Silly Question - Counting Alerts

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Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby Bill in Missouri on Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:46 pm

I was just wondering when the practice of counting alerts came about. Now I will confess that I am an old dog (75) and my crew days were 1963-1967 (MM1) but I honestly don't know of anybody that counted their alerts back then. Was it some sort of contest or a requirement to qualify for some award? Just wondering.

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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:02 pm

I kept a diary of sorts, wrote down alerts and where. Wife talked me into dumping my records, but I remembered the numbers. Didn't keep track of the Evals, but there were a bunch.

Had a prior-enlisted MCCM work for me--he had something above 800, TII and Deuce.
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby Batman on Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:34 pm

My associates and I never kept track of our alerts or dispatches. We were just glad when they were over.
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby Capt. Bill on Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:39 pm

Bill in Missouri wrote:I was just wondering when the practice of counting alerts came about. Now I will confess that I am an old dog (75) and my crew days were 1963-1967 (MM1) but I honestly don't know of anybody that counted their alerts back then. Was it some sort of contest or a requirement to qualify for some award? Just wondering.

Bill in Missouri


If any counting was done you had to do it yourself. I was 1969 to 1972 and there were no patches or certificates for a certain number. My number is skewed since I spent 2 years in MM I with an average of eight 24 hours alerts a month but then went to MM III where it was an average of five 36 hour alerts a month.
MM I, DMCCC 741st, 742nd SMS Oct 69 - Oct 71 3 HQs and a Select Crew rating
MM III DMCCC, 742nd SMS Oct 71 - Feb 72
MM III MCCC, 742nd SMS Feb 72 - Aug 72
GT 07,08,09GM - Nov 1971 (key turned all three)
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby ornurse362 on Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:42 pm

Counting coup?
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby PASMAN II on Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:35 pm

We counted alerts (usually at a rate of 24 hrs per alert) to be eligible to wear the 100-150-200-250-300+ squadron alert patches. As stated above, some of us had alerts at a rate of more than 24 hours per alert, but nobody seemed to care about tracking the extra hours IIRC.
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby Bill in Missouri on Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:07 pm

PASMAN II wrote:We counted alerts (usually at a rate of 24 hrs per alert) to be eligible to wear the 100-150-200-250-300+ squadron alert patches. As stated above, some of us had alerts at a rate of more than 24 hours per alert, but nobody seemed to care about tracking the extra hours IIRC.


Thanks for the reply. I notice in your sig block the specific number of "Nuclear Alerts". Was there any other kind?

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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:09 pm

You will note I didn't list MMM alerts by 36s and 24s because I didn't note when the change came, and so could not tell at that later date which were which, Not to mention which of the 36s were day alerts and which were night alerts.
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby Capt. Bill on Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:17 pm

When we switched from MM I to MM III at Minot we went from the 24 hour to 36 hour alerts. MM III was really just MM MOD with the G missile and there were factors early on that required both crew members to be awake. I guess you could count a 36 hour alert as 1.5 x a 24 hour alert though you were not in the LCC. People tended to count how many alerts they had left rather than how many they had pulled.
MM I, DMCCC 741st, 742nd SMS Oct 69 - Oct 71 3 HQs and a Select Crew rating
MM III DMCCC, 742nd SMS Oct 71 - Feb 72
MM III MCCC, 742nd SMS Feb 72 - Aug 72
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby FL Transplant on Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:25 am

I knew a couple of folks who made up a tally sheet with fifteen squares labeled “A” through “O” which they taped to their closet door and would make a mark at the completion of an alert at the appropriate site, but that was the most formal trackingI ever knew of. The people who did it just sort of started when they first showed up, to see when they would have pulled an alert at each of the fifteen LCCs, but keeping the sheet up was easy and a habit they fell into. But none of them ever made point to tally up the total number of alerts for milestones.

