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Chietf Staff
F
OR the past few years, Americans have watched their
TV sets with keenest interest as OUT astronauts have
ventured further and further into space. With the
Oemini series now successfully completed, we feel COn-
f i d e n ~ that within the decade we will actually be able
to place a man on the moon.
We have all been aware, as we have watched the
manned space shots and read about our related un-
manned experiments-such as Voyage" Mariner and
Orbiter-that the lunar program has been a gigantic
team effort of specialists and technicians in many fields.
We have also been aware that the goal of the program
has not been just to place a man on the moon, but to
extend the scope of man's activity and usefulness
through knowledge of space.
The lunar program, as a major effort in the nation's
peaceful exploration of space, is under the direction of
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA), a civilian agency. It is not too well known,
however, that the military and, especially, the Air Force
play n important part in this effort.
I am not only referring to the fact that out of the
19 astronauts who so far have traveled in space, 18
were military officers-men possessing the extraordi-
nary flying skill, diversified experience and unique per-
sonal characteristics that are fostered in the Armed
Forces. It is also significant that the Air Force is
respo,nsible for all launches, for flight safety-which
has prevented the loss of a single astronaut-and, to-
gether with the Navy, for recovery operations.
These and many other contributions of the military
to NASA's programs have made it a vital partner on
the space team. In turn, the cooperation with NASA
has been highly beneficial to Air Force's space efforts.
Recently I visited the NASA Manned Spacecraft
Center and, subsequently, had the opportunity to speak
to a group of Houston's citizens. I thought you might
be interested in some of the points I made about the
cooperation in the US civilian and military space
programs:
" NASA occupies a high place in the interest and
admiration of the Air Force. For some years now our
two organizations have shared a common interest in
the development of space capabilities of importance to
our country. And our already excellent team relation-
ship continues to be strengthened as we pool our expe-
riences and assets toward achieving those goals.
"Through my close association with Jim Webb
(NASA Administrator), which I value both on a per-
sonal and professional basis, I have come to appreciate
the extent to which NASA has enlarged lhe potential
for Air Force progress with defense-related space activ-
ities. Conversely, it is very gratifying to me that Air
Force space boosters, range facilities and experience in
launch and recovery operations have proved useful in
support of NASA's manned and unmanned space work.
"With the building blocks provided by the space
boosters and satellite components brought into opera-
tion by both segments of the NASA-Air Force team,
J am confident that we can continue to advance at a
rate required to maintain our lead in scientific and
defense applications of space technology.
"As we consider the important implications of this
endeavor, I believe it is well to reaffirm the non-aggres-
sive intent of our military operations and objectives in
the space medium. Militarily we have no desire to
develop an offensive space capability. On the other
hand, we want to insure that no potentially hostile
nation develops such a capability against which we
would have no defense. That is why we place such
great importance on OUf systems which are already in
operation for the purpose of detecting, cataloguing and,
to the extent possible, evaluating the space vehicles
launched by other countries.
"By placing into orbit the payloads for communi-
cations and weather-forecasting programs, we also are
helping to improve the effectiveness of both surface and
air operations. With the information we expect to gain
from our Manned Orbiting Laboratory we will be able
to determine and use to the best advantage man's unique
capacity for performing useful functions in space."
The United States has joined other cc.untries in es-
tablishing principles for the peaceful pursuit of all space
efforts. Our nation's share in these efforts will continue
to be fostered by the contributions of the Air Force
and its men.
GENERAL, USAF
f
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I.
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Volume XI, Number 4
Moj. Gen. EUGENE B. LeBAILLY
Director of Information, OSAF
Col. BISHOP M. KILGORE
Chief, Internal Information
Lt. Col. JESSE F. TOWNSHEND, Jr.
Editor
THEODORE R. STURM
Associate Editor
Copt. ROBERT P. EVERETT
Executive Editor
Moj. GEORGE N. WINKLER
Art Director
MSgt. MANUEL A. COlLASO
Staff Photographer
RUSSELL M. WOODS
Production Manager
THE AIRMAN is published monthly by Internal
Information Division, Directorate of Informa-
tion, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
As the official magazine of the United Stotes
Air Force, it is primarily a medium for the ex-
change of ideas and informo'ion among Air
Force personnel. Readers are encouraged to
submit articles, short subiec's, photographs,
and artwork. All contributions will be given
consideration. Suggestions and criticisms ore
welcomed. Opinions expressed by individual
contributors do not necessarily reflect the offi-
cial viewpoint of the Department of the Air
Force.
THE AIRMAN is available on subscription for
$3.50 per y ~ a r domestic, $4.75 foreign, 35c.
per copy, through the Superintendent of Doc-
uments, Government Printing Office, Washing-
ton, D. C. 20402. No back copies can be
furnished.
Editorial Offices: THE AIRMAN, Stop B15,
Bolling AFB, D. C. 20332. Telephone: Area
Code 202, 562.9000, Extension 4100. Inter-
departmental code, 1414100.
USAF RECURRING PUBLICATION 30-15
Picture Credits: All photographs are officiol
USAF photos unless otherwise designated.
Front Cover photo of
Captains Henry M. Crook (left)
and Patrick H. Hafner
by A2C Hunt Ethridge,
Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
April 1967
FEATURES
14
18
]G
The Phantom's Men
The writer was tickled when the pilot pickled
The Right Hand Men
Jack-of-all-trades, from baby-sitting to plumbing
The Man Launchers
Blue-suiters help put 'em in orbit
Operation Safe Side
New, tough breed of security policeman
A Tiger in Every Tanker
Flot on your belly ot 28,000 feet, ond sweoting
The Fighter Weapons Center
Graduate school for fighter pilots
SHORT BURSTS
12 Those Lights Are a Year Away
:: 1 Reasons They Stay Air Force
Welcome the A-37 in '67
"} On Again, Off Again Air Base
ci 1 Birds by Rail
."" That Worn Out Uniform
'. S Perambulating Python
DEPARTMENTS
Letters to the Editor
Where in the Air Force Are You?
Air Force Report
. J . ~ : Hobby Corner
,2", Who Is This Airman?
Vignettes from Vietnam
Pentagon Personal
Jungle Jollies
--
p
o
o
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
AFA Support
Sir: The generals did indeed listen
when the lieutenant talked (THE
AIRMAN, Dec. '66). I refer, of course,
to the Air Force Systems Command's
Junior Officer Science and Engineering
Symposium and Lieutenant Huels-
man's paper which was also delivered
later at the "senior" symposium at
Arnold Engineering Development
Center. Cash awards for the best
papers at both symposiums are given
annually by the Aerospace Education
Foundation, which is a part of Air
Force Association. Both are fine pro-
grams and the Aerospace Education
Foundation is proud to support them.
John F. Loosbrock
Editor, Air Force/Space Digest
Watch THE AIRMAN fOT a story
ahout the entire AF A awards pro-
gram; it's tentatively scheduled for
later this year.
* * *
Naval Broadside
Sir: Several of us Navy personnel
are working with the Air Force Securi-
ty Service in a tenant unit. Recently
we qualified as expert with the .38
revolver and the carbine, under super-
vision of the local small arms NCO.
The Air Force people who also quali-
fied were awarded Expert ribbons. We
!'Javy personnel have been told that
Air Force orders cannot be cut to ac-
cord us the same recognition. Why?
LtJG Richard H. Schrader
APO New York
The Snwll Arms Expert Marksman-
2
ship Ribbon was established for Air
Force personnel who qualify on weap-
ons specified by AFR 50-8. The key
words are "Air Force personnel." The
regulation does not permit award of
the ribbon to other service members.
* * *
Is She Dependent?
Sjr: I am married to an Air Force
lieutenant and we're currently assigned
to the same base. The Air Force con-
siders my wife as a nondependent
when computing my BAQ. I have been
advised, however, that if I am reas-
signed overseas, my wife will be con-
sidered as a dependent and I must
serve an accompanied tour if she ac-
companies me. Is this so? \\'hat regu-
lation outlines this policy?
AIC Joseph R. Ferri
Wurtsmith AFB, Mich.
You would he required to serve an
"All Others" tour as explained in Rule
9, TaMe 7-2a, AFM .39-11. Your Con-
solidated Base Personnel Office
(CBPO) should have a copy.
* * *
Snakes Alive!
Sir: It appears that somebody is
usurping the Civil Engineers' responsi-
bility (page 15, THE AIRMAN, Dec.
'66). Suggest that this patrol be di-
verted to the CE's UMD.
Lt. Col. R. F. Sherman
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
Imagine that! Who would have
guessed that one of the responsibilities
(Continued on Page 39)
Behind
The
that l O d i ~ r
----
,./.tt.
...'
"'here in the i r .=orc::e -"re Yon?
I
f occurs to me that the future of our whole country
may depend on a well-trained Air Corps. All that
we are to become may depend on the men who are
trained at this field."
So spoke a governor at the dedication of this base
where flying training activities have spanned the era
from Jennies to jets.
Dedicated on June 30, 1930, and named in honor of
a member of the committee that selected the site, this
base had-in little more than 10 years- already ful-
filled the governor's prophecy. For the pilots trained
here formed the nucleus of America's air armada of
World War II.
Incidentally, the building pictured above could be
called the first cafeteria on the base. It was opened by
Mr. Louis Siriani as a restaurant for workers building
the base. He unabashedly called it the Greasy Spoon.
