The following operational activities for the Type II Plant Division were taken from the Historical Reports of the 3084th Aviation Depot Group, recently declassified by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the United States Air Force.
TYPE II PLANT DIVISION - OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES
(1 Jan - 30 June 1956)
(Ed. Note: About 3 lines at the beginning of this report were redacted by the DOE.) ......... [no] major discrepancies were encountered and the entire operation was completed efficiently.
Written, practical and oral examinations were administered to all personnel in January by the Training Section for the purpose of re-qualifying skilled assembly personnel as required by Training Regulations. The results obtained were gratifying and recorded on appropriate training forms as a matter of record.
A two-week formal training course, consisting of six phases, was written and organized in January by the Training Section for the purpose of training division personnel who did not receive MK17/24 training at Lowry AFB. This course proved to be an effective instrument in qualifying inexperienced and untrained personnel in MK17/24 assemblies. Untrained incoming personnel were fully qualified as skilled technicians through the use of this course and a six month OJT period.
Responsibility for the humidity monitoring of War Reserve units in igloo storage was transferred from Sandia Corporation to this division on 6 January.
A three day complete assembly-for-strike operation was conducted at a walk-through rate as directed by 3084th Operations Order 1-56 on 9, 10, and 11 January. This operation began at 1115Z on 9 January and ended at 2040Z 11 January. Only MK17/24 training units were involved. A total of twenty-three units were completely assembled for strike. Plant personnel received extensive and thorough CAS training in this operation.
On 22 January, a "Last Chance" operation was called. Division II personnel participated in this exercise which involved the assembly-for-strike of two MK17/24 training units. Assembly times were recorded as follows: Unit K-1, 65 minutes; Unit K-2, 96 minutes.
The division conducted a Type II CAS operation on 24-25 January. Personnel were divided into two six-hour shifts. Three MK17/24 training units were used, one of which was borrowed from 4050th Munitions Branch, Westover AFB. The operation consisted essentially of simulated withdrawal from stockpile and continuous assembly-to-strike configuration by Division II personnel. The units were returned to storage only at the completion of each day's operations. Nineteen units were CAS assembled during the operation, and no difficulties were encountered.
During late January, plans were completed for Division II operation on a two-shift basis with working hours from 0600 through 1800. The principal difficulty involved - coordination between the off-going and on-coming shift - was solved by scheduling Branch Supervisory officers on a standard eight-hour day spanning both shifts, thus providing continuity. The two-shift operating policy was officially put into effect by the end of January.
Final plans were submitted to AIO for the remodeling of office space to accommodate a supply storage room, and larger administrative offices, taking advantage of space gained by reducing the size of the Ready Room. The repartitioning required began in mid-February and was completed by 13 April. Once the physical repartitioning and rearrangement was completed, plant personnel were assigned to completely repaint the building interior. The upper 3/4 of all walls were repainted in white, the lower 1/4 in light green. Base boards were trimmed in black. Interior decor, available working space, and arrangement of material have been considerably improved.
Early in February Division II began Storage Inspection procedures for all MK17/24 parachutes not previously inspected on receipt. Approximately one in ten MK17/24 parachutes were initially inspected for storage. Work on the project proceeded smoothly. All such parachutes were completely inspected and accepted and were returned to storage facilities.
Division II participated in a two-day CAS operation on 7-8 February as directed by Operations Order 2-56. dated 3 February 1956. Only training units were involved, and nineteen CAS assemblies were completed. The fastest assembly recorded took 38 minutes - the longest 86 minutes. Only minor assembly problems were encountered which were ironed out during a critique following the operation.
(ED. Note: 5-6 lines were redacted at this point by DOE.) .............................................. Breakout time from igloo storage was 1300Z, and the last unit was assembled by 1924Z. The arithmetical average assembly time for the training units was ...... (Ed. Note: 3-4 lines redacted by DOE.) ............................... In each instance, however, the primary cause for delay centered around difficulty experienced in reinstalling the H-342 Heavy Security Frames. (Ed. Note: One sentence redacted by DOE.) .................................. Approximately 15-20 minutes in each case was lost as a direct result of this defect ........(Ed. Note: 3 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) .................. However, where no difficulty was experienced in installing the Security Frame the assemblies were readily completed. Every phase of this exercise was completely analyzed, trouble spots pointed out and corrective action initiated during the critique following the operation. (Ed. Note: 2-3 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) .............................................. This activity became quite involved and continued through the first week of March. The maintenance quality workmanship on these units required certain components, as well as the entire unit, to be repainted. The Plant II structure did not physically incorporate efficient facilities for spray painting work. In particular, inadequate ventilation problems were encountered, which slowed the work considerably. To overcome this problem a tent structure was erected by AIO in front of Plant I. Both Plant I and II utilized this new structure to complete all future painting assignments.
