Crew Scheduling Question

For general discussion with your fellow Minuteman III crewdogs, maintainers and cops. Currently based at Minot AFB, ND, Malmstrom AFB, MT, and F. E. Warren AFB, WY. Formerly based at Grand Forks AFB, ND. Operational from 17 Apr 1970 to present. Share your stories and meet up with an old friend.

Re: Crew Scheduling Question

Postby bhboyd on Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:19 pm

Crewdog wrote:I was at FEW from '78 - '82. In '78 - '79 we did eight and a back-up on a 24 hour rotation, each squadron manned it's own capsules. Around '80 they went to what they called a ripple schedule, we still did 8 and a back-up, but one squadron manned the whole wing. In our "free" time we did MPT rides, classroom, codes, and EWO training; if we were real unlucky we had to do courrier duty.

I was at Frankie's Rocket Ranch from Jan '76 - Sep '82, and I did all three types: 24-hr, 36-hr, and 40-hr. I honestly no longer remember whether I started out with the 36-hr alert or the 40-hour alert, but I do remember that the differential issue was the number of available crew bodies. One system required more crew members to sustain than the other did, and when I arrived the 90th was going through a personnel drawdown.

Once SAC installed PES seals on all the critical components, they transitioned us to the 24-hr alert.

Ah, the infamous 'ripple' - I remember how fortunate I counted myself to be for having gotten off crew prior to its implementation. It fixed the problem, alright, but the problem could have (and should have) been fixed at a whole lot lower level. Don't get me started.... :)

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Re: Crew Scheduling Question

Postby SAC Killer on Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:49 pm

bhboyd wrote:
Crewdog wrote:I was at FEW from '78 - '82. In '78 - '79 we did eight and a back-up on a 24 hour rotation, each squadron manned it's own capsules. Around '80 they went to what they called a ripple schedule, we still did 8 and a back-up, but one squadron manned the whole wing. In our "free" time we did MPT rides, classroom, codes, and EWO training; if we were real unlucky we had to do courrier duty.

I was at Frankie's Rocket Ranch from Jan '76 - Sep '82, and I did all three types: 24-hr, 36-hr, and 40-hr. I honestly no longer remember whether I started out with the 36-hr alert or the 40-hour alert, but I do remember that the differential issue was the number of available crew bodies. One system required more crew members to sustain than the other did, and when I arrived the 90th was going through a personnel drawdown.

Once SAC installed PES seals on all the critical components, they transitioned us to the 24-hr alert.

Ah, the infamous 'ripple' - I remember how fortunate I counted myself to be for having gotten off crew prior to its implementation. It fixed the problem, alright, but the problem could have (and should have) been fixed at a whole lot lower level. Don't get me started.... :)

Byron


Um, it wasn't the PES seals that let crews go back to 24 hour alerts. We had PES seals for at least a year at Malfunction Junction and still had to do the 40 hour version. 24 hour alerts came back when SAC put the coded switch mod in.
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Re: Crew Scheduling Question

Postby Scruge on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:10 pm

wblakeney wrote:Everyone was always nice to the scheduling officer and everyone wanted to be on alert when a parade was scheduled. We got a Weekly Operations Plan on half sheet paper.

Titan scheduling was same.. our crew used to request our alerts and misc be all cramed at the begining of one month and the next month's alerts and misc be schedule near its end. This would give us 10 to 14 days of nothing. I don't believe any of us ever used our leave time.
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Re: Crew Scheduling Question

Postby Capt. Bill on Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:43 am

SAC Killer wrote:Um, it wasn't the PES seals that let crews go back to 24 hour alerts. We had PES seals for at least a year at Malfunction Junction and still had to do the 40 hour version. 24 hour alerts came back when SAC put the coded switch mod in.


Was that a coded launch switch? I can't remember why we went to 36 hour alerts at Minot when MM III replaced MM I. Did the MOD wings have 24 hour alerts at that time, late 60s early 70s? MM I had that thing called Busy Group Scheduling that meant you could not pull alert in more than one LCC per squadron unless the LCP was changed. In MM I no one would know if you dissipated the launch and/or inhibit code. A SCN test reset the code dissipated light.
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Re: Crew Scheduling Question

Postby bhboyd on Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:33 pm

Um, it wasn't the PES seals that let crews go back to 24 hour alerts. We had PES seals for at least a year at Malfunction Junction and still had to do the 40 hour version. 24 hour alerts came back when SAC put the coded switch mod in.[/quote]


I'm sorry, but I simply can't address the timing of events at your wing. However, if the coded switch mod is the one I'm thinking of (the LECGSP mod with the installation of the translate switches), I remember that night real clear: evening Pre-D, we lugged new LECGSPs out to November (yes, we drove to end of the world, and when we got there, hung a right...) and waited for HQ SAC to issue directions to swap out the equipment. (like around 2:00 am) Then my Commander took a popsicle stick and rotated his translate switches through each position a number of times, forward, then backwards (I'm wanting to say like 12 or 20 times each way. I remember that it was a lot, and our hands were very tired and cramped by the end). Then I did the same thing with my translate switches. Then I backed off while he loaded his translate switch codes, then he backed off while I loaded my translate switch codes, and we finally closed it up. I was a still a line Deputy at the time; hadn't even been ALCOP-certified yet. I participated in GT 37GM as an ALCOP-certified Deputy in Jan/Feb '78, so this would have put the mod sometime prior to fall '77- most likely spring/summer '77 timeframe. I seem to remember terms like 'PES Seals' and 'Retroreflective Viewers' and '24-hour alerts' becoming part of my vocabulary sometime after I upgraded to Commander (summer '78), but I've been wrong before...