The cafe was located where the base exchange is today.
Since 1931, when Maj. Frederick L. Martin became
the first commander, there have been a great number of
changes in aircraft and training, but this base has
proved equal to every challenge. It's role in flying
training began in early 1931 with the relocation of the
Air Corps Primary Flying School here. Primary training
continued until 1939 when the mission was changed to
basic pilot training.
In March 1943 basic pilot training was replaced by
the Central Instructors School. For the next two years
training instructors for Air Corps primary, basic -and ad-
April 1967
vanced flying was the foremost mission, and 12,585
pilot instructors were graduated.
For a brief period in 1943-from April to December
-basic pilot training was replaced by the Army Air
Forces Pilot School. This school specialized in transition
training for B-29 bombers. Then primary and basic pilot
training again was the mission for the next three years.
I n March 1948, primary pilot training was deleted
from the program, and until 1950 activities were some-
what curtailed.
August 1950 saw the activation of a Combat Crew
Training Group. Later that same year the phase-out of
the Pilot Training Course began and the first class of
B-29 Combat crews graduated.
For the next six years combat crew training was the
base's primary mission. Instead of teaching men to fly Or
to teach, the school taught graduates of other schools to
fly as a team. Men were trained for the B-29 and B-57
bombers, the C-119 transport and the KC-97 tanker.
During this period the Air Force's only helicopter
school was also located here.
In addition to its many and varied training facilities
this base presently supports many tenant units, includ-
ing Hq Air Training Command and the USAF Military
Personnel Center.
Before you turn to page 39 for the name of this base,
here's one last clue. This base is also known for its fa-
mous landmark, a 50,000 gallon water tank that mas-
querades as a magnificent piece of architecture.
-TSgt. M. E. COWAN.
3
THE PHANTOM'S MEN
In the cockpits and
on the line they work and study hard.
They know m,,--_
enemy is to ..... and ruthless.
Story and Photos by HAP HARRIS
The Airman Stoff
I
T was a small sign in a big hangar. It read "The Phan-
tom's Men. " The major jerked his thumb at it and
said affectionately, "You can say that again. After you've
flown the Phantom you almost become part of it. The
F-4C is a droop-snooted, saggin' tailed, two-seater, but
it's one of the world's best fighter-bombers, and it's do-
ing a great job in Southeast Asia. "
We were at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., home base
for the 4453d Combat Crew Training Wing, a unit with
a whale of a mission- training aircrews for Southeast
Asia and aircrews needed to convert 12 Air Force fight-
er wings to the F -4C.
To accomplish that mission, they had planned and
implemented flying and radar training courses designed
to fully prepare the two-man crews necessary to take ad-
vantage of the versatile Phantom. The two officers of
each crew, the aircraft commander and the pilot, return
to their parent organizations as fully qualified teams,
needing only a short additional training period to be-
come combat ready.
My "host" while visiting and flying with the wing was
Maj. Kenneth R. Fleenor, operations officer of the
4456th CCT Sq. He is a veteran of 5,000-plus flying
hours, 30 F-4C combat missions over North Vietnam
and additional A-I E dive-bomber missions to the Me-
kong Delta. He was eager to point out the solid air and
ground training today's Phantom jocks receive.
As we took a lengthy, detailed tour of the wing's op-
erational facilities the major noted important additional
facets of the 4453d's mission.
4
Like conducting the Radar Academic Training for
aU rear seat F-4 pilots assigned to the George, MacDill
and Eglin AFB's RTU Replacement Training Courses.
Or managing a continual upgrading program to pro-
vide instructor pilots for the training mission.
The wing's primary mission is to provide R TU flying
training and 50 percent of the air time goes into this
important course.
On the line the major gave a thorough in-cockpit
briefing on the F-4C. (We would fly in it later.) As the
fastest all-weather jet fighter-bomber used in large num-
bers by the Air Force, it has had a successful "career"
in Southeast Asia, and has been highly praised by the
Navy. The USAF chose the aircraft for Tactical Air
Command in 1963, has several hundred in use and has
scheduled purchases of more than 2,000.
Sophisticated Weapons
A spanking new F-4C containing the Air Force
electronics "packages" and four Sparrow I II missiles
costs between $1.7 and $1.8 million. When operating
against North Vietnam, the aircraft carries a basic load
of eight 750-pound bombs plus other equipment.
Built by the McDonncll Aircraft Corp., it is powered
by two J79 engines, each capable of delivering 17,000
pounds of thrust. This adds up to approximately 23,000
horsepower at 500 miles an hour.
Because of its first design as an aircraft carrier fighter,
it has excellent short-field capability. The F-4C uses a
"blown" boundary-layer control system that blows
The Airman
streams of high-pressure air over the leading and trailing
edge flaps to increase wing lift. A considerable amount
of excess thrust at low speeds helps shonen the Phan-
tom's take-off roll and provides an unaccelerated rate
of climb at sea level of over 35,000 feet per minute.
As I sat in the cockpit of the 58-foot-Iong craft I was
told of its nuclear and conventional weapon delivery
capability, including air-to-ground missiles. In air-to-air
combat, the F-4C carries guided missiles and heat-seek-
ing missiles, both of which are very effective. Its level
flight speed at 40,000 feet is Mach 2.6, or approximate-
ly 1,600 miles per hour. In a cross-country flight from
Los Angeles to New York, the Phantom covered the
distance in 2 hours 49 minutes. An F-4C set a flight
record in time to climb to 98,425 feet-37 I seconds.
A powerful radar operates from the nose of the craft,
permitting target detection and automatic tracking at
10l1g range under all conditions of weather, day or night.
Classroom in the Sky
The next day we had our mission - practice nuclear
weapons delivery using visual delivery techniques while
The Phantom's Men Ofe on their way to the Gila Bend Gunnery Range
over rugged Arizona desert land for their varied bombing minions.
streaking close to the ground' toward a target.
The place: the huge Gila Bend Gunnery Range on
the Arizona desert near Tucson and Davis-Monthan.
The weapons: four Phantoms loaded with small
practice bombs in a pod dispenser.
The men: seven Air Force pilots and the author.
The planes would comprise "Paris Flight," com-
manded by Major Fleenor. Three of the six crew mem-
bers who would fly as " Paris Flight Two, Three and
Four" were in the conversion course. Each of the in-
structor pilots had completed 100 or more combat mis-
sions over Nonh Vietnam. They included 1st Lt.
Imants "Kris" Kringelis, who downed a Mig jet; 1st
Lt. Robert W. Bowmaster and 1st Lt. George "Mack"
April 1967
Hardwick. The pilot students were 1st Lts. Wayde T.
Frederickson, John M. Smith, and Robert S. Thompson.
Techniques to be used on the mission included a
LADD or low altitude drogue delivery (toss bomb).
This involves the aircraft approaching a previously
known IP (identification point) on the gunnery range,
allowing the pilot to program the timer. The timer auto-
matically calls for a steep climb at the time of bomb
release. This allows a time period for the aircraft to fly
away from the target prior to bomb impact.
The second method we would use was called visual
laydown delivery (VLD). This technique requires visual
sighting of the target and the pilot uses a mil depression
visual sight for the mission. The aircraft approaches the
target at low altitude and high speed. The bomb is
"pickled" (released) by the pilot when the visual sight
picture on the target is attained. The bomb-sight pre-
sents a visual reticle image on the plane's windshield.
This image is superimposed on the target and the pilot
releases the bomb at that instant.
Following our preflight briefing at 0800 hours on all
aspects of the mission, we staned engines at 0940. The
Meanwhile the Wing'. DeS/Ops, Col. Daniel 'Chappie' James, talks shop
with crew chief SSg,. Williams ond his helpe, A3C Pren.,o on line.
weather was clear. Major Fleenor marshalled the flight.
We taxied to the arming area near the runway. Here
experienced NCOs and airmen (called a quick-<:heck
crew) gave our four planes a thorough external ex-
amination - to look for hydraulic and other leaks, or
other conditions causing a flight hazard.
After weapons were armed, we were cleared for take
off in close formation (two by two) and roared down
the runway. After a 2,800-foot roll we climbed into
the bright desert sky, followed 10 seconds later by Paris
Three and Four. We all joined in close formation and
our flight proceeded along preseribed flight corridors to
the Gila Bend gunnery complex.
Cleared to our range radio frequency, we "held" a
5
r
race track pattern above 4,OOO-foot-high, boulder-strewn
Cimarron Peak, in the Sand Tank Mountains east of
Ajo, Ariz" while "Dallas Flight" below us completed
its gunnery mission.
Aim Right, Paris Flight
We cleared onto the range, and the flight took up
echelon formation for the "spacer" pass. (The initial
pass down the range is a spacer pass to get each aircraft
equally spaced around the delivery pattern.)
OUf lineup of aircraft numbers and crew numbers was
radioed to the RO (range officer) for scoring purposes.
He answered, "Roger on the lineup. You're cleared in.
Altimeter setting is three zero two one. Surface winds
calm. Latest report gives 3,OOO-foot wind at 100 degrees
at 9 knots."
While some students fly, others on ground "fly" too, in F4C cockpit
simulator where many problems and emergencies of flight are presented.