A two-day CAS operation, using three MK17 Mod1 training units was scheduled for Type II weapons on 7-8 March, as directed by 3084th Operations Order 5-56. Re-stocking of those training units assembled by the morning shift was necessary prior to their reassembly by the afternoon shift. An element of realism therefore was lost in this process. (Ed. Note: 1-2 sentences redacted by DOE at this point.) ...............................................................
In early March, the plan to increase team proficiency through direct assembly team competition was improved. On 21 March, the final round of competition was held. Team Nr. 3, Branch "A", and Team Nr. 5, Branch "B", were the final competitors. Each had previously been selected as the leading team for its respective branch. Each team performed one CAS operation. The monitoring system used in determining the relative performance of each team was based on a point system. Points were awarded for such items as speed, safety, security, personnel management, and general supervision. Team Nr. 5 won the competition.
On 26 March, mechanical circuit breakers were installed by AIO personnel on both overhead cranes. This new safety feature later prevented possible damage to training unit components when the UP button failed to release during operation. AIO maintenance personnel were called upon to completely tear down and carefully inspect all crane components in the plant. Moreover, a system has been inaugurated whereby AIO will perform inspections on the cranes at weekly intervals.
(Ed. Note: A complete paragraph of probably 7 lines was redacted by DOE at this point.)
A total of 33 CAS non-scheduled training exercises and 16 Storage Inspection practices were completed during April. This amount of training was substantially greater than that called for in Wing Regulation 50-1. Hence, several airmen were able to fulfill the practical training requirements for AFSC upgrading at an earlier date than normal.
Preparation were made by the Training Section for a two-week formal course on MK17/24 weapons to start on 23 April 1956, The intent was to conduct a "clear-the-decks" training effort to make way for MK15/21 training in May and June. Handling Division and Assembly Division I were invited to send airmen and NCO's for instruction, thus enlarging the number of students from an original nine to a final twenty-five. The 3084th Security Squadron cooperatively made their training room available for the Division's use. The course ended 2 May 1956.
Officer strength by mid-April fell from an authorized strength of eighteen to a low of seven. Four officers were TDY to Lowry AFB for MK15/21 training, one was TDY to Maxwell AFB attending Squadron Officers Course, and one was assigned to nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific. A heavy workload was carried by these remaining seven officers, two of whom were newly assigned.
On 30 April, Division II experienced a general loss of electrical power due to a transformer being struck by lightning. One phase of power, however, wa still available for tester operation. Since the electrically-operated overhead cranes were unusable, fork lifts were employed for parachute installation. In spite of this power failure, EWP commitments could still be met.
On 1 May, AIO electricians secured an "open delta" connection with the remaining two good transformers which fed power to the Plant II structure. This procedure restored approximately 30-40% of the required power which was sufficient to meet all division operational requirements. An actual load test verified this fact. Full plant power was available within 48 hours.
Although the training cadre had not returned from Lowry AFB, extensive preparations for MK15/21 training were made pending receipt of the first training weapon. CAS and SI check lists were written and re-written, personnel were given daily instruction from the MK15 manuals, testers and handling equipment peculiar to the MK15 were set up and MK15/21 training course outlines were drawn up. One MK15 Mod0 training unit was received on 2 May 1956, one MK21 trainer on 13 May and a second MK21 on 7 June. The units were disassembled, inventoried and component parts were labeled as a familiarization aid. The MK15 unit was received with an H-343 container but less a roadable container. Pick-up was performed with the Ross straddle carrier. It was decided to utilize this mode of transporting the unit until such time as MA-1 cradles, which adapt the MK15 unit to N-1 dollies and P-3 trailers, were requisitioned.
A local "Last Chance" alert was called at approximately 0215Z on 4 May involving the CAS assembly of two MK17/24 training units by this division. 50% of "B" Shift personnel were present for duty within thirty minutes and 100% within two hours. Response to this alert was excellent. The second assembly was completed in 36 minutes; the first was delayed until power supplies were charged. (Ed. Note: 2-3 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) ..................... was opened at 0345Z and became fully operational thirty-four minutes later. (Ed. Note: one sentence redacted by DOE at this point.) .................... the average assembly time was 1:09 minutes per unit, and the average production rate was 1 unit per 33 minutes. (Ed. Note: one sentence redacted by DOE at this point.) Each unit was given a complete reacceptance inspection. Fuses, parachutes and power supplies were removed, tested, inspected and repackaged for storage. Repainting and re-stenciling of the unit and components was also done as required. Each unit was checked carefully for humidity content by dew-point procedures prior to release for storage.
