information is abstracted from the declassified Historical Reports of the 3084th
Aviation Depot Group from 1 Jan 1956 to 31 Dec 1959.)
COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION - OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES
(1 Jan - 30 June 1956)
On January 8, 1956, cutover of ten (10) direct automatic to automatic dial telephone circuits for Westover AFB to Stony Brook AFS was completed. The 7th level (No. 7 on dial) was used for this trunking. Class "C" numbers were no longer restricted for "7" level, and had the privilege of connections with Westover APB.
This Division instituted a system whereby all offices at Stony Brook were provided a copy of the Westover AFB, Holyoke, Massachusetts, and Springfield, Massachusetts, telephone directories. New directories were distributed in January and February 1956.
During January 1956, a Stony Brook Communication Electronics Instruction Outline (CEI) was completed which contained all specific operating policies concerning Stony Brook AFS specifically. It was published for the purpose of augmenting USAF and AMC CEI.
A need appeared to develop a clear cut telephone operating procedure to preclude the possibility of an off-base connection from Stony Brook AFS through the Westover communications facilities, for Class "C" users at Stony Brook AFS. MAJOR KEANE, Communications Officer, Westover AFB, and the telephone supervisor at Westover AFB stated that "7" level dialing and then dialing "0" for an off-base connection would not be honored. Stony Brook operators of telephone switchboards were advised immediately of the above. Steps were immediately taken an Stony Brook to preclude Class "C" users at Westover AFB from utilizing our city trunks via the same (reverse) method.
During the week of 27 January 1956, a considerable amount of effort was expended to thoroughly check and repair the radio equipment of the Production Control Net. There were four (4) trucks equipped with vehicular radios for this net. The fixed station had been repaired and the WCP fixed station repair was accomplished. To prevent further additional serious troubles, coordination with users and maintenance personnel was effected to insure a more efficient preventative maintenance procedure.
A complete inventory of hand tools, UAL 6006 accounts and the fixed property records was completed satisfactorily on 24 February 1956.
Installation of a new set of intercommunication equipment in the War Room was completed 1 March 1956. This new type of installation provided much more efficient operation.
During the period of 2-8 March 1956 the Wire Maintenance Section completed a project of replacing an intercommunication terminal in Building #101 which contains all lines pertaining to intercommunications in Building #101. The rework of this terminal enabled the maintenance personnel to easily identify and locate lines of intercommunications networks for purposes of maintenance changes and adding of future facilities. The type terminal installed was kept locked at all times, and added considerably to the Communications Security at this station.
Installation of the antenna farm was completed by the contractor on 28 March 1956. The installation Inspection Certificate was completed the same date and distribution was effected. The Bill of Materials was prepared and an estimate submitted to the Budget and Accounting Division for the rerouting of transmission lines for the antenna farm to the Comm-Ops Building. With the new antenna farm, transmission range and signal strength were greatly improved to the Net Control Station and the Alternate AMC Net Control Station. An increase in Radio Teletype testing exercises was immediately noted and completed.
On 4 April 1956, the necessary cable pairs were installed in the system to permit the checking of Guard telephone facilities at the Central Office. This will greatly facilitate checking and locating of reported Guard Telephone troubles.
During the week of 23-27 April 1956, security indoctrination was given to all ADT and Switchboard Operators by CAPT ST PALLY and 1ST LT BARR. A review of all existing SOP's and Station Regulations was performed for all ADT Operators, in view of a forthcoming security inspection.
Telephone communication for the Otis Lake Project was confirmed on 25 April 1956. The installation of a pay station adjacent to the camp area for joint use of military and residents was agreed upon. Once this pay station is installed, private telephone service can be requested for the camp site if so desired. Cost of this pay station installation is at telephone company expense, with reimbursement to the Central Welfare Fund of 20% of all tolls in excess of $12.00. The construction of a cement foundation by the military was agreed upon by the Communications Division to expedite this installation, such construction was to be performed by Communications Division personnel. This cement base was completed on 11 June 1956. This facility will greatly increase attendance at the Otis Lake Project due to personnel being able to receive a notice in event of an alert recall at Stony Brook AFS.