Fleenor acknowledged and ordered, " Paris Flight, set
the pull-up timer for a nine-knot tailwind." Acknowl-
edgments came, then OUf plane streaked in at a low
altitude down the "run in" marked on the desert floor.
Our Phantom was like a live creature. It whined
quietly, shuddered slightly as our 400-knot speed "ate
up" the air space between us and the huge concentric
rings of the permanent bull's-eye target ahead. Trees,
gulleys, nearby hills, rocks - all blurred as we sliced
the air, twin jets roaring smoothly.
The moment came. Major Fleenor's flight instruments
presented bomb-run information. These data, combined
with his training and experience, caused him to "pickle,"
pull back the stick, give full throttles and afterburners to
our Phantom, and we shot skyward in a muscle-wracking
pull-up. G forces slammed us into our seats. I strained
6
to hold my camera steady and take pictures. "Have you
got it?" (the target) said the major's voice on our inter-
com. "Did you see the burst?"
"Looks fairly good - think I've got it ," I muttered
through clenched teeth. As I answered our afterburners
hurled us higher and higher, many thousands of feet
per minute, away from the simulated nuclear blast.
We leveled off and monitored the target runs of Paris
Two, Three and Four. Each aircraft reported frequently
by radio. Fuel status; as they turned base leg - the
type of weapon delivery; and a final call at the 40,000-
foot marker on the run-in line. At this point the Range
Control Officer gave final clearance for ordnance de-
livery. This method was repeated until each Phantom
had six runs on the target, our plane included. The
Range Control Officer reported our flight had done well,
The Wing's "Old Man" is working, too. Colonel Smith visits the air-
craft radar checkout shop where OJT is port of the doily routine.
and gave his compliments for a good mission.
"Let's go button six," (go to radio channel six) the
major radioed. He contacted Gila Command, we were
cleared out of the area, then formed up and made visual
checks of each other (checking for hung bombs, doors,
possible damage). We then flew to D-M for landing.
At the clearing area, annamcnt crews installed safety
pins, and checked the plane externally. Then we took a
full load of fuel aboard in the refueling area, taxied to
the ramp, shut down, briefed the crew chief on the
mission and reported to the maintenance diagnostic of-
fice. Here we debriefed and reported several minor
discrepancies in the plane's performance. NCOs in this
office are specialists in the F-4C's systems.
All aircrews of Paris Flight reassembled at the 4456th
Squadron's briefing room for detailed debriefing of the
The Airman

mission, with emphasis on weapon delivery patterns and
analysis of air tactics.
"Now you've seen many elements of the thorough
training our F-4 jocks get before they go to operational
units," Major Fleenor said. "The Phantom is a complex,
sophisticated plane. It deserves good pilots and it gets
them."
Non-nuclear combat training comes in the RTU
course. Aircraft commanders and pilots are trained in
precise crew coordination during a five-month period.
They undergo transition, formation, instrument, air-ta-
air intercepts, air combat tactics plus air-la-air missile
firings and conventional air-la-ground weapons.
We were scheduled for a meeting with Col. Daniel
James, Jr., a l Ot-mission Korean veteran who serves
as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the wing.
The six-foot, six-inch pilot was enthusiastic about
Paris Flight hos reached Ihe gunnery range- and mode bomb runs on
the torget. Note open bomb dispenser pod on right wing as plane turns,
the 4453d's training program. "Men are most im-
portant. We give them everything we've got. They work
hard. Six and seven-day weeks occur, at times, because
of the Vietnamese war. Over there, they're all working
seven-day weeks."
The colonel noted t h r ~ e of the courses given: Radar
Academic Training Course, the Combat Crew Training
Course and the RTU Replacement Training Course.
Radar training qualifies recently graduated pilots in
operating the F-4C's airborne missile control system for
tactical air operations. It's a prerequisite for entry into
more advanced pilot training in the F-4s.
The combat crew course transitions aircraft com-
manders and pilots into the F-4C from other planes
and provides fundamental knowledge during a 10-week
period. They study and practice instrument flying, air-
April t 967
to-air refueling, air-to-air intercepts, conventional air-
to-ground weapons, nuclear weapons delivery, and com-
bat profile missions including radar low-level navigation
and radar weapons delivery.
Colonel James remarked that "other pertinent subjects
are also given, but an F-4 man keeps learning. There's
nothing like on-the-job experience."
Acting wing commander Col. Foster L. Smith, a
West Pointer with 4V2 Mig-15s to his credit in Korea
was to meet me at 0400 the next day to visit the line
and shops.
The Arizona morning was dark and cold as the
colonel and I drove from point to point. He greeted
many men by name, asked how thing were going, listen-
ed carefully to some suggestions by top noncoms and
airmen, and remarked later, "That the F-4Cs here stay
Sallet of the hardstand takes place when flight return, to DM AFB.
Thi1 is rear cockpit view of crew chief signaling pilot to pork on line.
in shape and give top performance is not luck. The men
here make that possible. I've never forgotten that, not
since my cadet days. All of us at wing know it, and we
often tell these great troops that we know it."
The colonel noted that a top job was also done by a
number of civilian administrative and education special-
ists in the wing, many of whom were service veterans. He
recalled that the 4453d had received outstanding ratings
in the past two Twelfth Air Force general inspections.
Many of the men are completing classroom and on-
the-job training in the wing's Southeast Asia main-
tenance training program. Colonel Smith added, "They
know where their next assignment will be, and they
know the aircrews will depend on them. These men
really care. What more can you say?" eOa
7
THE RIGHT-HAND MEN
by WILLIAM A. KINNEY
The Airman Staff
T
HEY are spread quite thinly throughout the Air
Force. You hear little about them, individually or
collectively.
Yet, in a very real sense, they constitute an elite
group although they would be the first to disavow any
such complimentary description.
They are the unsung airmen who assist Air Force
chaplains in the accomplishment of their high mission
Stateside and around the globe.
As in the case of any other specialty, these airmen
must first satisfy the officially prescribed qualifications
for the assignment. In practice it has been found that
the more additional talents and skills a man possesses,
the more useful he will be in the job.
Some small experience in leading a choir, for ex-
ample, is obviously an added asset. Or to have a way
with young children is plainly no handicap for a man
who will be helping to handle Sunday school. But
then, too, a bit of know-how in carpentry or plumbing
has been known to come in handy on occasion. So has
an instinctive eye for beautification or the knack for
picking up a new language.
At present there are some 1,100 airmen on duty
with chaplains. Some are old hands who have always
had that service. Others of long service are men who
retrained from other career fields. Most are younger
men who volunteered for the assignment soon after
their enlistment.
Making the Choice
It is, as a matter of fact, quite unusual for a young
man to enlist in the Air Force with the preconceived
purpose of serving with chaplains. Many motives influ-
ence enlistments. The prestige of the Air Force un-
doubtedly carries much weight as does the possibility
of duty touched with glamour.
Not until the indoctrination process has been com-
pleted does a recruit begin to realize the complexity of
the Air Force. Given reasonable intelligence, he will
see that there are a host of things which require doing
both for the proper functioning of this branch of service
and also for his own good, as well as that of others.
At Lackland and Amarillo AFBs all basic trainees
who show quaHfication in screening examinations may
apply for training in one of the various career fields.
Any choice is strictly voluntary on the part of the new
airman. He is informed what special schooling will be
8
necessary and he knows he will have to acquit himself
well there to make the grade. Only he can make up his
own mind.
The factors which actuate men at moments like this
often defy analysis. Some will pick what seems like the
path of least resistance. Some will seek a course with
the most promise of advancement. Some will follow a
natural bent, recognized or latent. And some will be
moved for suddenly dominant reasons to ask for a line
of duty they had not associated with the Air Force be-
fore enlisting.
Volunteers for a chaplain services specialist career
are not immediately welcomed into the fold, so to
speak. First they have an extended session with an NCO
supervisor in that specialty. He briefs them on the pre-
dictable future duties and responsibilities the career in-
volves. The briefings are. designed to be as informative
as possible and also to dispel any notion that the job is
a sedentary sanctuary.
N ext each volunteer is interviewed by a chaplain of
the major religious denomination to which he belongs.
This is a critical step in determining the recruit's moti-
vation in volunteering. It also permits an exploration
of his civilian background, examination of his religious
thinking and an appraisal of his personality.
Even when a recruit is accepted he still must com-
plete his basic training, including familiarization with
weapons. Under the Geneva Convention which defines
certain practices to be observed in wartime a chap-
lain, as a noncombatant, is in the "protected personnel"
grouping. An airman working with him does not have
that immunity, however, so he should learn how to de-
fend himself.
Once ready for special schooling, a volunteer's train-
ing has a wide range. He learns to type (35 words a
minute or better), keep accounts, perform clerical and
administrative practices so that he will be equipped to
handle the office routine, correspondence and other
paper work which the job entails. In the strictly re-
1igious area there are classes in such subjects as de-
nominational requirements and practices, religious fa-
cilities and supplies, missions and procedures of US
Air Force chaplains, religious and spiritual morale fac-
tors. ]n addition he receives instruction on audio-visual
aids, use of the voice, music, motor vehicle mainten-
ance and operation, among other things. For all the
formal classroom work they receive, newer chaplain
services airmen are inclined to attribute a very im-
The Airman
,\
..
