Differences between A and B models

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.

Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby hockey85 on Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:50 pm

wblakeney wrote:Doesn't the F missile also count as MM I. It was used with MM II but also MM I wings that had the Mod.


The LGM-30F was the Minuteman II. Grand Forks and then the 564th SMS at Malmstrom (WS-133B made by Sylvania) were the first units to get the Minuteman II, the "F" model. Afterwards, some of the WS-133A Wings (Malmstrom, Ellsworth, and Whiteman) upgraded to the Mod allowing them to swap out the older Minuteman IB's for new Minuteman II's. The wings then became WS-133AM with the M standing for Modernized. The other remaining wings (Minot and FE Warren) upgraded later as well with the Mod, but skipped getting the Minuteman II, and swapped their Minuteman IB's for the "G" Model, or Minuteman III's.

This may be a "dumb" question, but how was it upgrading from Minuteman I to Minuteman III? I know the capsules and some of the ways the weapon system worked didn't really change a whole lot , but I'm sure there were some things where it was like, "Woah, this is new." Was it a big change, or was it pretty much the same with some new things to learn?

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:05 pm

Changing from I to III was not that bad. New equipment was put in the racks but nothing was really that different. Two lights were added to the MSIL and the Alarm Panel was changed because you now had the capability to monitor other flights missiles. The enable switches became VRSA reset switches and we had new procedures but MM I to the Mod was not a major change, you did have to forget somethings from MM I and thats that was not easy. When I left in 1972 we heard that things like Command Data Buffer were coming along with the capability to retarget from the LCC. I am sure that changing from the Boeing LCC to the Sylvania would have been much more difficult.
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
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Weapons Loader on Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:51 pm

Mr Blakeney, since Minuteman I is the least discussed variant of the Minuteman due to its short service life & being retired so long ago, and you're the Minuteman I guru, I have some questions about Minuteman I: (1) What indicator lamps were on the MCCC console? (2) What was the padlocked equipment drawer to the left of the DMCCC console, with the metal bar going across it? (3) Could Minuteman I be launched by the ALCS? (4) Other than provide a dual-key launch vote, how else could one LCC interact with another flight's missiles?...I was surprised to read you couldn't monitor other flights in MMI, I previously thought all LCCs could back-up each others capabilities 100%. (5) On the MCCC's Program Control panel, how did you initiate a program? Minuteman II and III(?) had a separate INITIATE knob on this panel.
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:39 pm

I am also lucky to still have a T. O. 21M-LGM30B-1. Hope this answers your questions.

(1) What indicator lamps were on the MCCC console? There were 10, the Mod added two more
Strategic Alert, Fault, Standby, Armed, Launch Commaded, Launch in Progress, Missile Away, Warhead Alarm, Outer Security Violated, Inner Security Violated

(2) What was the padlocked equipment drawer to the left of the DMCCC console, with the metal bar going across it?
Status Messaging Processing Group Waveform Converter. It had the deputy's cooperative launch switch

(3) Could Minuteman I be launched by the ALCS?
I am not really sure about this. I know that MM III had it when it came to Minot. But I am blurry about whether we had it in MM I but I think we did.

(4) Other than provide a dual-key launch vote, how else could one LCC interact with another flight's missiles?...I was surprised to read you couldn't monitor other flights in MMI, I previously thought all LCCs could back-up each others capabilities 100%.
It took the MOD to have the capability to monitor other LFs in the squadron besides yours. Any info had to be obtained through the LCC Ring comm lines. LFs, LCCs and squadrons were interconnected but only comm and launch and inhibit commands. Each LF was connected to one to three other LFs. This meant that if Oscar-01 sent a launch vote it would go to it's 10 LFs. Then the LFs that were interconnected with November would sent the command to all November LFs then Mike then Lima then Kilo.

(5) On the MCCC's Program Control panel, how did you initiate a program? Minuteman II and III(?) had a separate INITIATE knob on this panel.
The MM I PCP had two knobs, Launcher had position for OFF and LF 2-11 Program had OFF, TGT1, TGT2, CAL(calibrate), TEST and SCNT As I remember you presed the Program knob to initiate the commend.
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: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:57 pm

More on the monitoring. Since no one else could monitor your missiles, if you lost the MSIL due to an equipment malfunction you had to keep all 10 birds in Calibrate mode until the problem was fixed.
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: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:18 am

I found this at http://www.strategic-air-command.com/ba ... ot_AFB.htm

So I guess MM I did have ALCS capabilty, I was not sure since I was in both MM I and MM III.

The 450th Bomb Wing
The inactive 450th Tactical Fighter Wing was redesignated the 450th Bombardment Wing Heavy and activated on November 15, 1962. It was organized February 1, 1963 at Minot AFB, North Dakota, where it replaced the 4136th Strategic Wing. It trained in global bombardment and air refueling operations. Added post attack command and control system (PACCS) airborne launch control system (ALCS) missions in 1967 and began active PACCS/ALCS missions in February 1968.
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: Differences between A and B models

Postby SAC Killer on Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:58 pm

hockey85 wrote:
wblakeney wrote:Doesn't the F missile also count as MM I. It was used with MM II but also MM I wings that had the Mod.


The LGM-30F was the Minuteman II. Grand Forks and then the 564th SMS at Malmstrom (WS-133B made by Sylvania) were the first units to get the Minuteman II, the "F" model. Afterwards, some of the WS-133A Wings (Malmstrom, Ellsworth, and Whiteman) upgraded to the Mod allowing them to swap out the older Minuteman IB's for new Minuteman II's. The wings then became WS-133AM with the M standing for Modified. The other remaining wings (Minot and FE Warren) upgraded later as well with the Mod, but skipped getting the Minuteman II, and swapped their Minuteman IB's for the "G" Model, or Minuteman III's.