A new Station Telephone Directory was completed and published on 9 May 1956. Copies were forwarded to higher headquarters and a notice placed on all bulletin boards and in the Station Daily Bulletin for complete distribution.
In order to correct a deficiency of the antenna system which was noted on the facility acceptance form, during the week of 14-18 May 1956, lightning protection devices were installed on the seventy-five (75) foot antenna poles of the new rhombic antenna farm.
Commercial TWX Service, as a backup facility for the Comm Center, which was originally scheduled for installation on 25 May 1956, and extended to 16 June 1956, was again extended - this time to 8 July 1956. This date was confirmed by MR CRONIN, Boston Office, American Telephone & Telegraph Company.
The CONELRAD Plan for Stony Brook AFS was amended and submitted to the 26th Air Defense Division, Roslyn, Long Island, New York, for coordination and approval, during the week of 4-8 June 1956.
Starting on 25 June 1956, and scheduled two (2) times per day, all radio operators on the Station, including security radio operators, received instructions on the radio procedure of the fixed stations in the guardhouse. Upon completion of this training, the radio maintenance personnel furnished instructions to operators in the War Room and the Handling Division, Operations Squadron.
(1 July - 31 December 1956)
Considerable difficulty was encountered during the previous reporting period in vehicular and fixed type radio facilities. During July 1956, the Radio Maintenance Section was reorganized and policies initiated to prevent further breakdown. Many of the difficulties were eliminated thereby. However, maintenance troubles were not entirely eliminated, due to inclement weather and increased need for radio facility use.
In order to provide Commercial TWX Service to back up the Site COMNET, arrangements were made and work completed to install the commercial TWX circuits on 26 July 1956. The procedures and operation were verified immediately and the system was on operational standby for future need at the end of this period.
During the early part of July 1956, it was determined that the poles connected with the antenna farm would require grounding in order to provide maximum protection against lightning damage. Consequently, on 13 July 1956, grounding on all poles connected therewith was accomplished by this division and the matter was considered adequately closed.
At about the same time that the above pole grounding was accomplished, a survey was made of the cable runs from Stony Brook Air Force Station to Westover Air Force Base and it was discovered that tree growth was jeopardizing proper cable functioning. During the week of 23 July 1956, the tree growth on the aerial portion of the Westover runs was eliminated and procedure established for recheck at least semi-annually.
In connection with the new Ops-Comm Building to be constructed on the station, specification, drawings and the bill of material for the relocation of the rhombic and doublet antenna transmission lines were received from Middletown Air Materiel Area (MAAMA). Funds to be used were not indicated and recheck by phone with MAAMA indicated they did not know what funds were available and could not assure that supply action would be accomplished soon enough to permit relocation of lines to coincide with the completion of the new building. During the week of 7 September 1956, two (2) telephone manholes were completed to run ductwork to the cable vault of the new building. A standard practice called for number 9 pull-wire to be installed in the ductwork. However, the specifications did not include the pull-wire. The Installations Division was unable to accept the facility until an inspection of the ductwork could be accomplished. In order to accomplish such inspection this division was required to borrow duct rods from the Communications Division Westover AFB and free the duct of obstructions. The ductwork was then accepted by the Installations Division.
During the week of 19 October 1956, the contract for the installation of Stromberg-Carlson telephone equipment into the new Ops-Comm Building was received from AMC. Because of the complexity of this installation, a communications conference was scheduled with representatives from the 3079th Aviation Depot Wing and the Corps of Engineers from Kansas City, Missouri. (Reference Page H-13 pertaining to the Joint Communications Conference for list of personnel who attended.) During September, October and November, supplies were obtained and stored pending installation in the new building, particularly supplies for the Stromberg-Carlson personnel.