-
portant part of their "education" to the OJT they re-
ceive once assigned.
Making the Duty Distinctive
When the Air Force achieved autonomy as an indi-
vidual component of the Armed Forces in 1947, or-
ganizing its own chaplaincy along the lines to serve it
best was one of the numerous transitional tasks to be
undertaken. And necessarily it extended to nonclerical
personnel assigned to duty with chaplains.
During the years the Air Force had been part of the
Army such personnel had been called chaplains' assist-
ants (a designation some chaplains still prefer at this
late date). Their official classification, however, was
clerk-typist.
The first Air Force Chief of Chaplains felt that as-
sistants should have a separate, distinguishing classifi-
cation. He had no prejudice against a clerk-typist and
from World War 11 experience he was well aware that
many of the routine duties performed by the assist-
ants required those skills. On the other hand, a highly
efficient clerk-typist could be an utter washout as a
chaplain's assistant if he lacked other qualities con-
sidered essential. Among these were good character, re-
ligious conviction, high motivation,
Building his own office at Pleiku, Vietnam, Chaplain O. l. McCormack
handles sow. Hammering anistants ore Al Cs Holewinski and Countryman.
April 1967
Students in the Chaplain Services Specialist School at Amarillo AFB
get instructions from NCO on letting up Jewish Chaplain's Field Kit.
The chief also believed that service with chaplains
should be a distinct career field for personnel and so it
became in March 1949. Men who had been serving as
chaplains' assistants and others who had been engaged
in a welfare program for casualties and their depen-
dents were reclassified as welfare specialists.
The new name was not a happy choice, as later
acknowledged, for it failed to identify men specifically
with the chaplaincy. Moreover, the reclassification
saddled chaplains' men with much additional work un-
related to their multiple regular duties. They had to
carry this extra load for three years before it was
transferred back to personal affairs where it had been.
The "welfare" designation lingered until May of '54
when it was replaced by chaplain specialist.
For more than a decade after the Air Force became
a separate service it had a serious shortage of chap-
lains. The shortage of chaplain specialists was even
more acute. The career program had not been suf-
ficiently publicized among personnel already in uni-
fClrm and there was delay in seeking men directly
among new enlistees in basic training.
In one effort to cope with the situation some WAF
were used as chaplain specialists and acquitted them-
selves commendably. However, a specialist's work oc-
casionally called for strenuous physical labor deemed
too heavy for a woman to undertake without risk of
injury. The last WAF was phased out of chaplaincy
duty four years ago.
lt was in 1959 that systematic procurement of candi-
dates for chaplain services from the ranks of newly
enlisted airmen began at the Military Training Wing,
9
,
Lackland AFB, Tex. Since then the supply of proper per-
sonnel has proved adequate.
It is no exaggeration to say a chaplain is always on
call. His fixed schedule for religious services, various
pastoral work and related duties may not seem overly
time consuming. But many unscheduled things occur.
A crisis or emergency arises. "Get the chaplain!" The
shadow of death slants unexpectedly across a hospital
bed. "He'll be wanting the chaplain." An early morn-
ing domestic row threatens to erupt into violence. "But
they'll listen to the chaplain."
As for the chaplains, they know not the day nor the
hour they will be needed.
An intelligent, well motivated airman who volun-
teers to serve with such men to facilitate their high
mission can have little illusion that he is taking a berth
where the work tour fits a changeless time clock pat-
tern. Or that it will always respect the calendar. It's
not that kind of duty.
Chaplain services specialists know well in advance
of their first assignments, for example, that they can
expect to be fully occupied weekends when most
other personnel normally can look for a period of re-
laxation. The same goes for the occasion of high re-
ligious feasts when others are excused from duty.
But a Sabbath or Sunday is just one day in a chap-
lain's week. It has six others. On some there may be
both a morning service and another in the evening or
some chapel-related gathering. Weddings, funerals,
baptisms divert time earmarked for paper work, still
that paper work must get done. And there are always
unforeseen situations which develop, and these consume
more time.
Another imponderable in these airmen's lives stems
from the practice of assigning one specialist to each
chaplain. Now suppose that Chaplain B's man becomes
ill or is absent for any other reason. Is that clergyman
left to shift entirely for himself? No, Chaplain A's and
Chaplain C's men will step into the breach. They
know how to fix the chapel for any of Chaplain B's
services and other basic things pertaining to his reli-
gious functioning. It means more work, more time, but
the overriding consideration is that it be done.
In sum, as far as duty hours, you can say that they
are mostly open end. I have heard of chaplain'S aides
who don't mind stints which run from 0630 occasion-
oily to 2400 as demands dictate. Theoretically men
are supposed to have their day off, but this is looked
on not as a right but as a privilege-if and when it
can be arranged conveniently.
Leave likewise comes when it can be scheduled and
many factors may affect that, considering that chap-
lains and chapels operate year around. If there is any-
thing resembling a lull in the tempo of activity it nor-
mally comes after Easter and efforts are made to take
care of leave time then.
10
Not many airmen are aware of these aspects of the
life of chaplain services specialists. With rare excep-
tions they have found these careerists readily avail-
able any time they have had the slightest reason to see
them. This leads to the unthinking assumption that the
ready availability involves nothing extra in the way of
work or effort. Chaplains' aides make no point of try-
ing to point out otherwise. It is an eloquent tribute not
only to the aides' dedication to furthering their chap-
lains' mission but also to their selfless interest in the
welfare and good treatment of fellow airmen.
Little thought is needed to realize what sacrifices all
this involves for a single man when his off-duty life is
considered. If the man is married, it takes less thought
to imagine how much domestic comfort he willingly
foregoes, not to mention how sympathetic and under-
standing his wife must be.
Vet the rewards of the duty are great, psychological-
ly and spiritually. Said one young airman: "Being a
chaplain services specialist has made me see the many
sides of religion, brought me to see its importance to
people of all creeds, and given me a deeper under-
standing of my fellow man."
The Boss Knows
If there is a general tendency to take chaplain serv-
ices personnel pretty much for granted, it certainly
is not shared by the clergymen with whom they work.
Inltructor A2e G. l. Och,ner ch.c .... lOt' accuracy the work of olpiring
chaplain Ipecialists in handling of chaplain fund accounting tasks.
The Airman
The chaplains are well aware of the volume of work
these men handle even though much of it may be done
not under a chaplain's immediate supervision. They
also know the practical versatility these men have dis-
played on many occasions in meeting situations which
could even give a chaplain pause.
One chaplain called the specialist assigned to him
his "right-hand man" and that compliment about sums
up what these airmen have become.
The specialists are specifically enjoined against at-
tempting to do any counseling themselves but not in-
frequently they serve as stepping stones between those
in need of help and a chaplain. An airman needing
advice or in trouble, for example, will not hesitate to
seek out a chaplain specialist who is the same grade
as himself and has the reputation of being a "good
guy." He may, however, be hesitant to approach his
denominational chaplain who is a light colonel.
When the specialist realizes why the troubled air-
man has come to him, he tells him the one he should
see is that light colonel who is a very human and un-
derstanding character. He recounts a few anecdotes to
underline the fact. It is not a sales talk but usually the
man with a problem follows the advice where to go
with it. And he realizes he is going to see a chaplain,
not a light colonel.
This "middleman" role has more value than im-
mediately reaches the eye. An airman haunted by
A knack for baby sitting con .ometimes be helpful to chaplain .pedalilt.
Ale John J. 80renl performs "guard duty" for a group of wor orphan .
April 1967
problems or beset by trouble is not likely to be doing
his best in his assigned duty slot. Nor can his morale be
expected to be high. If one or more sessions with a
chaplain help straighten things out for him, his unit
stands to gain in the better performance of his duties
and improved morale.
In another, if more limited area, specialists provide
a good influence at installations where they work. As
one would expect from the nature of their duties, they
afe individuals of upright character, sincere, honest,
dependable. Living and associating with a man com-
pletely on the square is bound to have an effect for the
better on at least some of his fellows.
Chaplains' sPecialists, too, make contributions to an
installation's social and cultural life through the plan-
ning of and participation in a variety of chapel-spon-
sored events from picnics to forum discussions.
Since the Air Force became autonomous its chap-
lain services specialists have received a goodly number
of awards. Perhaps not as many as merited, for their
work is not apt to attract any spotlight and no small
portion of it may go without notice at the base which
benefited.
But publicity, the limelight is not what motivates
these airmen. Infinitely more important is to hear the
voice of one unseen whisper:
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
Jock.of-olltrode. Airman Borenl instalt, new plumbing at orphanage.
Money for installation comes from men of the 8th Tactical Fight.r Wing.
11
A new man can see
the lights and almost
hear his own heels
clicking on the big city's
streets-it's tough to convince him
THOSE LIGHTS
ARE A YEAR AWAY!
by SSgt. STAN McDONNOUGH
Hq Alaskan Command
Lieutenants Terry Lenchitsky, left, and William Carlson get in a bit of skiing practice on the
lite', ski slope. AcrOH the water twinkle the lights that ore two miles and a year away.
A year is a long time to the men
who operate the jointly manned, re-
mote aircraft control and warning
site at Fire Island, Alaska. Al-
though they can look across the
two miles of water of Cook Inlet in
the evening and see the skyline and
twinkling lights of Anchorage, Alas-
ka's largest city, their assignment is
none the less remote.
