIDE building at Minot early one Sunday afternoon taking a class in how to market left hand muffler bearings or some such nonsense from one of Central Michigan’s imported professors. In walks the class coordinator and whispers something to Major Geib, the OMS chief (EMT, MMT and MHT) and my boss’s boss who was taking the same class. He walks out to take a phone call. In a few minutes he returns and hands me a note saying:

PSRE leak – K03 – Gotta go – take good notes

I asked him if he wanted me to go with him and he said, “No, just go into the shop after class.” Roger that.

After the class was over I went directly to Job Control where the DCM was about one notch shy of going apoplectic on everyone within ½ a mile. Long story short, an EMT team had penetrated the site and noticed a strong “fishy” smell. You know the drill. If you even think there might be a propellant leak you back out, notify the capsule crew and job control. The team started the B-Plug up and got on the radio and notified the crew at K01 as well as Job Control. Job ran their checklist and initiated a possible dull sword. The dudes with the sniffers and spiffy plastic suits choppered to site where they worked with the on site team. They didn’t detect any propellant leaks. They did, however, find two cans of open cans of salmon sitting next to the B-Plug screw.

After a little research we found out the last team to penetrate the site. The DCM said he wanted that *%@*^ ? son of a *@^*?! In front of him in an hour. I said, “Sir, that’s gonna be a little tough. SrA “Smith” is in California right now. He outprocessed two weeks ago.

A couple of things came out of that incident. First is the on-site security escort had a full blown meltdown panic attack. The EMT team actually took his weapon away from him and he had to be relieved by the SAT team. Second, there was a long discussion about what could possibly be done to hold SrA “Smith” accountable. I told Major Geib that I was pretty familiar with 21M-LBM30G-2-1 (Penetration and Back out) and SACR66-12, Vol 6 (The SAC Minuteman maintenance bible) and I didn’t recall any mention of the word “salmon”, “tuna”, or any other aquatic creature.

Regardless of the cause of the “incident” we all agreed it was an excellent training exercise in real world conditions. Just leave the salmon at home.
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:30 pm

GREATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT Story!
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby MajorG1000 on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:21 pm

I actually laughed out loud at the two cans of tuna. Somebody knew exactly what they were doing and how to get the biggest bang for the buck.
We all know there are literally hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of great stories...from tongue in cheek humor all the way up to life threateningly serious. "When I was on crew..." is often the beginning of a great adventure, and unfortunately, as time marches on, we are losing those stories because they haven't been written down somewhere. Maybe the AAFM could start a "When I was on crew" Project much like the Story Corp or the National Holocaust Museum's collection of audio and video recordings from survivors.
Many of you guys have seen much more than I have, but one thing I am sure we can all say is: "It went by so fast!" It certainly has for me, and time doesn't seem to be slowing down any.
I will start posting mor of my ramblings and rememberances as I clean the cobwebs from the deep dark recesses of my mind.
My wife and kids have heard all of them and pretty much tune me out now...

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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby Capt. Bill on Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:16 pm

Slide-0493.jpg


1969 to 1972 we had two round metal ashtrays in the LCC. You can see my commander using one at the MCCC console
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MM I, DMCCC 741st, 742nd SMS Oct 69 - Oct 71 3 HQs and a Select Crew rating
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby MajorG1000 on Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:27 pm

Interesting picture....on many different levels.
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:50 am

OK, CAPT! What year? ACP? That panel to the left of the MSIP is not like the ones I used '75-'78--what is it?
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby Capt. Bill on Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:23 am

TerrorOfTucson wrote:OK, CAPT! What year? ACP? That panel to the left of the MSIP is not like the ones I used '75-'78--what is it?

It is 1971 and a MM I console, It is Oscar at Minot and not ACP or SCP. The panel is different because yours was MM MOD. In MM I there was no way to monitor the other flights.

Here is another picture of the MM I Console. I resized this one


MCCC Console resize.jpg
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:51 pm

Thanks! I saw that NAFH speaker and thought "ACP". Should have suspected MMI.
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Re: Random question of the night: ashtrays in Minuteman cons

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:54 pm

Somehow I never thought to take my camera out on alert; kinda wish I had.
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