The installation of the Stromberg-Carlson equipment was scheduled for 19 November 1956 and was actually initiated on 26 November 1956. Progress was slow at the beginning due to lack of Stromberg-Carlson personnel. As of 30 November 1956, for an example, a Mr. Barber was the only one present from Stromberg Carlson. Other personnel were delayed at Caribou Air Force Station, Maine, working on an installation there.
After the arrival of the Stromberg-Carlson crews, installation proceeded satisfactorily until 10 December 1956 at which time there was a mix-up in a shipment which temporarily delayed the installation The mix-up caused Stromberg-Carlson personnel to await instructions from their company as to whether to continue work here with equipment on hand or to return the equipment to the company for modification and re-wiring. The equipment shipped here did not provide facilities for off-base trunking which is required for a station of this type. The mix-up in shipment was not entirely pinned down, but it appeared to be that either the Middletown or Rome Depots shipped equipment for this site to Caribou and installed it there.
On 19 December 1956, a telephone call was made to Major Bosseler at the 3079th Aviation Depot Wing concerning the discrepancies in specifications on the Stromberg-Carlson Central Office. In effect, Major Bosseler was notified that this station would not accept the facility if it were installed in accordance with the specifications received with the equipment. The 3084th Aviation Depot Group was informed that the Stromberg-Carlson Company had been directed to continue with its present installation under the existing specifications and only upon orders from the Air Force Engineering Agency would they discontinue such installation. This cancelled any delay which could be placed by this station on the project, and the work was continued until the end of this period. The situation was not fully developed and straightened out until January 1957 and will be covered in the subsequent historical report.
During August 1956, the telephone trunk toll cable (Cable #3) between this station and the Chicopee, Massachusetts, Exchange, began to show signs of deterioration. This is a fifty (50) pair tape armored cable which contains the Springfield trunks, six (6) pay-stations and three (3) commercial TWX services. Although the Group was using only seventeen (17) pairs in this cable, it was necessary to continually change cable and within two (2) weeks, in early August, ten (10) pairs were faulty, giving a total of thirteen (13) unusable pairs as of 10 August 1956. A visual check of the cable route showed that some portions of the cable were exposed due to recent grading in the Westover area while other portions had been buried under approximately forty (40) feet of dirt. A fill in this area had buried two (2) splicing pits completely and it was necessary to dig them out and construct stronger covers. It was also ascertained that a contractor bulldozer working in the vicinity of the Westover tank farm had struck the cable and broken open the lead sheath. Mr Steinhoff of the United States Army Engineers furnished a crew for digging and the Westover Communications Office furnished a crew of splicers. Repairs were completed on 20 August 1956 with no disruption of telephone service. As of that time, all pairs of Cable #3 were operational with only three (3) pairs showing slight noise.
For some time, during the previous historical reporting period, this station had attempted to obtain authorization for a mobile telephone for the staff car operated by the Station Commander and the Director of Operations during operational periods. On 11 September 1956, information copies of the commercial service authorization (CSA) were received from MAAMA. Immediate installation arrangements were made and power supplies were ordered to convert the staff car to the necessary twelve (12) volt system required. During the week of 5 October 1956, notification was received from the New England Bell Telephone Company that the CSA for the urban mobile telephone was ready for installation in the Commander's vehicle. The Telephone Company was advised at that time that the new vehicle had not been received and installation could not be made. Upon receipt of the new vehicle, the mobile radio telephone was installed. During the week of 2 November 1956, the telephone number WJ 6-6362 and instructions as to the proper use were presented to all personnel concerned. However, on 13 November 1956, this Division was informed that the radio phone number was a duplicate of some other party in this area. Mr David Booth confirmed this observation and assigned a new telephone number, which necessitated installation of new crystals in the receiver. Since 10 November 1956 the mobile phone has been operating properly without difficulty.