The men on Fire Island can only
imagine the bustling activities of
Anchorage for the scant two miles
that separate them from these things
might as well be a thousand. Fire
Island and the 626th Aircraft Con-
trol and Warning Squadron is an
essential link in the air defense of
Alaska and the rest of the North
American continent. The island had
12
a mission during World War II as
a lookout site for submarines and
began its present mission in 1951.
The Mission Comes First is the
motto of military men on Fire Is-
land, and that mission, as part of a
vast radar surveillance network, is
to detect, identify and, if necessary,
direct the interception and destruc-
tion of any airborne object within
its sphere of responsibility.
As a North American Air De-
fense(NORAD) control center, Fire
Island receives and displays on its
tracking board statewide informa-
tion on airborne objects from two
subordinate radar direction centers
and other control centers and sur-
veillance sites in Alaska.
This information is transmitted
The site at fire Island geb its perishoble
supplies by helicopter from nearby Elmendorf.
to other control centers and to the'
master display board at the Alaskan
NORAD Region headquarters at
Elmendorf AFB, near Anchorage.
The wizardry of an electronic data
transmission and display system pro-
vides an up-to-the-moment picture
of every aircraft in flight over or
near Alaska. This information is
available to not only the regional
headquarters at Elmendorf AFB,
but also to several NORAD control
centers similar to Fire Island.
Fire Island and her sister ACW
sites inform the battle commander
of the speed, direction and altitude
of aircraft within their area, and in
many cases determine the aircraft's
origin and probable type.
Air defense of the Anchorage
area is the mission of the US Army
at Fire Island. Army air defense
operations officers work side by
side with their US Air Force coun-
terparts and, with their Nike ground-
to-air missiles, stand as a second
line of defense for Alaska's largest
city. The Air Force weapons con-
trollers assign intercept missions to
fighter-interceptor aircraft.
It takes about 200 men to op-
erate a remote site such as Fire
Island. For, in addition to the ob-
viously important radar o ~ a t o r s ,
and communications men, there'
must be maintenance
lUldoperations
I\dministrative
equipment
.either.
Inside the Fire Island combat center, the battle staff keeps a con-
stant watch on Alaskan skies. A "bogie" will scramble interceptors.
A time to work and a time to play. Slot car race track was built by
men at the site. It's one of the mast popular off-duty activities.
of his own to open a haberdashery,
the site commander Lt. Col. John
T. Brown, Jr., believes that a busy
man doesn't have time to get lone-
some or homesick, and runs his i s ~
land accordingly. Most of the men
assigned to Fire Island hold down
at least one additional duty along
with their principal job. This not
only reduces the number of people
needed to run the installation, but
is a morale factor, as the training
requirements and additional jobs do
not allow the men much free time
to brood over their remote existence.
Into the portion of their time not
used for eating, sleeping and work-
ing is crammed a full recreation
program which includes indoor and
outdoor athletics, craftwork-such
as lapidary and leather-working -
movies and many other activities.
The men at the site have built
several major recreational facilities.
These facilities include ski and
toboggan slopes, an ice skating rink
and an intricate indoor slot car
track. Competitive sports and rec-
reation are encouraged on the site.
One of the most important sup-
port functions at Fire Island is an
energetic fire prevention program.
April 1967
The Fire Island Volunteer Fire De-
partment is made up of one full-
time fireman and four volunteers
who train in their spare time. As
all the buildings and facilities at
the site are necessary for it to func-
tion normally, a fire at Fire Island
would literally leave them out in
the cold.
The 626th Aircraft Control and
Warning Squadron not only sup-
ports the military mission on the
island, but provides support for the
Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)
operation as well. One of the three
surveillance radars on the island is
maintained by the FAA and fur-
nishes information for its Air Traf-
fic Control System. The FAA also
operates electronic aids to aerial
navigation and communications fa-
cilities on the island.
Transportation to and from the
island and re-supply of perishable
items for the military is achieved
primarily through the use of H-21
helicopters. The H-2l s are eagerly
awaited by the men on the island,
because they also carry the mail.
In the personal life of a man sta-
tioned at the site, the letters from
home are a big morale booster.
Resupply of nonperishable items
is accomplished in the summer
months as part of Project Mona
Lisa. (See The Other Mona Lisa,
THE AIRMAN, May '64.') Mona
Lisa provides everything from sta-
ple food items to heavy equipment,
from diesel fuel to run the 10 elec-
tric power generators to the salt
used to soften the site water supply.
The supplies are brought in by
barge and unloaded at the island's
only dock, about three miles from
the site. They are then trucked to
the site.
Spiritual needs of the men at
Fire Island are provided for by the
Alaskan Command Chaplains' Of-
fice which sends circuit-riding chap-
lains, Protestant and Catholic, and
civilian missionaries to visit Fire
Island, which has a 3D-seat chapel.
Though a man stationed at Fire
Island can gaze at the lights of
Anchorage across Cook Inlet with
a longing look, he soon puts thoughts
of the city aside and buckles down
to his job--making sure those lights,
and the lights of hundreds more
cities in the Free World continue to
twinkle brightly. eGa
13
.... r' --------______ lIIIIIlfmn
P
ROJECT Gemini, the recently concluded portion of
the United States' manned space program, rang up
an impressive tally on the space computers. Collec-
tively, American astronauts logged nearly 2,000 hours
in space in the course of some 600 revolutions of
the earth during which they traveled more than 16
million miles. They went higher, explored more, ex-
perimented more, made more rendezvous and more
dockings, physically worked more, recorded more, and
accomplished more than Man had ever done before.
Those are some of the facts that impressed mil-
lions throughout the world. Less familiar to the world
audience that followed the 20 Gemini astronauts on
their to spectacular flights, however, is the fact that
one particular organization of the US Air Force
helped make it all possible.
This is the story of that organization - the only
one in the Free World to have ever put a man in
orbit. It's a story of hard work, professionalism, and
above all, a remarkable team effort.
The Grganization is the 6555th Aerospace Test
Wing at Partick AFB, Fla. It's part of Air Force
Systems Command's Space Systems Division, which
has its headquarters in Los Angeles.
The 6555th Aerospace Test Wing traces its an-
cestry back to early 1946 when the First Experimental
Guided Missile Group was activated at Eglin Field,
Fla., to test adaptations of the German V -I guided
bombs. The unit first came to Patrick in 1950 and
went through several name changes before acquiring
its current one in 1962.
It was also during 1962 that the 6555th got its
first man-launching experience. On February 20 of
that year, the wing successfully launched Marine Lt.
Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., into orbit. This use of an
Air Force-developed A t/as booster in Project Mercury
marked a departure from the earlier, suborbital
launches in which the Army's Redstone missile had
been used.
The Air Force was already familiar with many
aspects of manned space flight as far back as the
mid-fifties. It also had a backlog of experience with
ballistic weapon systems. In 1958, when the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was
directed to conduct the man-in-space effort, the
Air Force was assigned the task of developing boost-
ers to support manned S'lace flight.
With little hesitation, the Air Force Space Systems
Division chose its A rlas intercontinental ballistic mis-
sile for the Mercury program. Conversion from a wea-
pon-carrying ICBM to a booster is not-'
a simple one. The process is and _
involves installation of more sophisticated
systems, building redundancy - duplicate systems
into the booster wherever possible, and many
modifications. The changes were made, and the
successfully put a total of four American
into orbit. They were. all launched by the
Aerospace Test Wing.
Thus, in the first man-in-space program, it was
an Air Force rocket and Air Force technological
know-how from its experience with ICBMs that made
manned orbital flight possible.
Birth of Gemini
Gemini hegan in 1961, when NASA decided that
an intermediate step was needed between Mercury
and the moon-bound A polio program. Whereas in the
Mercury effort the astronaut functioned primarily as
an observer, in Gemini, he would be a pilot.
Project Gemini was therefore the second phase of
the United States' man-in-space program. Among the
main objectives of the program were long-duration
earth orbital flights to determine Man's capabilities
in space during periods of weightlessness and, in
later flights, rendezvous and docking missions and ex-
perimenting with astronaut extra-vehicular activity.
To meet the requirements of long-duration space
flights, the Gemini spacecraft contained support sys-
tems capable of sustaining life for periods up to two
weeks. In short, Gemini was to provide the vital
experience necessary for the eventual Apollo missions
to the moon.
Again the Air Force was called upon to provide
a booster. While the Atlas had successfully carried
the one-man Mercury capsules, it was not powerful
enough to handle the heavier Gemini spacecraft and
its two-man crew. Air Force eyes turned to the Titan
II ICBM.
The Titan II was a reliable, powerful rocket, but
- like the A tlas before it - had to undergo a pro-
gram of "man rating," with primary emphasis on
astronaut safety. The Air Force Space Systems Divi-
sion augmented, rather than changed the Titan ll,
which needed relatively few entirely new systems.
Under direction of the Gemini System Program Of-
fice, the Air Force built redundancy into the rocket's
existing systems. Perhaps the best proof of the re-
liability of the Titan II booster lies in the fact that
it was never necessary to use the redundant systems
installed for man-launching.
