information is abstracted from the declassified Historical Reports of the 3084th
Aviation Depot Group from 1 Jan 1956 to 31 Dec 1959.)
PLANT 2 (II)
Plant 2 was originally designed for the maintenance, inspection and assembly of TN (thermonuclear) weapons, as contrasted to the original Plant 1 mission for the "atomic" weapons, such as the MK6. The physical layout of Plant 2 allowed for the required movements of the largest, heaviest thermonuclear weapon ever deployed by the United States - the MK17. (See the Nuclear Weapons link for more information about the MK17.)
The following Mission Statements for Plant 2 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. Notice that the title of the Plant 1 function changes slightly as the reports progress. In early 1956, it was called the Type II Plant Division, this changed to Type II Assembly Plant in early 1957. The Mission Statements are presented as written and will contain some repetition, since the basic missions of the units remained essentially the same over the four year period of the declassified documents, 1956-1959.
(1 Jan - 30 June 1956)
mission of Type II Plant Division is to maintain, test, and assemble TN weapons
for strike and ferry missions.
The assembly operation includes the electrical and mechanical assembly of the weapon. Division II is also responsible for performing storage inspection on TN weapons and their component parts. Coordination with other divisions of the Operations Squadron is necessary for successful operations. Another responsibility is to perform repacking operations in support of Type I Plant Division.
In executing the mission of this Division four cardinal principles are adhered to in this order: SAFETY, SECURITY, QUALITY, QUANTITY.
Until June 22, 1956, the Type II Plant Division consisted of the Division Supervisor and Assistant (both Majors), two Branch Assembly Officers and their Assistants (all Captains), and three Assembly Teams per Branch - each comprised of five Munitions Specialists (463X0s) and three Weapons Systems Fusing Technicians (both 331X0s). There were also an Administrative Supervisor and two clerks. View Org Chart (Adobe PDF)
A change in the organizational structure of Division II was effected on June 22, 1956. The new organization eliminated the old "Two Branch" structure and the division was re-designated Type II Plant Division. The present arrangement divides Plant personnel into 4 teams, each headed by a Team Captain. One Assembly Supervisor and assistant is responsible for the coordination of the activities of all four assembly teams. View Org Chart (Adobe PDF)
(1 July - 31 December 1956)
The mission of Type II Plant Division is to maintain, test, and assemble, both
electrically and mechanically, TN weapons for strike and ferry missions.
Division II is also responsible for performing storage inspections on TN weapons and their component parts, and coordinating with the other divisions within the Operations Squadron as necessary for joint operations. The mission of the training section of Division II is to maintain high technical proficiency and accomplish job upgrading as well as OJT. While executing the mission of Division II, the four cardinal principles of safety, security, quality, and quantity rigidly govern all operational activities.
Operational control was carried out in both Plants through the Operations Squadron Commander with a Plant Chief and Deputy in charge of the individual Plant. An Assembly Supervisor was directly in charge of the bays, with Branch Supervisors as assistants.
On 1 November 1956, the new Unit Manning Document went into effect which authorized six (6) officers and twenty-five (25) airmen. Plant II was reorganized into three (3) branches, A, B, and C. A and B Branches divide the mechanical and electrical technicians equally, and provide the basis for two alert recall shifts. One Officer and NCO have direct supervisory control of each shift. "C" Branch is composed of overhead functions consisting of administration, technical supply, and training.
(1 Jan - 30 June 1957)
The mission of Type II Assembly Plant is to maintain, test, and assemble both electrically and mechanically, TN weapons for strike and ferry missions.
Type II Assembly Plant is also responsible for performing storage inspections on TN weapons and their component parts, and coordinating with the other sections within the Operations Squadron as necessary for successful operations. The mission of the Plant's training section is to maintain high technical proficiency and accomplish job upgrading as well as On-The-Job-Training (OJT). While executing this mission, the four cardinal principles of safety, security, quality and quantity rigidly govern all operational activities.
ORGANIZATION AND PERSONNEL
The organization of Plant II during this reporting period consisted of the Plant Supervisor, two Assembly Branches, (A and B), and an Operations Branch. One officer and two non-commissioned officers (NCO's) had direct responsibility for each branch. Two officers, one as assistant, were responsible for the Operations Branch. Assembly Branches A and B had the actual war reserve responsibility. The Operations Branch had under its control the functions of administration, supply and training. Approximately 15 airmen were assigned to each of the branches. Normal attritional losses were experienced throughout the period. Personnel strength, however, held relatively constant. Major changes in supervisory personnel were as enumerated below.
On 1 February 1957, Captain Ozenghar was assigned as the Assembly Division Chief, and Captain Victor J. Plath assumed the duties and responsibilities of Type II Assembly Supervisor. Lt. Ryan and Lt. Humphreys returned from Squadron Officer School in April and resumed duties in Plant II. M/Sgt Valdor J. LaChance was assigned to the NCO Academy, Westover Air Force Base from 13 May to 23 June 1957. M/Sgt Kline departed for the same school on 26 June 1957.
On 16 May 1957, this plant was placed on a one and twelve hour alert. Primary reason for this change was the tighter time schedule to which Westover AFB is held.
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Lt. Andrews and A/1C Braun returned to Plant II in January, after completing a formal two week course on the MK 36/39 units at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, Colorado. An instructor's course was established immediately, involving nine key mechanical and electrical personnel. These individuals provided the nucleus of the MK 36/39 course offered to all Plant II personnel and a limited number of Plant I personnel.
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By the end of March, all personnel of Plant II had completed this one week course. Selected crews from Plant I were similarly trained as part of a continuous cross-training program for Plant I and II personnel.
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Plant I conducted a one day W-25 course for Plant II personnel as part of a cross-training program. Similarly, arrangements were made to cross-train electrical Plant II men in the operations of Plant I's battery room for a week at a time. In late March, Captain Ozenghar attended a one week Weapons Orientation Course held at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Upon his return, he presented a lecture to Squadron personnel describing new weapon developments.
Indoctrinational training in the form of observing MK 21 loadings on B-52 aircraft was accomplished by two officers and eight airmen from this Plant. A plan was formulated whereby at least four Plant personnel would observe each loading operation, thereby becoming familiar with some of the difficulties and problems involved during the loading operation.
The following Plant II personnel attended various formalized Air Force courses during this six month period. Captain Ozenghar, Weapons Orientation, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, one week; Captain Plath, Modification, Monzano Base, N.M., two weeks; Lt. Andrews, MK 36-39, Lowry AFB, Colorado, two weeks; and A/1C Braun, MK 36-39, Lowry AFB, Colorado, two weeks.
EDITOR'S NOTE: THE PLANT 2 DIVISION WAS CONSOLIDATED INTO THE "ASSEMBLY DIVISION"- ACCESS THE 1 JULY TO 31 DECEMBER 1957 MISSION, ETC. USING THE ASSEMBLY DIVISION LINKS ON THE HOME PAGE.