During the Management Improvement Review of 14-16 May, the implementation of the MK15/21 Igloo concept was discussed. The 3079th ADW had implemented at all sites the concept that the final assembly of MK15/21 weapons would be accomplished in the storage igloos. This concept was developed as a means of easing the load on sites by reducing handling requirements. It was recommended by the review team that the 3084th ADG accomplish necessary SOP's or plans for full implementation of the above concept. Moreover, they suggested that definite plans be laid to requisition new equipment required under this concept as outlined in the 3079th Wing Implementation Plan. This recommendation was followed and plans for full implementation of the MK15/21 Igloo concept were completed by 31 May. SOPs were also prepared. The Review Team also inspected weapon delivery methods and stated that Handling and Plant II supervisory personnel should be commended for the fine system of stop and go lights they had adapted for use in delivery of weapons to the Type II plant.
Several of the cadre returned from MK15/21 training at Lowry AFB the third week in May. Hence, the training section was assigned the immediate project of laying plans for retraining the entire shop personnel in MK15/21 procedures, electrical and mechanical. This training continued on an intensive and elaborate scale through June and was continued into July to qualify the personnel as quickly as possible for the "shakedown inspection". ..............................(Ed. Note: DOE redacted about 15 lines at this point.) ............................................................... Other events of a significant nature developed during this operation. .................................................. Fourteen newly-packed parachutes and fourteen newly-manufactured F-17 fuses were added to the schedule, replacing parachutes that had previously been inspected and packaged for shipment. One F-17 fuse was rejected because of failure to meet specifications and had to be redlined due to non-availability of a replacement part (inverter). Finally, one bomb maintenance spare (BMS) was redlined due to non-availability of parts missing upon inventory.
Approximately fifteen personnel from Handling and Assembly I Divisions were used during this operation to permit release of one-half Division II technicians for MK15/21 training. However, the entire operation was effectively completed on schedule.
By mid-June, about one-half the division personnel were undergoing formal proficiency training on the MK51/21 items. One bay was used six days per week for this purpose. The second half of plant personnel received the identical formal course effective 23 June. Photographs on the following pages depict this MK15/21 proficiency training, including the igloo assembly concept. (Ed. Note: Photographs are not of good quality, but are included here in PDF format.)
Receipt of one MK15 and two MK21 training units, with associated testers, parts and handling equipment re-emphasized the still unsolved division problem of adequate storage facilities. One igloo was used for this special type of storage but has to date proved unsatisfactory. Time has been wasted operating a "shuttle-truck" between the Plant and the igloo. Moreover, the excessive dampness consistently present in the igloo wreaks havoc with this special equipment. An analysis of this problem for both assembly divisions is currently underway.
In order to standardize Special Weapons Operating Procedures (SWOPs) pertaining to the Plants, an agreement was made with Plant I that the plants would produce two combined SWOPs, one on "Mission and Organization", and a second on "Maintenance". A third SWOP on EWP procedures was to be written independently by each plant because of the dissimilarity of operations and the necessity, in emergency conditions, for the listing of detailed procedures.
(Ed. Note: about 7-8 lines redacted by DOE at this point.)
(1 July - 31 December 1956)
0n 2 July 1956, a quality assurance meeting was held to get all SWOP's pertaining to the Quality Assurance Program ready for publishing. As a result, a Maintenance SWOP pertaining to both Plant I and Plant II was finalized and published in Station Manual 82-1. In addition to the above, approximately 15 UR's on the T.O.'s associated with the MK 15/21 were submitted to Inspection Section for further submission to SAAMA. Included was an UR and AFB suggestion on T.0. 11N-6-1, "Atomic Weapons UR Summary", recommending procedures for more efficient dissemination of technical information.