In Project Gemini, as in the orbital portion of
Project Mercury, the Air Force was totally responsi-
ble for the launch vehicle. It had done the research
April 1967
and development of each vehicle, overseen the ac-
tual construction, tested them, man-rated them, de-
livered them to Cape Kennedy, checked out their sys-
tems and finally-and spectacularly-launched them.
This meant that when a launch was postponed due
to some problem, Air Force crews supervising the
operation - members of the 6555th - would work
side by side with the contractor, sometimes for days
on end, until the problem was corrected. The count-
down itself was a joint Air Force-<:ontractor effort.
And it was an Air Force man who gave the final
"go" for the actual launch.
In addition to the Titan ll, the Air Force Atlas
saw service in Gemini, too. Beginning with GT -8, it
was teamed up with the Air Force-developed Agena
upper' stage to provide a' target for the orbiting
Gemini spacecraft. Here, too, Air Force capabilities
in heing, and Air Force hardware on-the-shelf made
it possible to meet NASA's rigid schedule for the
Gemini program.
As the 6555th wing commander Col. Otto C. Led-
ford put it, "There's absolutely no doubt in my mind
that we wouldn't be where we are now in the space
program if it had not heen for the fact that the Air
Force had a vehicle and the technical know-how
ready when the need arose for an intermediate pro-
gram between Mercury and Apollo."
In Gemini, the Atlas-Agena was not slated for
carrying astronauts and for that reason it was not
required to go through the man-rating process. But,
to insure maximum reliability, it did undergo a spe-
cialized modification program. Basically, the booster
was an Atlas D missile with upgraded engines and
latest state-of-the-art improvements. The Agena was
a sophisticated version of the space vehicle the Air
Force had heen using in space programs for years.
Essentially, during the span of Project Gemini,
the 6555th Aerospace Test Wing's task was to re-
ceive, checkout, and launch the Titan II and the
Atlas-Agena after they had undergone rigorous Air
Force quality control inspection during all phases of
production. The entire launch operation was under
the direction of the Air Force, both with the Titan II
and the Atlas-Agena. The end result is that the Air
15
Force, working with its contractors, actually put the
astronauts and their target vehicles into space.
The mission sounds almost simple when reduced
to words. But it was not simple and it never became
routine. The launching of a manned rocket calls for
the utmost attention to the smallest detail.
The unit of the 6555th which was responsible for
the launch of the astronaut-carrying Titan II was
the Gemini Launch Vehicle (GLV) Division. It was
headed by Col. John G. Albert. The Air Force of-
ficers and airmen assigned to the GLV Division are
specialists in the various booster systems - engines,
hydraulics, guidance and others. It was their job to
follow the booster's progress from the time it arrived
at Cape Kennedy until it was launched. And after
blast-off, they had to see that the pad was made
ready for another launch. This involved the repair
or replacement of items damaged or destroyed during
booster launch.
The people of the GLV Division are especially
and justifiably proud of their work in the "7/6
Turnaround" in December 1965. GT -6 was originally
scheduled for launch in October, with its Atlas-Agena
target. However, after launching, the Agena target
vehicle failed to attain orbit and the mission was
scrubbed. GT -6 was replaced by GT -7 on Pad 19.
The vehicle was checked out by the Air Force-
contractor crew, and the launch of the GT-7 came
on December 4. Immediately after GT-7 left the pad,
almost before the smoke had cleared, crews went on
an around-the-clock schedule and started erecting
GT -6 again on Pad 19. GT -6 was ready for launch
on Decen,ber 12, only eight days after the launch of
GT-7. Then, in the final countdown, a plug dropped
out prematurely and caused a shutdown of engines.
The problem was resolved and the countdown re-
started. GT -6 actually got off the pad on December
15, II days after GT-7, marking the shortest interval
for two launches from the same pad in space history.
The Atlas-Agena Division, headed by Lt. Col.
LeDewey E. Allen, also had its busy moments in
the Gemini program. Some of the busiest came in May
1966 when a failure occurred during the A tlas boost
phase. The launch pad was immediately cleaned up
and a new A tlas was erected and checked out. Two
weeks later the new booster successfully placed a
target vehicle in orbit. The fast turnaround set a
record for Atlas launches at the Cape.
The Gemini program ended with the on-target
splashdown of GTA-12, carrying Astronauts James A.
Lovell, Jr., and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., on November
15. With its conclusion come many changes for the
6555th Aerospace Test Wing.
For Colonels Albert and Allen, it means they've
worked themselves out of a job - almost literally.
Completion of the program brings deactivation or
reorganization of their divisions, and reassignment
for the two officers. Each had a summation of what
he felt the program had accomplished.
16
Three key men of Gemini discuss docking achievement.
canter, commands 655Sth; Col. Albert (I) was responsible for I
Gemini-carrying Titon II, while Lt. Col. Allen headed Atlas
Colonel Albert stressed some significant
benefits." He commented, "There are three
that readily come to my mind. One is that
with an advance in technology, there has
corresponding refinement of procedures. We've
fected our way of doing things and in the n,,>co
vel oped a good system of checks and
"The second thing is that we've learned to
two countdowns simultaneously. We launched
rockets with only an hour and a half between
. . . and in the case of Gemini II, we got a
off with a launch window of only two seconds."
The third thing Colonel Albert listed as a
benefit" was related to the second. "We've
to control and track two birds in quick
Our people all along the range got so they
switch from A tlas-A gena telemetry to the
Gemini in an hour or less."
For Colonel Allen, the role of people
military contribution were extremely important.
human factor was without a doubt the
blended all the other elements of the
gram into a workable combination," he said,
I don't think any discussion of Gemini's success
be complete unless you recognize the fact
entire space program is based upon the de'veI<)Il
of weapons systems ... Army and Navy as
Air Force. We are, of course, particularly
the Titan, Atlas and Agena were Air Force
For Colonel Ledford, the end of Gemini
other step in a program with which he has
sociated for some I I years. He first "met"
in 1956 when he was assigned to the
program at the Air Force Ballistic Missile
in Los Angeles. He became deputy director
program in 1959, and in 1960, became
Titan site activation. Other assignments prior
current one had him involved in development
Titan II and Titan Ill.
r
Like his division chiefs, Colonel Ledford had words
of praise for the people who made it all possible. "If
I use the word 'teamwork,' it tells only part of the
story. There must be added the word 'spirit.' A cer-
tain feeling existed in this program that was shared
by NASA people, contractors and blue-suiters alike.
Perhaps it was just the knowledge that there was a
job to be done and so it was done. No one confined
himself to the limits of his area of responsibility. The
letters of contracts were forgotten because the spirit
dictated doing the job the best way you knew how."
Referring to his officers, enlisted men and Air
Force civilians as "the best in the country," the colonel
continued, "There's one point I want to stress most
strongly; and that is the really outstanding NCOs and
airmen we have assigned. When the news photos show
one of our officers or civilians at a console or a
checkout panel, you can be Sure that somewhere
along the system there's a top-notch NCO or airman
contributing his knowledge and skill. I have not the
slightest doubt that without them we could never have
gotten even the first bird off the ground."
Colonel Ledford looked to the future when he con-
tinued, "Of course, the completion of Gemini is far
from being the end of the road for the 6555th. We're
in the middle of programs involving the Minuteman
and Titan Ill. And I'm pretty sure these are going
to take much of our attention for some time to come."
The wording on an award presented to the 6555th
and to its host unit at Patrick, the Air Force Eastern
Test Range, seems to vindicate the feelings of these
key individuals of the Gemini program. The award
was the NASA Group Achievement Award and it
reads: "For outstanding teamwork by the 6555th
Aerospace Test Wing in conducting launch opera-
tions and the Eastern Test Range for range support
for Gemini space flight missions. They exhibited ex-
ceptional technical competence and dedication to duty
in successfully launching and coordinating range sup-
port requirements."
Mr. James E. Webb, administrator of the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, had earlier
summed up in a few words the Air Force contribution
to manned space flight when, in a special article for
THE AIRMAN, he said, "The rapid rate of progress
in the NASA part of the national space program over
the past six years would have been impossible with-
out the launch vehicles and related technology de-
rived from Air Force missile programs.
"I wish to emphasize also that with these rockets
we got much more than hardware. We obtained the
advantage of the experience and competence and
good will bf the Air Force personnel who helped us
procure and use these rockets and who have worked
with us closely in further perfecting them.
"NASA continues to look to the Air Force for
many essential services in support of its operations."
Beginning with the Apollo program, other organiza-
tions will launch men into orbit. But you can remem-
ber with pride that men in blue suits - members of
the 6555th Aerospace Test Wing - did it first. eOa
Log of the astronouts-the Gemini record
MISSION CREW' DATES
Gemini I Unmanned Apr. 812, 1964
Gemini 2 Unmanned Jan. 19, 1965
Gemini 3 Virgil I. Grissom Mar. 23, 1965
John W. Young
Gemini 4 James A. McDivitt June 37, 1965
Edward H. White II
Gemini 5 l. Gordon Cooper, Jr. Aug. 2129, 1965
Charles P. Conrad, Jr.
Gemini 1 Frank Borman Dec. 418, 1965
James A. Lovell, Jr.