This may be a "dumb" question, but how was it upgrading from Minuteman I to Minuteman III? I know the capsules and some of the ways the weapon system worked didn't really change a whole lot , but I'm sure there were some things where it was like, "Woah, this is new." Was it a big change, or was it pretty much the same with some new things to learn?

Cory


Um, to be very picky and technical, in WS-133A/M, note the slash, the "M" stood for "modernized," not "modified."
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:14 am

I am an engineer, so I am technical and picky (drives my wife crazy). Yup it was Modernized not Modified. I guess models C, D, and E were development and test models.
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: Differences between A and B models

Postby hockey85 on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:44 am

SAC Killer wrote:
hockey85 wrote:
wblakeney wrote:Doesn't the F missile also count as MM I. It was used with MM II but also MM I wings that had the Mod.


The LGM-30F was the Minuteman II. Grand Forks and then the 564th SMS at Malmstrom (WS-133B made by Sylvania) were the first units to get the Minuteman II, the "F" model. Afterwards, some of the WS-133A Wings (Malmstrom, Ellsworth, and Whiteman) upgraded to the Mod allowing them to swap out the older Minuteman IB's for new Minuteman II's. The wings then became WS-133AM with the M standing for Modified. The other remaining wings (Minot and FE Warren) upgraded later as well with the Mod, but skipped getting the Minuteman II, and swapped their Minuteman IB's for the "G" Model, or Minuteman III's.

This may be a "dumb" question, but how was it upgrading from Minuteman I to Minuteman III? I know the capsules and some of the ways the weapon system worked didn't really change a whole lot , but I'm sure there were some things where it was like, "Woah, this is new." Was it a big change, or was it pretty much the same with some new things to learn?

Cory


Um, to be very picky and technical, in WS-133A/M, note the slash, the "M" stood for "modernized," not "modified."



Sorry, I was typing fast and made a typo. I corrected the mistake in the original post.

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:11 am

SAC Killer wrote:Um, to be very picky and technical, in WS-133A/M, note the slash, the "M" stood for "modernized," not "modified."


I just happened to look at a Certificate of Training I got in May 1971 so I could pull alerts at Mike which was the primary SCP. It shows WS133A-M. So guess the use of a the slash was not consistent. But then I have one MM III certificate that says MMM and one that says MMG.

Now what is really strange is that my commander and I got that training when I was still in MM I and the only MM I qualified crews were in the 742nd.
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: Differences between A and B models

Postby Weapons Loader on Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:27 am

It took the MOD to have the capability to monitor other LFs in the squadron besides yours.


Wait a second...without the ability to monitor other flight's missile status, without the Code Insert thumbwheels, without tamper indicating devices on the Launch Control panel, along with one crewmember being allowed to sleep downstairs with the other awake...it sounds like SAC invested a lot more faith in human reliability with Minuteman I than they did later on.

I'm not trying to back into anything classified, but how would you when to send out an inhibit command if another crew in the squadron was up to no good?
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:27 pm

Even in MM I all the LFs in a squadron were interconnected so a if a crew sent a launch vote to their missiles your missiles would get it also and you would see a LAUNCH COMMANDED light on your MSIL for your missiles. Then you could send an inhibit command to all the missiles in the squadron.
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: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:05 am

hockey85 wrote:The LGM-30F was the Minuteman II. Grand Forks and then the 564th SMS at Malmstrom (WS-133B made by Sylvania) were the first units to get the Minuteman II, the "F" model. Afterwards, some of the WS-133A Wings (Malmstrom, Ellsworth, and Whiteman) upgraded to the Mod allowing them to swap out the older Minuteman IB's for new Minuteman II's. The wings then became WS-133AM with the M standing for Modernized. The other remaining wings (Minot and FE Warren) upgraded later as well with the Mod, but skipped getting the Minuteman II, and swapped their Minuteman IB's for the "G" Model, or Minuteman III's.

This may be a "dumb" question, but how was it upgrading from Minuteman I to Minuteman III? I know the capsules and some of the ways the weapon system worked didn't really change a whole lot , but I'm sure there were some things where it was like, "Woah, this is new." Was it a big change, or was it pretty much the same with some new things to learn?

Cory


Little more on this. Minot and FE Warren used the same -1 TO since they were the only two wings left that had not undergone the Mod.

The only real big hardware changes I remember were adding two lights to the MSIL, CLIP was one but can't remember the other. They didn't change the size of the MSIL just made the other existing 10 lights smaller. Enable switches became VRSA reset. The Alarm-Monitor Panel was changed to allow for selection of which flight you were monitoring, plus the Anti-Jam selector was there. Anti-Jam was a real joke, it just slowed down the update rate. The AF wasn't ready to spring for the really secure system Boeing offered them. The other thing that changed was the Program Control Panel.
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: Differences between A and B models

Postby philip on Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:05 am

> So I guess MM I did have ALCS capabilty, I was not sure since I was in both MM I and MM III.

Yepper! I was there in the early 70s, overlapping Bill by several years. I remember the squadron of modified KC-135s on alert as ALCS at Minot, and we did indeed have the ability for launch from the air.
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:13 am

philip wrote:> So I guess MM I did have ALCS capabilty, I was not sure since I was in both MM I and MM III.

Yepper! I was there in the early 70s, overlapping Bill by several years. I remember the squadron of modified KC-135s on alert as ALCS at Minot, and we did indeed have the ability for launch from the air.


I was pretty sure we had ALCS in MM I but after 40 years and being in both MM I and MM III some of the distinctions of blurred.

If anyone is interested, Philip got the commander I had in the 742nd when I moved from MM I to MM III. And on July 31, 1972, Philip was at Mike(1st shift) for a 36 hour alert then had the rest of the week off.
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
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