Cobwebby memories and all...

(and I'm not telling why the events of the evening were quite so memorable - nope, nope, nope 8) )

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Re: Crew Scheduling Question

Postby Capt. Bill on Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:08 am

Having been early MM III, PES seals, LECGSP and ALCOP are foreign to me. But I left before CDB came in, you guys should have been in around in the days when things were simple.
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Re: Crew Scheduling Question

Postby bhboyd on Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:13 pm

wblakeney wrote:Having been early MM III, PES seals, LECGSP and ALCOP are foreign to me. But I left before CDB came in, you guys should have been in around in the days when things were simple.


Sorry for the confusion. I suppose that I was engaging in a bit of unintentional 'Boeing trash talk', as I was using the technical references to specific pieces of equipment, figuring everybody would recognize them for what they were.

LECGSP: Launch Enable Control Group Signal Panel - the piece of equipment (normally above the Deputy's workstation in Boeing-configured LCCs) that contained the Enable Panel. Originally, right above the Enable Panel were the CLIP Code thumbwheel switches, if that helps you visualize. Originally, EPs were coded with the complete Enable code at the Codes Division. The referenced field modification installed a group of translate switches on top of the LECGSP which allowed EPs to be coded with a permuted enable code, very similar to the use of P-Plugs at the LF, vis-a-vis the Launch code.

ALCOP: Alternate Command Post - the formal notation appearing in your records if you became ACP/SCP certified...

PES seals: Positive Enable System seals - abominably-thin plastic seals using the 3M-developed embedded microscopic glass bead technology. Commonly used in driver's licenses, they provide very visible evidence of tampering when viewed through a handheld device called the retro-reflective viewer. They were installed on all the Critical Components and Code Components in the LCC, (very carefully, I might add - hundred were damaged in the installation process. They were that fragile) and ultimately on the 60 cycle AC Power Panel (as a maintenance aid to cut down on the frequency of random Change in Status CB popping) If any of the seals were damaged, the duty crew had to have both crewmembers awake, and new seals were sent out with the relief crew. It was considered crude, rude, and socially unacceptable to 'surprise' the relief crew with damaged seals, since they had to stay up until replacement seals arrived.

HTH

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Re: Crew Scheduling Question

Postby Piquet on Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:02 pm

bhboyd wrote:(as a maintenance aid to cut down on the frequency of random Change in Status CB popping)


Crews got to be quite adept at sticking a butter knife under the panel and pop the circuit breaker anyway. I found this far superior to the paperclip in the alarm number one button, since with the circuit breaker popped one could still see the light come on if alarm number one was activated. This was handy in the middle of the night when you were watching TV from the deputy's chair, especially when you were getting results from the holdoff. No lit alarm number one, no exceptions.
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Re: Crew Scheduling Question

Postby SAC Killer on Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:19 am

bhboyd wrote:Um, it wasn't the PES seals that let crews go back to 24 hour alerts. We had PES seals for at least a year at Malfunction Junction and still had to do the 40 hour version. 24 hour alerts came back when SAC put the coded switch mod in.



I'm sorry, but I simply can't address the timing of events at your wing. However, if the coded switch mod is the one I'm thinking of (the LECGSP mod with the installation of the translate switches), I remember that night real clear: evening Pre-D, we lugged new LECGSPs out to November (yes, we drove to end of the world, and when we got there, hung a right...) and waited for HQ SAC to issue directions to swap out the equipment. (like around 2:00 am) Then my Commander took a popsicle stick and rotated his translate switches through each position a number of times, forward, then backwards (I'm wanting to say like 12 or 20 times each way. I remember that it was a lot, and our hands were very tired and cramped by the end). Then I did the same thing with my translate switches. Then I backed off while he loaded his translate switch codes, then he backed off while I loaded my translate switch codes, and we finally closed it up. I was a still a line Deputy at the time; hadn't even been ALCOP-certified yet. I participated in GT 37GM as an ALCOP-certified Deputy in Jan/Feb '78, so this would have put the mod sometime prior to fall '77- most likely spring/summer '77 timeframe. I seem to remember terms like 'PES Seals' and 'Retroreflective Viewers' and '24-hour alerts' becoming part of my vocabulary sometime after I upgraded to Commander (summer '78), but I've been wrong before...

Cobwebby memories and all...

(and I'm not telling why the events of the evening were quite so memorable - nope, nope, nope 8) )

Byron[/quote]

Yup, it was the LECGSP mod.
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