Gemini 6 Walter M. Schirra, Jr. Dec. 1516, 1965
Thomas P. Stafford
Gemini 8 Neil A. Armstrong Mar. 16, 1966
David R. Scott
Gemini 9 Thomas P. Staflord" June 3-6, 1966
Eugene A. Cernan
Gemini 10 John W. Young** July 1821, 1966
Michael Collins
Gemini 11 Charles P. Conrad, Jr'-' Sept. 1215, 1966
Richard F. Gordon, Jr.
Gemini 12
James A.lovell, Jr.** Nov. 1115, 1966
Edwin Aldrin
*-Command pilot shown first.
..
-Second Gemini mission.
April 1967
DURATION
64 revolutions
2127.1 miles
3 revolutions
4 hrs., 53 min.
66 revolutions
4 days, 1 hr., 59 min.
120 revolutions
7 days, 22 hr., 59 min.
206 revolutions
13 days, 18 hr., 35 min.
16 revolutions
1 day, 1 hr., 52 min.
7 revolutions
10 hr., 42 min.
46 revolutions
3 days, 21 min.
43 revolutions
2 days, 22 hrs., 47 min.
44 revolutions
2 days, 23 hr., 17 min.
59 revolutions
3 days, 22 hr., 36 min.
HIGHLIGHTS
Unmanned test of spacecraft and launch vehicle.
Unmanned ballistic test of spacecraft and heat shield.
First U, S. 2 man flight; first manual orbit change,
First U. S. extravehicular activity (EVAI by White (22
minJ
First 8 day manned flight.
Ended doubts man could function under weightless
conditions for 2 weeks without ill effects.
Historic first rendezvous in space with another man
ned spacecraft.
World's first space docking with another vehicle; pre
cision launch of Gemini spacecraft and Agena docking
vehicle, using simUltaneous countdown.
Record EVA time by Cernan (2 hr., 10 min.1
Smallest launch window (35 seconds) to date for reno
dezvous; deepest manned pentration into space (476
mi.l; first rendezvous with 2 vehicles in 2 different
orbits; 2 EVA periods.
Confronted by 2 second launch window, achieved
launch precisely on time to rendezvous on first orbit
of docking target; 2 EVA periods; new space penetra
tion record {850 mi.l
Simulated Apollo program rendezvous; new world rec
ord for total EVA on single mission by Aldrin (5 hrs.
37 min.l
-Courtesy Aero;ef.Ganeral Corp.
17
Operation
Sale Side
by MSgt. S. J. CHRISTALDI
Hq PACAF
"JOINED to Fight! Joined to Fight!"
The words echoed over Hawaii ' s Schofield Bar-
racks as the Air Force's elite 1041st USAF Security
Police Squadron double-timed smartly down the road.
The 1041 st is unique. It is the hean of an Air
Force test program called Operation Safe Side. Its
purpose? Form, equip and train a US Air Force Se-
curity Police force with the ability to secure air bases
located in hostile environments against all forms of
enemy ground action.
With greater mobility, more advanced detection
equipment, reinforced training, and heavier fire-power
than is normally found in a security police squadron,
the 1041 st, currently 200 men strong, is undergoing
six months of field evaluation.
The idea for the unit was conceived in 1965 as
a result of Air Force experience in Vietnam where
heavily guarded air bases were being attacked by the
Viet Congo Obviously, new procedures for internal
base security were needed. Although Air Force Se-
curity Police plans against sabotage were basically
sound for most bases throughout the world, a study
in Vietnam proved that no single existing system or
technique provided sufficient security to thwart the
Viet Cong guerrillas in their own environment.
Based on the situation in Vietnam a new base se-
curity concept, unlike any in Air Force history. was
designed. Evolved under the supervisory eye of Lt.
Gen. Glen W. Martin, Air Force Inspector General
In the lush Hawoiia., countryside. air policemen practice combal 'actics.
Crew fires a .!iO caliber machine gun at Q simulated enemy target.
18
The Airman
until February 1967, the proposal was presented to
and accepted by Chief of Staff, General John P. Mc-
Connell and the Air Staff. The name Safe Side was
assigned to the development of the new concept.
Because of his experience in the field of internal
security, Lt. Col. William H. Wise was appointed
project officer for Operation Safe Side.
Discussions were held with the US Army, Marine
Corps, and Royal Air Force regarding ground com-
bat training courses which would best suit the needs
of this new program. The US Army Ranger Course
at Fort Benning, Ga., was selected. In addition to
being realistic and tough, it also developed the in-
dividual's self-confidence, and leadership abilities, as
well as his skill in ground combat tactics.
A training plan was written, based on Army
Ranger experience, and a number of Air Force Se-
curity Police officers and NCOs were screened for in-
structor duty. Twenty-three were finally selected for
Ranger training.
Next, the call for volunteers went out to security
policemen. The requirements were stiff. Not only did
applicants have to be highly motivated, but their last
five proficiency reports had to be in the top 10 per-
cent! Naturally, applicants also had to be in near-
perfect physical condition. One hundred seventy men
were chosen.
The 1041 st USAF Security Police Squadron was
activated in September 1966. It then had 225 men,
including trainees, instructors and support personnel.
All its combat members were, and still are, volun-
teers. Virtually all had been Air Force Security Police-
men.
"During the first few weeks, trainees were given a
lot of physical conditioning and many hours of drill ,"
said a training NCO. "We had to get them in shape
as quickly as possible. The drills were good for their
coordination. We wanted them to see everything,
think quickly and clearly, to react instantaneously
and to shoot straight. All of these are important in com-
bat," explained the veteran security policeman.
Schofield Barracks in Hawaii was selected as the
training site because of its terrain, housing, and other
facilities. An obstacle course was not available at
Schofield, but the instructors built their own, pattern-
ing it after the one at Fort Benning.
Training was in a jungle environment, and in-
cluded night infiltration tactics. Scout dogs were in-
cluded in the program. Air Force personnel conducted
all phases of training.
April 1967
Trainees ar. schooled in the art of camouflage. Properly garbed, they
are almost impossible to lpot. See the M-16 aimed directly at you?
This is the first time a complete Air Force unit
has been trained for defensive ground combat.
':Local base security forces are responsible for the
internal protection of air bases," Colonel Wise stated.
"They have been very effective against attempted
penetrations by saboteurs. But when hostile groups
overtly attack our base perimeters in large numbers,
it's too late!
"With units such as the 1041 st on the scene, the
enemy would have a rough time getting in close
enough to the base without being detected," he con-
tinued. "We are equipped with modern electronic de-
vices and scout dogs to alert us when someone pene-
trates our area of responsibility."
Personnel of the 1041 st are highly trained in all
phases of ground combat, with special empljasis on
tactics relating to perimeter and internal security
protection. Their basic weapon is the M-16 rifle, but
they also have, and are highly skilled in the use of,
a wide variety of other weapons which make the out-
fit a high firepower organization.
The dogs of the 1041 st are unique within the Air
Force. They are scout dogs trained primarily not to
attack an enemy, but to detect his presence, even
when he's hiding in water.
A comparatively new system of hand-ta-hand com-
bat measures is used by the unit. It includes self de-
fense with and without weapons. It is designed to
kill or incapacitate an enemy whenever physical con-
19
tact is made. All assigned Air Force Security Police-
men are skilled in hand-to-hand combat.
To check on physical and combat proficiency, pe-
riodic tests were given. These included the 40-yard
low crawl, horizontal ladder, dodge run and jump,
grenade throw, and one-mile run. Trainees were re-
quired to score a minimum of 300 for all five events.
When training began, the average physical condi-
tion score per student was 311 points. Six weeks
later the average score had jumped to 381 - indicat-
ing the significant improvement in physical condition-
ing. More than 20 of the men clad in fatigues , combat
boots, web belt, and canteen were able to run the
mile in six minutes or less.
Midway through training the men were subjected
to escape and evasion tactics. After being "captured"
by the instructors, trainees were marched to an
"enemy" compound. The students were held "captive"
overnight - about 20 hours in all. "It was a
harrowing experience," explained one of the men.
" I' ll never be taken prisoner," stated another.
"It was all made very realistic," said CMSgt. Rob-
ert C. Frink, squadron sergeant major. "We harassed
them, insulted them, and did all the things we think
Trainees hit this chest.high log under a full head of steom; lOmenauit OVer it with
weapons in hand. This obstacle is called, appropriately enough, the "belly.buder."
., ,
~ ~ . - ~ - ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
20
Wher'l Itudenh become proficient at crawling under the barbed wire ot this height,
it', lowered a little. This is only one of 14 challenges in the tough obstacle course.
Many obstacles must be negotiated at a dead
run. Course is like Ft. Benning Ronger School.
The Airman
1.
the enemy would do to humiliate them. They were
very uncomfortable. I don't think they got any sleep
at all that night. Now, they have a better idea of
what it means to be captured."
Sergeant Frink speaks from experience. During
World War 11 he was captured by the Germans, but
escaped 18 days later.
During their 16 weeks in Hawaii, ending in mid-
December, the men went through combat training as
rough as any ever taken by an Air Force unit. Their
day began at dawn and ended long after dark. Many
of the veteran instructors who completed the Army
/
Ranger Course at Fort Benning rate Safe Side train-
ing as tough, and in some respects tougher than
that at Benning.
