BALLISTIC SYSTEMS DIVISION
AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
Air Force Unit Post Office, Los Angeles 45, California
19 July 1961
REPLY TO ATTN OF: BSQLA/Maj Hight/3388
SUBJECT: AFSC Annual Progress Report to Chief of Staff, USAF, for MINUTEMAN
TO: DCAH (Dr. Rockefeller)
Item 1: The first MINUTEMAN Flight Test Missile was successfully launched on 1 February 1961. All primary and secondary test objectives were accomplished. This flight was an impressive accomplishment in the history of Ballistic Missile Systems testing; for the first time, an inertially guided, three-stage solid propellant ICBM was launched, executed staging and thrust termination sequences on cue resulting in re-entry vehicle impact in the target area 4000 nautical miles from the launch pad. The preparations for this notable flight began years earlier in a complex series of component, subsystem, and system tests which provided confidence that such a bold departure from conventional testing would be successful; engines had been proved in static firings, guidance and control system had functioned in the extreme acceleration and vibration environment of the rocket sled facility at Holloman Air Force Base, and tests of a similar re-entry vehicle gave confidence of ability to survive environment.
Item 2: The second MINUTEMAN test flight, while only partially successful, provided valuable information which will be used to improve the remaining missiles in the flight test program. Countdown, lift-off, first stage operation, and second stage ignition were normal; however, an electrical malfunction in the second stage nozzle control unit resulted in loss of control and ultimately in the breakup of the missile after 98 seconds of flight.
Item 3: The MINUTEMAN Operational Deployment Program is on schedule. Construction has started on Launchers and Launch Control Facilities in the vicinity of Great Falls, Montana, the site of the first Wing of the approved MINUTEMAN Force of four Wings. Preliminary area evaluations have been accomplished in the vicinity of Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, Reese Air Force Base, Texas, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire and Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
First Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base
Contracts for the construction of the Hardened and Dispersed system and the control cable system have been awarded. Construction is underway on 110 sites with excavation to full depth completed on 46 launchers.
Second Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base
Design of operational facilities and siting evaluation has been completed and final preparations for release for bids is underway.
Third Wing at Minot Air Force Base
Site evaluations are nearing completion and procurement of real estate has been initiated.
Fourth Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base
Tentative selection of all sites has been made. 108 core borings at specific sites have been obtained.
Item 4: At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California,
construction of Strategic Air Command Training facilities is well
under way. These facilities include six (6) hardened silo-type
launchers, 1 hardened Launch Control Center, 1 Launch Control
Training Building and a Maintenance Facility. These facilities will
be completed, and required installation and checkout of equipment
will be accomplished, to support Combat Training Launches
Operational Readiness Training Launches) which begin in
November 1962 JAN
JOHN S. CHANDLER
Asst Deputy Commander
Ltr dtd 14 Jul 61 from BSQR, Subj: AFSC Annual Prog Rpt to C of S, USAF, (S), BSQR61-117, 1 cy, 2pgs