THE DEVELOPMENT OF STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND 1946-1986
(THE FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY)

J. C. HOPKINS
AND
SHELDON A. GOLDBERG

OFFICE OF THE HISTORIAN
HEADQUARTERS STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND
OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, NEBRASKA

PREFACE

The Development of Strategic Air Command, 1946-1986, provides a brief chronological account of the command's most significant activities and major contributions to the nation's defense. This edition covers the period 21 March 1946 to 21 March 1986 and constitutes the fortieth anniversary history. The logo appearing on the front cover was designed by Mr. James H. Tounsley, Headquarters SAC Command Graphics, for use throughout the anniversary year.

Mr. J. C. Hopkins, ably assisted by Mr. Sheldon A. Goldberg, prepared the text. CMSgt Herman F. Martin and MSgt Richard J. Frasher were responsible for the photo layout work and Ms. D. Ruth Willett accomplished the difficult typing assignment.

This office would appreciate any comments on the work as well as suggestions for improving future editions.

JOHN T. BOHN
Command Historian
Office of the Historian

INTRODUCTION

To facilitate using this work, the same basic format is followed each year: Assigned Resources, Command Leadership, Organization and Operations. Five additional categories are included beginning with the indicated years: Bombing Competition, 1949; Missiles, 1955; Financial Status, 1958; Munitions Competition, 1958; Missile Competition, 1967; and Weapons Loading Competition, 1974.

Throughout most of the period, the abbreviated term UE (unit equipment) appears in conjunction with aircraft and missile units under the Assigned Resources sections. The term was used in designating the number of weapon systems authorized for groups, wings, and squadrons. Beginning in 1980, the term PAA (primary aircraft authorization) replaced UE in designating authorizations for both aircraft and missile units. Due to security classification, neither authorizations nor assigned strengths are given for those types of reconnaissance aircraft that were still assigned to the command at the end of 1985.

Throughout the narrative Air Force bases are referred to under their designation at the time of the events described. Subsequent to these events, several bases were redesignated. These bases were as follows with the year of the redesignation action appearing in parentheses:

Old Designation

Redesignation

Bunker Hill

Grissom (1968)

Cooke

Vandenberg (1958)

Fairfield-Suisun

Travis (1951)

Fort Worth

Carswell (1948)

Limestone

Loring (1954)

Lockbourne

Rickenbacker (1974)

Pinecastle

McCoy (1958)

Portsmouth

Pease (1957)

Rapid City

Ellsworth (1953)

Roswell

Walker (1948)

Smoky Hill

Schilling (1957)

Topeka

Forbes (1949)

To the best of our knowledge, all pictures are official USAF photographs unless otherwise credited.

DESCRIPTION


(Full Size PNG – 4.7 MB)

COMMAND EMBLEM

On a sky-blue shield over two clouds, one in the upper left and one in the lower right extending to the edges of the shield, white shaded blue-gray, a cubit arm in armor issuing from the lower left and extending toward the upper part of the shield, the hand grasping an olive branch green, and three lightning flashes red.

SHIELD

Azure, two clouds proper, one issuing from sinister chief and one issuing from dexter base, a cubit arm in armor in bend, issuing from the sinister, the hand grasping a branch of olive proper, and three lightning flashes gules.

SIGNIFICANCE

The blue sky is representative of the Air Force operations. The arm and armor is a symbol of strength, power and loyalty, and represents the science and art of employing far reaching advantages in securing the objectives of war. The olive branch, a symbol of peace, and the lightning flashes, symbolic of speed and power, are qualities underlying the mission of the Strategic Air Command.

APPROVED

4 January 1952.

1946

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel:
37,092 (4,319 officers, 27,871 airmen, 4,902 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft:
279 (148 B-29, 85 P-51, 31 F-2, 15 C-54).

Aircraft Units:

Active Bases:
18 within the Continental Limits of the United States (CONUS).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP


General George C. Kenney

General Kenney Assumed Command

General George C. Kenney was named Commanding General, effective 21 March. Retained his position as Senior U.S. Military Representative, Military Staff Committee of the United Nations until 15 October, at which time he actively assumed the duties of his new job.

Major General St. Clair Streett, Deputy Commander, effective 21 March. Served as acting commanding general until General Kenney reported for duty in October.

Brigadier General Frederic H. Smith, Jr., Chief of Staff, effective 26 April.


B-29, mainstay of SAC force in 1946

ORGANIZATION

Establishment of SAC - On 21 March, the Strategic Air Command was established as one of the three major combat commands of the U.S. Army Air Forces. General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General of the Army Air Forces, issued the new command's first mission:

The Mission - "The Strategic Air Command will be prepared to conduct long range offensive operations in any part of the world either independently or in cooperation with land and Naval forces; to conduct maximum range reconnaissance over land or sea either independently or in cooperation with land and Naval forces; to provide combat units capable of intense and sustained combat operations employing the latest and most advanced weapons; to train units and personnel for the maintenance of the Strategic Forces in all parts of the world; to perform such special missions as the Commanding General, Army Air Forces may direct."