During the week of 12 October 1956, plans were formulated to run a fifty–one (51) pair cable from the Headquarters Building telephone terminal to tie–in with the Westover trunking facilities. By 22 October 1956 the installation had been completed except for necessary splicing to be accomplished by the Westover Communications Office. On 23 October 1956 the splicing portion was begun, and was completed on 30 October 1956. This new tie–in permitted a new telephone routing for the Westover and Holyoke trunks from this station and allowed the old cable, which had been by–passed, to be used by Westover for the expansion of their facilities on the far side of the runway.
On 26 November 1956, a twenty–six (26) pair cable leg from Cable #2 in the "Q" Area developed trouble which, when inspected, had been caused by a gun shot by person or persons unknown. A telephone call was made on 28 November 1956 to Middletown, to obtain the services of a splicing crew and Mr. Stevens and a crew from MAMA completed the repairs on 29 November 1956.
On 24 December 1956, trouble developed on Cable #1 due to water seepage. In order to restore TWX service and telephone and ADT protection for Building #101, emergency maintenance and repair was initiated on that day. Between 24 and 28 December 1956, some telephone disruption was experienced, but in order to maintain maximum service, emergency cutover of cable pairs was made for key offices in the Headquarters Building. With the assistance of cable splicing crews from Westover, permanent repair was accomplished on 28 December 1956.
(1 Jan - 30 June 1957)
A quarterly maintenance and inspection contract, AF 19-(617)-102, was made with the ADT Company to provide for Inspection and Repair as necessary (IRAN) on the electric protection system in use at this station. During the course of these IRAN inspections, maintenance Personnel of this division received 0n-the-Job Training. The last inspection under this contract was performed curing the week of 20 May 1957.
A conference with the Military Coordinator, Boston office of the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, the Station Commander, Director of Operations, and the Communications Officer was held in November 1956 to work out a telephone priority system for urgent or important calls during emergencies. This priority system was outlined in detail under Special Weapons Operating Procedure 100-3, dated 16 January 1957.
In January 1957, an effort was mace to reclassify thirty-eight Class "A" telephones to Class "C". Class "A" installations more than doubled the amount of Class "C" installations which was contrary to command standards and resulted in an overload on off-base trunking during during peak periods. This effort was not successful. About 60% of the thirty-eight installations were changed to restricted use. In all cases, other Class "A" installations were within the same offices. The present command policy provides approval authority for telephone installations at directorate levels rather than one centralized agency.
Coordination was accomplished with 8th Air Force Communications Division to have the SAC Communications Center handle this Station's classified messages that are going to SAC bases. In the past, classified messages to places other than AMC were encrypted in the off-line system and sent by AIRCOMNET. This new procedure will save time and effort in the transmission and reception of classified traffic from other sources than AMC.
Communications-Electronics (CE) Scheme, CE58-AMC-STB-AMCMA-14-PP which provided for the relocation and extension of feeder-lines from the antenna farm to the new Communications-Operations Building, was completed by Springfield Electric Company, 10 April 1957, under Contract AF 36(600)-4060.
CE Scheme, CE-56-AMC-STO-AMCMA-78-OP, supporting structures for CE Scheme, CE56-AMC-St0-AMCMA-71-IP, provided interim facilities for cutting over the Outside Plant to the new 400 line dial central office provided for under scheme 71-IP. Both schemes were completed and accepted on 3 May 1957 and 20 May 1957, respectively.
Completion of ADT installation in "S" Structure, "Q" Spares Warehouse, Comm-Ops Building, and relocation of ADT boards was completed 26 April 1957 with the exception of deficiencies as noted in the Joint Inspection. This work was performed by Manzi Electric Company under Contract DA-23-189-eng-34.
Disposition instructions were received for the North Electric dial central office calls for reinstallation at East Kelly Air Force Base. Information received from Middletown Air Materiel Area indicated that no action on the dismantling and storage of this equipment could be made until some time after 1 July 1957.