During the first three months of the last six month period of 1956, operations in Plant II were concentrated in two main areas. The first was the training program on the MK 15/21 which has been covered in the Training section of this history. The second area of interest was the MK 17 program. During the first week of July 1956, storage inspections were performed on Field Maintenance Spares, and Base Maintenance Spares. The difficulties encountered at the time centered around the high relative humidity readings that were experienced. The increase in purging activities depleted the nitrogen supply, and for this reason the work schedule was slowed until sufficient nitrogen could be procured. On the 11th and 12th of July, storage inspections were performed on five MK1 Mod parachutes. One of the parachutes was "red-lined" according to T.O. 11N-PC1-4, because the crate in which it had been shipped suffered damage. Starting the same week, a storage inspection of three (3) MK 17 Mod O's FMS began. The work on these items was completed 26 July 1956.
On the 16th and 17th of July 1956, Captain L. L. Hall, 3079th Aviation Depot Wing, and Capt. P. J. Chenoweth, 3080th Aviation Depot Group were present to conduct a shakedown inspection on MK 15/21 capability. Based on a satisfactory-unsatisfactory rating system, the overall rating received was satisfactory. A critique was held 18 July 1956. There were several minor discrepancies noted, while the overall rating was favorable. The discrepancies were corrected and the improvements incorporated in the check lists. Both inspecting officers had favorable comments to make on the conduct of the NCO Supervisory personnel during the inspection. The teams were ran by the NCO's with Team Captains monitoring. The major criticism mentioned by the inspectors was that the teams lacked the polished co-ordination that comes with concentrated practice. This training was furthered as is mentioned in the Training Section.
On 20 through 22 August 1956, a Wing Inspection was conducted. Preparations for this inspection were thorough and had been planned for some weeks prior to the actual inspection date. All MK 15/21 check sheets were completely revised and re-typed in preparation for the inspection, and in addition, the plant and surrounding area was given a general cleaning. All SWOP's and Policies which were to be changed had been rewritten and submitted for publication. The inspection given Plant II was very thorough, covering all SOP's, training records, check sheets, and assembly operations procedures. In preparation for the IG Inspection to come in September, emphasis was placed on all major problem areas. These areas consisted primarily of security within the Plant and procedures following check lists. In accordance with existing policies concerning consolidating of functions, all battery equipment, consisting of racks, charging equipment, and batteries, was turned over to Plant I on 24 and 26 August 1956. On 4 Sep 56, all Plant II training units were in the process of being brought through the plant, completely storage inspected, re-painted as necessary, and re-stenciled. To accommodate this work and complete it as soon as was practical, plant personnel were placed on a split eight hour shift from 0600 to 1400 hours and from 1400 to 2200 hours beginning 4 September 1956.
On 17 through 19 September, the AMC IG Inspection was held and an overall rating of satisfactory was given the division. (Ed. Note: 3 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) ...............................This work was completed 27 Sep 56.
0n 15 Nov 56, all personnel were placed on alert. Plant operational hours were extended to include twenty-four hour operation. The plant crews were broken down into two shifts, each working twelve hours. The shift which was relief was on a thirty minute recall in their quarters. (Ed. Note: 5-6 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) ....................................................................... Erection of an outdoor painting tent was found to be unfeasible because of the cold weather at that tine which prevented outdoor painting entirely. Even with the precautions that were taken, one man was found to be allergic to the paint used, and it was necessary to transfer him out of the plant to another job.
During the month of December 1956, the 3084th Aviation Depot Group conducted a base wide orientation for the benefit of key personnel from Westover AFB. There were three weekly visits in all, comprising approximately twenty men in each group. Predominately, the groups were made up of SAC Commanders and staff members, and the orientation provided the visitors was not of a technical nature. A brief run-down of plant operations was presented, as was a summary on the weapons with which this division worked. It was felt the briefings were of definite value and should be continued in the future. ................
...............................................................(Ed. Note: 11 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) ...........................................................................................
During the last six month period, xxxxx xxxx (unreadable words) inspection, re-call alerts, training, and other items of business, a normal work load was imposed on the plant personnel. ............................. (Ed. Note: 2 lines redacted by DOE.) ............................................. In addition, there were five recall alerts in which the plant participated. In all of these alerts, with the exception of the one on 12 September, the plant was operational within one hour after the alert had been called. ................................................ (Ed. Note: 9 lines redacted by DOE.)...............................................
(1 Jan - 30 June 1957)
...................................... (12 lines redacted by DOE.) ........................................................
The parachute cans had to be returned to Middletown Air Materiel Area (MAAMA) immediately owing to an extremely critical shortage of these containers.
...................................... (18 lines redacted by DOE.) ........................................................