Command Status, 21 March - Creation of the new command was achieved by redesignating Headquarters Continental Air Forces as Headquarters Strategic Air Command. Resources of the Continental Air Forces were divided among three new commands— Strategic Air Command, Tactical Air Command, and Air Defense Command. SAC received most of these resources, including the headquarters at Boiling Field, Washington, D.C.; Second Air Force, whose headquarters was located at Colorado Springs, Colorado; the 311th Reconnaissance Wing, with its headquarters at MacDill Field, Florida; and approximately 100,000 personnel, 22 major installations and over 30 minor bases, and a conglomerate of bomber, fighter, reconnaissance, and support aircraft numbering about 1,300. With postwar demobilization still in process, these resources would be drastically reduced by the end of the year.


Headquarters SAC building at Andrews Field, Md.

Headquarters SAC Moved From Bolling to Andrews - On 21 October, Headquarters SAC officially opened at Andrews Field, Maryland, having moved there from Bolling during the period from 15 through 20 October.

Fifteenth Air Force Activated and Assigned to SAC; Second Air Force Inactivated – Effective 31 March, Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force, which had been assigned to the Strategic Air Command on 21 March, was activated at Colorado Springs and absorbed the personnel and functions of Headquarters Second Air Force. The latter was inactivated and assigned in an inactive status to the Air Defense Command.

Effective 1 May, the 311th Reconnaissance Wing, which had been assigned directly to Headquarters SAC since 21 March, was further assigned to Fifteenth Air Force.

Eighth Air Force Assigned to SAC - On 7 June, in preparation for the assignment of a second numbered air force to the Strategic Air Command, Headquarters Eighth Air Force was relieved from assignment to the United States Army Forces, Pacific, moved less personnel and equipment to MacDill Field, Florida, and assigned to SAC. On 1 August, Headquarters Eighth Air Force was attached for administrative purposes to Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force.

Having been relieved from attachment to Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force, Headquarters Eighth Air Force moved from MacDill to Fort Worth Army Air Field, Texas, on 1 November. Headquarters Eighth Air Force was manned largely with personnel from Headquarters 58th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, which was also located at Fort Worth. Approximately one-half of the fully-equipped combat units of Fifteenth Air Force were transferred to the Eighth on 1 November, but they remained under the Fifteenth's administrative control until 19 November, at which time Headquarters Eighth Air Force became operational.

SAC Assigned a Secondary Mission - Maritime Support - On 10 October 1946, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces gave SAC an additional mission—sea-search and antisubmarine warfare. Within weeks six 509 Bomb Group B-29s were deployed to Rio Hato, Panama, to participate with U.S. Navy forces in a joint tactical maneuver called Operation Nullus. During 13 to 15 November the B-29s flew search and bombing missions against an "enemy" task force moving north from Peru. In December SAC chose the 307th Bomb Group at MacDill Army Air Field, Florida, to develop tactics and requirements for training equipment and personnel for the whole command.

OPERATIONS


"Dave's Dream," B-29 (Serial Number 44-27354) that participated in Bikini atomic bomb test.
Major Woodrow P. Swancutt is checking out his crew.

SAC's First Operation with Atomic Weapons - In developing an atomic bombing force, SAC relied heavily upon the men, equipment, and experience of the 509th Composite Group (redesignated a very heavy bomb group on 30 July). When SAC began operations, the 509th was the only group capable of delivering the A-bomb. It had already delivered two such weapons, those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and it had just been committed to drop a third one as part of the Operation Crossroads test at Bikini Atoll in July.

Approved by President Harry S. Truman in early January, Operation Crossroads was a gigantic peacetime exercise. It involved the efforts of approximately 42,000 people, including Army and Navy personnel and civilian scientists, operating under a provisional organization called Task Force ONE. The objective was to study the nuclear effects of two A-bombs, one to be dropped from a B-29 and exploded in the air and the other to be attached to a ship and exploded underwater.

Task Group 1.5, the Army Air Force element of this gigantic force, consisted of approximately 2,200 people drawn largely from SAC and placed under the command of Brigadier General Roger M. Ramey, Commanding General of the 58th Bomb Wing. General Ramey's group was responsible for delivering the first A-bomb and providing aircraft to photograph the explosion and collect scientific data.

On 1 July, "Dave's Dream," a B-29 piloted by Major Woodrow P. Swancutt and assigned to the 509th Group, temporarily stationed at Kwajalein, dropped a Nagasaki-type A-bomb on 73 ships lying off Bikini. Five ships were sunk and nine badly damaged. Task Group 1.5 also participated in the second phase of Operation Crossroads, the underwater explosion on 25 July, by providing numerous aircraft for photographic, data collection, and support functions. So successful were these two explosions that plans for a third detonation, another underwater explosion of greater depth, were shelved.

First TDY of an Entire Group - In October, the 28th Bomb Group, a B-29 unit stationed at Grand Island Army Air Field, Nebraska, deployed to Elmendorf, Alaska, for six months temporary duty (TDY) training in arctic operations. This was the first time an entire SAC bomb group was sent outside the continental limits of the United States. In April 1947, the 28th returned to its new home at Rapid City Army Air Field, South Dakota.