Highlight of training came at the end of the ninth
week. At this point the students received the unit's
distinctive symbol, the "blue beret." General Martin,
who had seen the project through from its beginning.
presented the berets. From then on the trainees and
instructors worked as a unit to form a flexible, highly
mobile security police force. The men who had
"loined to Fight" were now "trained and ready to
fight." eo.
.I.
Combat members of the 104111 Security Police Squadron must be ready to surmount ony obstacle they meet. Here they spon
a 20meler river using a ,ingle rope technique known 01 the Swiu Segt. A slip here means a refreshing dip in the stream.
April t967
Her.', one way to whet (or wet) your .tudent'. enthuliasm.
Troinee goes off the board blindfolded. the" swims to .hore.
finally through their Irolnlng. these oir policemen or.
ready for combot. Unit uses M16 and heavier weapons.
2t
by SMSgt. ED KOSIER
Hq USAF
22
REASONS
THEY
STAY
AIR
FORCE
Recent official surveys reveal six
solid reasons why Air Force men
are staying in.
S
TILL serving with the US Air
Force are many veterans of
World War II, the Berlin Airlift,
Korean war and the numerous in-
ternational crises of the 1950s. To-
day, many of these men are fighting
in Vietnam-their third war-and
most by personal choice.
Why?
Why do these thousands continue
to serve the Air Force and their
country, men who have suffered
wounds in action; men who were
POWs; men who have endured pri-
vation and hardship?
Although every career man has
his own particular and personal rea-
sons, here are some typical answers
to the question, why do you stay
in? It was addressed to veterans of
the forties and fifties.
"Twenty-year retirement and its
benefits," was the blunt reply of an
Air Defense Command pilot.
"Training and educational oppor-
tunities offered by the Air Force," a
Pentagon NCO answered.
A fighter-bomber squadron com
mander in Southeast Asia said it in
four words: "r like to fly."
"It just kind of crept up on me,"
a Tactical Air Command NCO re-
plied. "I reenlisted because of Ko-
rea, got married, and decided I liked
the steady paycheck. It's security."
These four factors - 20-year re-
tirement, educational opportunities,
flying, security - emerged as some
of the main reasons why people
make a career of the Air Force.
Through surveys taken by the
Sampling Section, Headquarters US
Air Force Data Services Center,
over the past few years, the Air
Force has become aware of these
and other "plus" career factors. Ap-
proximately eight percent of the of-
ficers and four percent of the airmen
are surveyed every six months.
Surveyed are colonels through
warrant officers and chief master
sergeants through airmen basic-
with years of service ranging from
less than one to more than 20.
The biannual comprehensive
questionnaire not only asks reasons
for making the Air Force a career,
but reasons for not staying in. Addi-
tionally, other questions are asked
so that the Air Force can review
and evaluate policies and programs
on career planning, retirement, de-
pendents, quarters allowances, edu-
cation, personnel services, informa-
tion programs, Off-duty employment .. ,
and other topics under study by the;.:;!
Air Staff. The surveys have. Siiil
TIl .. ..
'-',:0;:'
" ,"j,
a continuing percentage drop in
complaints concerning pay and al-
lowances; no doubt because of the
recent pay raises.
Repeatedly,careerists have listed
six primary reasons for making the
Air Force a career. Only their order
of importance changes with each sur-
vey, and then by only minute per-
centage points.
Plus Side for Officers
Twenty-year retirement and a
love for flying are usually checked
by a great number of officers as pri-
mary reasons for staying Air Force.
The 20-year retirement option is
an obvious positive factor. Those
who like flying are usually engaged
in it. Most are assigned to flying
commands like TAC, MAC, SAC.
PACAF, ADC and USAFE.
Fringe benefits such as commis-
sary, medical care and pay usually
come in a solid third.
Fourth is adventure, travel and
new experiences. Most of the offi-
cers indicating this favorable aspect
of a career were serving in an over-
seas command.
However, the survey did indicate
that the younger the officer, the
more fond he is of travel-and the
adventure and new experiences that
go with it.
The fifth reason is simply that of-
ficers like military life.
Opportunities for more training
and education in the Air Force is the
sixth choice. Overall, 45 percent of
those completing the surveys said the
Air Force had contributed to their
formal education.
Some 65 percent of the officers
disclosed they planned to remain on
active duty as long as possible or at
least to complete 20 or more years
of service. Only three percent were
getting out following their initial
commitment. Of the 22 percent un-
decided, most had relatively little
active service.
April 1967
The Plus Side for Airmen
Generally, airmen agree with
what officers consider the favorable
aspects of an Air Force career.
The surveys show most airmen
stay because of educational oppor-
tunities and training offered by the
Air Force. They reveal an airman
force that is hungry for more edu-
cation. Of those questioned, more
than 95 percent had a high school
diploma; nearly 30 percent had some
college or a degree; and of those who
did not possess a degree, 23 percent
intended to complete the require-
ments by off-duty or Bootstrap stud-
ies. Twenty-sixty percent of the air-
men said the Air Force had assisted
them in obtaining their education.
The obvious incentive of 20-year
retirement and its benefits usually
rates second and third.
Fourth reason is adventure, trav-
el, and new experiences. Here
again, the career airmen are in con-
cert with officers. Most serving over-
seas during the surveys liked this
career factor.
Security-the steady pay check-
rates fifth with airmen. In 'sixth
place is the careerist's natural pref-
erence for military life.
End Result
The end result of all the surveys
shows that the Air Force has this
to offer:
Twenty-year retirement and its
fringe benefits.
Adventure, travel and new ex-
periences.
Opportunities for more training
and education.
The opportunity to fly.
Security.
Serving the Air Force.
These then, are the reasons why
veterans of the 1940s and
1950s have stayed in. They have
found the Air Force a rich and sat-
isfying life. As one NCO put it,
"We'd rather fight than switch!"
T
HIS is the new A-37.
It was designed to meet specific Air Force require-
ments for counterinsurgency air operations and close
air support for ground forces.
It 's rugged; a modified version of the tried and
true T-37, the trainer used in pilot training programs.
The Y AT (experimental) prototype successfully
completed extensive Air Force flight test programs at
Edwards AFB and Eglin AFB. There will be 39 copies
of the modified T -37 rolling off Cessna Aircraft Com-
pany production lines this summer. These will be de-
livered to Tactical Air Command, as available, for
further flight testing and evaluation.
An additional series of A-37s will be manufactured
by Cessna to meet future Air Force requirements.
These will not be the modified T -37 version; they will
be original A-37s, and undoubtedly will incorporate
new changes recommended by T AC flyers.
Although similar in appearance to the trainer ver-
sion, the A-37 operates with twice the power and
twice the gross weight of the T-37B. (The T-37 was
developed initially as a replacement for the piston en-
gine T-28). To date more than 900 T-37A, Band C
models have been built and delivered to the US Air
Force and eight allied nations.
Modifications to construct the A-37 include installa-
tion of two General Electric J85/ 12 engines, which
increase total thrust from 2,050 to 4,800 pounds.
Eight wing pylons (four under each wing) are in-
stalled, along with self-sealing fuel cells and 90-gallon
fuel tanks on each wing tip.
The A-37 also has new electronic equipment; larger
wheels, tires and brakes; a gross weight increase from
6,600 to 12,000 pounds; and provisions for a rapid-
fire minigun in the nose.
Other installations consist of a fire-control and elec-
trical system designed to accommodate all weapons
for close support missions; provision for an access door
under the fuselage for aerial cameras; passive defen-
sive equipment including armor plating and shatter-
We/COllie the
24 The Airman
proof glass; and provisions to carry long-range fuel
drop tanks:
Performance figures of the A-37 show a maximum
speed of 415 knots, a gross weight takeoff distance
over a 50-foot barrier at 2,650 feet, and a landing
distance over the same barricr at 2,350 feet.
Rate of climb at 12,000 pounds gross weight is
6,500 feet per minutc and 10,000 feet per minute
at 8,000 pounds gross wcight. The A-37 is 29.3 feet
long and has a wing span of 35.8 feet.
Armament capability can be increased from 4,700
to 4,855 pounds with a one-man crew. The aircraft
has provisions to carryall known conventional wcap-
ons for counterinsurgency missions. The aircraft's
excellcnt maneuverability, small silhouette, low engine
noise and high speed across a target, coupled with
the self-sealing fuel cells, armor plating and twin-en-
gine safety, make it highly survivable.
. Reports on flight tests of the YAT-37D revealed
that if an engine were lost after takeoff at gross weights
April t967
up to 11,700 pounds, the mi ssion could still be com-
pleted on the remaining engine.
The A-37 can carry 4,855 pounds of ordnance, has
a rangc of 1,400 miles, and can be refueled in flight.
Speed range will be from 138 to 436 miles per hour
with full external stores, and up to 478 miles per hour
with no external stores.
The basic T-37 trainer, which is still being manu-
factured for the Air Force by Cessna, has been the
lowest cost jet aircraft in the military inventory with
operating costs reportedly less than half of any other
military jet aircraft.
Last September the 35 14th Flying Training Squadron
at Randolph AFB flew past the 40,000-hour mark in
accident-free operations in the T-37. In addition, stu-
dents of the T-37 program flew some 44,800 spins in
the aircraft from February 1964 through September
1966. (The T-37 is the only jet in the Air Force which
is spun regularly.) The safety mark was accomplished
with a neet of only 30 T-37s. eo.
2S