Captain Theodore J. St. Palley, Communications Officer, was reassigned to Office, Air Defense Projects, New York City, 14 May 1957. During the interim period, 14 to 22 May 1957, the NCOIC, Communications Division, assumed responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Station communication facilities. CWO-W2 Charles J. Puls, reported for duty and relieved the NCOIC on 22 May 1957.
A new procedure for telephone work order requests was adopted and SBAFS Form 20 was established for this purpose. This form provided a simpler and more complete request for service which in turn reduced the administrative steps required in preparing a telephone work order.
During the period covered by this History, a great deal of work was accomplished by all sections of the Division, but the greatest workload pertained to the installing and cutting-over of the new dial exchange. This work was carried out by the two telephone maintenance sections (Inside and Outside Plant), as well as by the Administrative Section which was responsible for the planning and coordination with commercial companies.
Recommendation was forwarded to Headquarters, 3079th ADW, to extend the ADT Inspection Contract for one more year. Thus far, however, no acceptance of this recommendation has been received by this Division.
A portion of the Intercommunications System became inoperative due to the cable changes that were required with the opening of the new dial office. Work is progressing to restore the intercommunications service to the Plant area as soon as possible.
(1 July - 31 December 1957)
Plans for modification of the Guard House communications were forwarded to the Director of Materiel and approved. Preliminary work has been started on this project: however, some changes may be made to consolidate communications in Communications-Operations Building and, therefore, this project is at a standstill until definite word is given to continue with the changes.
A break in the "Q" Area cable necessitated help from cable splicers from the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company to perform necessary repair. Commercial Service Authorization (CSA) MABSC-NE-39, dated 17 September 1957, was issued by Middletown Air Materiel Area. This work was accomplished and CSA paid by Middletown Air Materiel Area.
Rewiring of the fire reporting system was accomplished during the week of 22 August 1957. This was the first time in approximately two years that all parts of the fire system had been functioning properly at the same time. This was a major wiring job and took a period of approximately ten days to accomplish.
Message MCACCS-8-55-E, dated 23 August 1957, from Headquarters, AMC discontinued AMC emergency radio backup. All operation/monitor requirements of the Tactical Radio Operation were discontinued effective 2359Z, 26 August 1957, and the radio operations personnel wore assigned to other essential communications sections as outlinedby this message. AN/GRC-26 (Mobile ground communications unit) was returned to AF Stock as excess equipment.
A private telephone line, COlfax 9-3131, was installed at the Otis Lake Camp Site on 9 September 1957. CSA MABSC-NE-40 was issued by Middletown Air Materiel Area for this private line and set charge is $17.00 a month.
On 10 September 1957 a letter was received from 3079th Aviation Depot Wing to discontinue telephone services on a non-reimbursable basis for AEC agencies, and a bill of toll charges was accomplished for the AEC agencies retroactive to 1 July 1957. Wing's letter was further supplemented by an informational letter from the Logistics Assistant for Special Weapons, dated 6 December 1957, which clearly stated that the Air Force Directive required reimbursement for these telephone tolls. Later information received from Headquarters, USAF reversed this decision stating that no reimbursement was required.
The removal of North Electric Telephone Central Office from its old location by Middletown Air Materiel Area personnel has been postponed indefinitely. Prints and drawings of the existing equipment location were forwarded to MAAMA and a follow-up message was sent requesting a definite date of removal. Action on this project is still pending.
Installation of a cable for the intercommunications system was completed 11 October 1957. This portion of the communications system became inoperative with the opening of the new dial office.
M/Sgt. Charles R. Brown, NCOIC Communications Division, cleared this division, PCS, 18 October 1957, and M/Sgt. Frank H. Applee assumed duties as NCOIC Communications Division on 21 October 1957.
Operating conditions for the Air Police were improved during security type emergencies by the removal of field telephone switchboard, BD-72, from its location south of Building 320 to the basement of Building 320.