From 28 January to 1 February 1957, the Management Improvement Review was conducted by an Inspection Team headed by Colonel Raymond A. Bradley, Deputy Commander, 3097th Aviation Depot Wing. On 29 January 1957, at 1750 local, a LAST CHANCE alert was called ........ (1 sentence redacted by DOE.) ................................................. The MIR inspection team observed the operation. The result of the MIR was an overall evaluation of "Satisfactory", with no major discrepancies noted.
In conjunction with the MIR, a MK 39 MOD 0 shakedown was conducted by Major Johnson of Wing Headquarters. Only discrepancies noted were minor and fell within the tool discipline and safety precaution area.
The inspection team's conclusion was that Plant II personnel were capable and well qualified to perform work on the weapons evaluated. Technical knowledge of the weapons and applicable technical orders was generally high. It was further noted that personnel displayed smooth team work with good supervision exhibited by NCO's and junior officers.
In mid-February, two training units, one MK 17 and one MK 21, were returned to the Plant to be Storage Inspected. These weapons had been used by Westover handling crews for approximately three days. Both units were returned in extremely poor condition; the MK 21 somewhat worse than the MK 17. Pictures were taken of the damage and a list of discrepancies submitted to SWASO (Special Weapons Accountable Supply Office). As a consequence of this and other discrepancies, such as missing components and tools, a Westover-Stony Brook agreement was developed. Accordingly, all future work completed on training units by Plant II would be accomplished as follows: major part replacements would be noted on a work order and ordered through supply channels by Westover Air Force Base personnel.
Operation BABY SHOES, a training exercise, occurred on Monday, 25 February 1957. The operation was not extensive, involving only two MK 15's and two MK 21 training units. These four units were assembled in a strike configuration and departed the igloo area 0600 hours, 26 February 1957. The assembly and maneuver proceeded smoothly and efficiently. Upon completion of the operation, the units were disassembled and returned to their proper stockpile configuration.
Considerable time was occupied during March in various training projects. Extensive ground work had been accomplished during late February for a MK 39 training program to be launched in early March, involving all of Plant II personnel. This course of instruction was similarly given to selected crews of Plant I as part of Plant II's continuing cross-training program. Other training occurring at the time was an indoctrination given by Plant I on the W-25 warhead assembly. This training was also part of the mutual Plant I and Plant II cross-training program.
Thursday evening, the 26th of March, at 2115, a LAST CHANCE operation was called. Plant II was operational at 2200 hours, exhibiting a very rapid and reliable recall plan. The operation was regarded as very satisfactory. Difficulty with blast door No. 2 developed, and the door became inoperative during the last part of the operation. This caused some inconvenience and difficulty the following morning during operation BARGAIN DAYS.
Operation BARGAIN DAYS, occurred on 27 March 1957 and involved five training units, two from Westover and three from Stony Brook. These units were CAS assembled and maneuvered to Westover for loading operations. .......................... (11 lines redacted by DOE.) ......................................... A maintenance activity schedule was accordingly published on the 24th of April, reflecting this work. (Supporting Document No. 17). (Ed. Note: This entire supporting document redacted by DOE.)
A major organizational change occurred on 17 April 1957. An office was established to accommodate the Chief, Assembly Division, and Captain Ozenghar was assigned to fill this position. Captain Plath, Assistant Plant Chief, became Plant II Supervisor. To staff Captain Ozenghar's office, M/Sgt Bobulski and T/Sgt Gonzales were transferred from this Plant. ................................(13 lines redacted by DOE.) ...................................... This material represented a very heavy work load which had to be accomplished in a relatively short period. Plant II went into a two shift operation, 0600-1300 hours and 1300-2000 hours, in order to accomplish this work on time. Leaves and passes were cancelled, and week-end work was not unusual during this critical period. With hard, steady work, split-shift operation, and superior support and cooperation with all offices and personnel concerned, the entire operation was timely and effectively executed.
One illustrative example occurred on the week-end of May 25th and 26th. ......................... (3 lines redacted by DOE.) ............................... A split-shift operation was utilized; "B" shift working 0700-1600 hours, and "A" shift from 1545-2330 hours. Excellent cooperation and coordination between the Plants and Quality Control Division made it possible for Plant II personnel to meet their critical commitments.
EDITOR'S NOTE: THE PLANT 2 DIVISION WAS CONSOLIDATED INTO THE "ASSEMBLY DIVISION"- ACCESS THE MISSION, ETC. USING THE ASSEMBLY DIVISION LINKS ON THE HOME PAGE.