12X8=96. We didn’t have any trouble knowing how many alerts we had pulled.
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby Capt. Bill on Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:44 am

FL Transplant wrote:I knew a couple of folks who made up a tally sheet with fifteen squares labeled “A” through “O” which they taped to their closet door and would make a mark at the completion of an alert at the appropriate site, but that was the most formal trackingI ever knew of. The people who did it just sort of started when they first showed up, to see when they would have pulled an alert at each of the fifteen LCCs, but keeping the sheet up was easy and a habit they fell into. But none of them ever made point to tally up the total number of alerts for milestones.

12X8=96. We didn’t have any trouble knowing how many alerts we had pulled.


When I started in MM I in 1969 there was a thing called Busy Group Scheduling. Someone realized that you could dissipate either the launch or inhibit codes and cover your tracks. As a result you could only pull alerts in one flight per squadron. If you went to 2nd flight, the LCP had to replaced after your alert.
MM I, DMCCC 741st, 742nd SMS Oct 69 - Oct 71 3 HQs and a Select Crew rating
MM III DMCCC, 742nd SMS Oct 71 - Feb 72
MM III MCCC, 742nd SMS Feb 72 - Aug 72
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:49 am

I had alerts at all 18 of my TIIs and all 15 of my MMMs. Couldn't say for sure, but 0-1 was my home site as a Dep and then as MCCC so I'm pretty sure it had to be the top of my list; Lima-1 for the MMMs as my home site.
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby MajorG1000 on Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:15 am

I had 320 24 hour Alerts at Minot, and one 48 hour alert for a total of 321 Alerts Under North Dakota. I didn't keep a "formal" tracking of my alerts, but I did keep a logbook in my breast pocket (I still have it) of each Alert. It was primarily used for TCC initials and truck number, but I also wrote down other things. A typical entry was written in pencil and would look like this:

Alert to K01 with Chuck Sammon
TCC: AC / RC
Veh No. 79334
Changeover with Boxwell & Blaylock
Mnx on K03 bad OZ
Relieved by Duncan & Morin

From what I remember, the "CrewBear Alerts under North Dakota" didn't start until around 1982, and the patch was designed by Captain Richard "Dick" Farmer of the 742nd. The "original" Minot patch was round with a CrewBear leaning on a missile badge on a yellow background with the words: "100 Missions Under North Dakota" There were no rockers for 200, 300, etc alerts at that time. A later series of patches was made with the same design and the words: "Missions Under North Dakota", and came with rockers that extended 1/3rd of the way around the badge so you could display 100, 200 and 300 mission rockers. Since my time on crew was done under the "Dual Qualified" System, and Deputies didn't go to the shop, I believe the average number of alerts pulled would be around 300 for a four year tour.
I do remember a guy in my Squadron, Bob Doyle who said he had pulled over 365, or "One Year" Under North Dakota, but I have no proof that he actually did.

I had 15 DOV Evaluations while at Minot. Four of them were HQ. One was a Bust. The one I busted was given to me by Dick Duncan and Jay Morin. Jay Morin's last script before he left was known as "The Death Script". I don't know if that was the script I busted on, but I do remember meeting up with Dick Duncan while TDY to HQ SAC. We got to talking...he wasn't very much of a conversationalist, but I said to him:
"You know, the only ride I ever busted was given by you and Morin."
He asked: "Did you deserve it?"
I said: "Yep."
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby rkfoos on Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:22 pm

Bob -

Pheww ... Glad it wasn't me who gave you the bust. I had a string of bad checks given to 742nd crews when I was in DOV. Did not like that. Especially did not like a bust in the field - had two of those.

Anyhow, I have on my bulletin board here at the office my 100 mission patch; I don't think I made it to 200. I did however pull an alert at every LCC at Minot (as the DOV scheduler I made sure to fill out the set before I left).
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Re: Silly Question - Counting Alerts

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:11 pm

At D-M in the early '80s, I saw a Command Master Buffer patch, 6 or 8" diameter, with a floor buffer, a star and wreath atop the handles, and text "3000 Hours Behind The Buffer". Having janitored part-time in high school, in basic, and my TII alerts, I got lots of time behind a buffer. I'd really like to have one of those patches.
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