Minuteman I post-strike scenario

For general discussion with your fellow Minuteman I crewdogs, maintainers and cops. Formerly Based at Ellsworth AFB, SD, Malmstrom AFB, MT, Minot AFB, ND, Whiteman AFB, MO, F. E Warren AFB, WY. On alert frm 22 Oct 1962 to 27 Sep 1974. Share your stories and meet up with an old friend.

Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby Weapons Loader on Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:08 am

DISCLAIMER: It is my understanding the current launch/enable architecture is dramatically different and more controllable/flexible than the first Minuteman missiles, making this scenario impossible to occur today, and therefore, safe to talk about without revealing anything about current ops.

The A and B model missiles, lacking the launch enable panel of the F and G models were kept safe (disenabled) by an electrical tone generated by the parent Launch Control Center (LCC).

In the event of a Soviet first strike, lets say Alpha and Bravo LCC survive, Charlie, Delta, and Echo being destroyed. Therefore, C-D-E flight missiles automatically enable, having their tones interuppted by their parent LCC's destruction.

Next, Alpha and Bravo flights are commanded to launch a specific number of their sorties. Since the 50 missiles are all cabled together, doesn't it mean Alpha and Bravo will also launch the other 30 enabled C-D-E sorties along with the commanded Alpha and Bravo sorties? Also, Alpha and Bravo can't access C-D-E sorties to reprogram Target 1 and Target 2. This seems like a risky situation, having extra missiles launch than what's commanded, to possibly unintended targets!


-Thanks in advance.
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Re: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby Capt. Bill on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:50 pm

I am sure it was a case of at least getting them out of the hole and not just having them sit there. MM I only had two targets but both were valid targets
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Re: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby PointSalJim on Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:31 pm

If I recall correctly, all launch commands were all call messages, and so were retransmitted through the hardened cable network to every LF. And if any LCC were destroyed, it stopped generating the safe tone, thereby driving the safety control switch in its LF's to the armed position. That just enabled a launch command to get through.

I don't recall much talk in those days of anything less than a full strike. Not that I was privy to any such considerations, but nobody seemed to be contemplating the launch of only a few selected missiles as a response to a first strike. If a LCC were wiped out, the thought was to not let that fact keep its missiles from being launched.

(I have to chuckle when I think of the additional safeguards in place now compared to the very earliest days of the Minuteman I. The first crews, I believe, wore their keys around their necks on a chain, making it pretty easy to swap out with an incoming crew! No red safe then!)
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Re: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby Capt. Bill on Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:30 am

Minuteman I had what was called enabledswitches that became the VRSA reset in the MOD system. I believe they simply interrupted the safe tone to the LF. Each LF was interconnected to from 1 to 3 other LFs in the squadron. If only one LCC was up you had to pull circuit breakers to isolate the LCC from the LFs so ALCC could get in. While we had no normal reason to access it, the -1 T.O. had a complete listing of the LF interconnectivity.
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: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby 3901smes on Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:57 pm

I don't believe MMI had ALCC. ALCC came alone during MMII. The ONLY way to launch MMI was by LCC.
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Re: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby Capt. Bill on Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:05 am

3901smes wrote:I don't believe MMI had ALCC. ALCC came alone during MMII. The ONLY way to launch MMI was by LCC.


Oh yes we did in MM I. I spent two years in MM I, mid 1969 to mid 1971, at Minot when Minot and Warren were the last two MM I wings. It came about in late 1969. The MM 1 -1 T.O. has procedures for ALCC test and launch procedure. It was not related to MM II or MOD but part of the UHFR mod and went to all the wings.
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: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby SAC Killer on Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:49 pm

Guys, please don't get confused between MMI weapon system (WS-133A) and MMI missile (LGM-30A and LGM-30B). I believe Minot and Warren were the last wings to have the LGM-30B (I think LGM-30A was only deployed to Malmstrom), but they were operated with the Minuteman Modernized weapon system, WS-133A-M. Both wings got later models of the bird: LGM-30F at Warren and LGM-30G at Minot.
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Re: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby Capt. Bill on Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:47 pm

SAC Killer wrote:Guys, please don't get confused between MMI weapon system (WS-133A) and MMI missile (LGM-30A and LGM-30B). I believe Minot and Warren were the last wings to have the LGM-30B (I think LGM-30A was only deployed to Malmstrom), but they were operated with the Minuteman Modernized weapon system, WS-133A-M. Both wings got later models of the bird: LGM-30F at Warren and LGM-30G at Minot.


I am not sure which post has the confusion. I can give details about MM I, MMM and LGM-30B and LGM-30G since I was at Minot during the change over. Yes Minot and Warren were the last two wings to have the B missile. In fact the same -1 T.O. covered with both wings with minor differences. We did not operate the B missile with the MOD system, it used the original monitor only your missiles system. Hotel flight at Minot went down in Jan 1970 for the upgrade. After Minot was finished it was done at Warren. At Minot we got the MOD system and the G missile at the same time but not CDB. Neither Minot or Warren ever had the F missile. While it was called Minuteman III, it was the actually MOD system with the G missile. In fact my upgrade certificates when I moved to MM III say either MMM or MM MOD.

The term Minuteman II is confusing too. It was not a system but actually referred to the F missile. It was controlled with either the MOD system or the Deuce system.
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: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:09 am

As in the old toast, "Confusion to the enemy!" (As well as us.)

I was on leave, stopped in at McConnell's O Club, got into a discussion with an Air Defense guy. He asked how many alerts I had each month. "Eight", the standard for line crews. He was appalled! Seems our "alerts" and his "alerts" were vastly different, his being "The Russians Are Coming!" Every now and then, we find that we use the same word for non-similar situations and conditions.

I left WAFB for 15AF, where MMM stood for M's (can't remember that General's name) Measures of Merit. I do remember the CoS, BGen Pintard Magruder Dyer III, once referred to at a HQ party as Magruder Without An H. (Think about it. Ask privately if you don't get it.)
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Re: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby Capt. Bill on Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:20 am

An average of 8 a month was standard for us too in MM I. When MM III came and with 36 hour alerts the number was 5. When MM III was coming on alert at Minot there were a lot of crews trained but not many alert spots. So crews were pulling a couple of 12 hour alerts a month to stay alert certified.

I remember the bomber crews at Minot were pulling 7 day alerts but they had the run of the base, first in line for everything and conjugal trailers too.
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: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:09 pm

I should have said that my stop at McConnell was during my Titan days. Still, five (36-hour alerts) would still have shocked him.
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Re: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby Capt. Bill on Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:32 pm

What was fun was being one of the last MM I crews at Minot in 1971 when MM III was coming up. You still had your usual 8 alerts a month but because of the reduced number of crews you wound up with being on standby 4-6 times a month also. This was before cell phones and pagers of course so you pretty much staying around home.
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: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:38 pm

I got off crew duty as the ILCS transition was beginning. At that point I no longer paid attention to it, as it did not affect my duties.
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Re: Minuteman I post-strike scenario

Postby SAC Killer on Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:59 pm

At Wing I in the 70s, six 40-hour alerts were the standard for line crews. We learned early on to schedule leave in the middle of the month. If you didn't do that, the schedulers would cram five or six alerts into the rest of the month.
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