M/Sgt Frank H. Applee is the only Radio Maintenance airman in this division and no replacement personnel have been forecast for this critically handicapped section. Two airmen were assigned for cross-training from the Air Police field to the Radio Maintenance field on 22 November 1957. In addition, one airman from the Air Police field was also assigned to cross-train in the 29130 field (Communications Center Specialist).
Two airmen from this division attended ADT (Intrusion Alarm System) School in New York City on 25 November 1957 for two weeks.
Except for the installation of the intercommunications cable to the Plant Area, which was a major job for such a small crew of Outside Plant Personnel, this Division has been performing routine functions during the period covered by this history. However, administrative planning has been completed concerning the consolidation of Air Police communications systems and several suggestions for improved use have been submitted to the Station Commander and 3079th Aviation Depot Wing and are pending approval.
(1 Jan - 30 June 1958)
A total of four (4) twelve volt radio sets (VRC-19's) were installed in vehicles on this Station and the reception of the radio net was improved.
M/Sgt Frank H. Applee AFSC 30472, Ground Communications Equipment Repair Supervisor, was given the additional duty as NCOIC Communications Division, however, he was hospitalized in February 1958, and as yet no word has been received from Naval Hospital, L. I., N. Y., as to his release date.
Minor dismantling of the old North Electric Dial Exchange was started by personnel of this Division during the week of 7 Feb 58. Five airmen from Rome AFD and one civilian from Kelly AFB arrived on 26 Feb, to continue the work of removing this equipment. Obligation Authority MA-58-681 in the amount of $1,000.00 was granted for the construction of packing and crates. Once this equipment was removed and packed it was airlifted to SAAMA on 14 Mar 58.
On 14 Mar 58, Rooms D6 and D7, the basement of Comm-Ops Building, which previously housed the Radio Station and Wire Maint Section, were vacated for a new Operations Center. Major overhaul of the 1A Key System was accomplished and installed in the Operations Center on 20 Jun 58.
The Radio Net with Westover Air Police was considered unnecessary because of poor transmission capability, therefore, AN/FRC-27 set was removed from the Guardhouse and returned to Supply.
The MDF (Main Distributing Frame) was removed from the Guardhouse and terminals were installed which provided the same type of Service. This installation improved the appearance of the Guardhouse communications equipment, and corrected a safety hazard which previously existed. This work vas accomplished during the week of 28 Mar 58.
Verbal notification was received from Wing on 28 Mar 58, that the projected movement of ADT boards from Comm-Ops Building to the Guardhouse had been approved. An OJT Program was established to train the Air Police personnel in ADT operation, and training was started on 27 Mar 58. Written approval to proceed with the transfer six hundred feet of cable was obtained from WAFB at no cost and was installed and spliced from Central Office MDF to the basement of the AP Building during the week of 25 Apr. Since the terminals needed for this move were damaged upon arrival at Station Supply, an airman from the Communications Division was sent to Rome A. F. Depot, for three days TDY, for the purpose of inspecting and selecting serviceable terminals. A report was prepared by the Communications Officer for AMC Sites giving details regarding the relocation was rescheduled from 1 July to 1 August because of the delay in receiving serviceable terminals. Installation of two terminals in connection with the ADT move was started in the basement of the Guardhouse.
An indorsement received from the Wing on 11 Apr, advised that our request to convert vehicle military radios to commercial radios was not favorably considered.
The two Air Policemen who were transferred for cross training into Radio Maint Field had approximately 10% of their training completed when their retraining program was disapproved. The other AP who was transferred to cross train into the Comm Center Spec Field was sent to the adjoining WAFB Base where he received 100% OJT in this field.
A request was made to MAAMA for technicians to inspect our Radio Antenna Farm. We received information that Mr. Louis Butterworth from MAAWA would visit this Station on or about 2 Jul 58 to coordinate Plant-In-Place Records for the ADT System and Base Wire Development Plans in accordance with Technical Order 31-1-8. This project will be further described in the next history.