SAC Bombers First Used As Instrument of International Diplomacy - In mid-November, Colonel James C. Selser, Jr., Commander of the 43d Bomb Group at Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, led a flight of six B-29s to Rhein-Main Airfield, Germany. Two C-54s of the 1st Air Transport Unit, Roswell Field, New Mexico, accompanied the B-29s with spare parts and supplies. The aircraft remained in Europe for almost two weeks. The Superfortresses flew along the border of Soviet-occupied territory, visited capitals of several free-European countries, and surveyed numerous airdromes for possible use by B-29s. This flight, which was planned and executed after two U.S. Army C-47s were shot down over Yugoslavia, is regarded as the first instance in which SAC bombers were used as an instrument of international diplomacy. While the flight could not be regarded as a direct threat to Russia, the presence of B-29s and their reputation as carriers of the A-bomb served notice that the United States was not abandoning Western Europe to the Communists. In early December, the Selser flight returned home.


Ready for a mission - A combat-proven veteran of World War II, the B-29 was capable of carrying a heavy load of bombs at over 300 miles per hour and could fly above 30,000 feet.

1947

ASSIGNED RESOURCES (As of December)

Personnel
49,589 (5,175 officers, 39,307 airmen, 5,107 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
713 (319 B-29, 230 P-51, 120 P-80, 9 C-54, and 35 F-2, F-9, F-13, and FB-17).

Aircraft Units

Active Bases
16 CONUS bases.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General George C. Kenney, Commanding General.

Major General Clements McMullen, Deputy Commander, effective 10 January. Replaced Major General St. Clair Streett, who was reassigned.

Brigadier General Frederic H. Smith, Jr., Chief of Staff; reassigned, effective 3 March, at which time Major General Clements McMullen took over the duties of Chief of Staff in addition to his job as Deputy Commander.

ORGANIZATION

Creation of Department of the Air Force - 18 September - The Department of the Air Force was created as a military service coequal to the Department of the Army and the Department of the Navy under the Department of Defense.

Reorganization of Headquarters SAC and Realignment of Combat Units - SAC inherited the organizational machinery of the Continental Air Forces, designed primarily to support a peacetime demobilization program. General Kenney soon found it necessary to make major adjustments throughout the command. He assigned the reorganization job to Major General Clements McMullen, who was brought in from the Eighth Air Force to become Deputy Commander. Imbued with his own ideas of economy and spurred on by an austere defense budget, which forced the Air Force to adopt a 55 rather than a 70-group program, McMullen immediately began to reorganize the command, to trim manpower at all levels, and to centralize command jurisdiction functions in Headquarters SAC. By subordinating small special staff agencies under larger general staff agencies, A-1 through A-6, he reduced from 23 to six the number of staff agencies reporting directly to the command section.

In reorganizing the headquarters, General McMullen abolished several positions. He personally took over the duties of Chief of Staff in addition to his own duties as Deputy Commander. In the move to centralize control, several units were relieved from command jurisdiction of Fifteenth Air Force and assigned directly to Headquarters SAC. These included the 311th Reconnaissance Wing; the 4th, 56th, and 82d Fighter Groups; and the 307th Bomb Group. Fifteenth Air Force was left as strictly a bomber command, controlling the fully equipped 28th, 93d, and 97th Bomb Groups. Eighth Air Force, which was left untouched by the centralization action, controlled three B-29 groups, the 7th, 43d, and 509th, the newly activated 2d Bomb Group, the 27th and 33d Fighter Groups, and the 1st Air Transport Unit.

The Hobson Plan of Reorganization - In October and December, SAC combat units began reorganizing under the Hobson Plan, Under this plan, wing headquarters bearing the same numerical designation as the bombardment and fighter groups were organized and placed in a supervisory capacity over all combat and support elements on a base. Prior to this reorganization, the base or installation commander, who was often a nonflying administrator, was the immediate superior of the combat group commander. The Hobson Plan reversed this unwieldy arrangement. It elevated the wing headquarters to the highest echelon of command and placed the wing commander in the position of directing rather than requesting that his flying activities be supported. The flying activities remained assigned to the combat group, which was normally composed of three combat squadrons and a headquarters. The group commander was directly responsible to the wing commander. The remaining functions were divided among three groups, maintenance and supply, airdrome, and medical, each of which was assigned to the wing.

OPERATIONS


Three B-17s of the East Reconnaissance Group, SAC, on the field at Thule. (U.S. Navy Photo)

Aerial Mapping Missions - Although the total number of personnel assigned to SAC increased only moderately during the year, the scope and volume of operations expanded considerably. The 311th Reconnaissance Wing was involved in Operation Eardrum, the aerial mapping of Greenland, and surveying an Iceland to Alaska "top-of-the-world" air route.

Between May and October, B-29 squadrons trained on a rotational basis at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

SAC Goodwill Flights - SAC units flew training and "goodwill" flights to England, West Germany, Italy, France, Holland, and Belgium. A Good Neighbor Flight was made to South America in conjunction with the inauguration of the new Uruguayan President, Tomas Beretta, on 1 March. This flight of six B-29s of the 97th Bomb Group, Smoky Hill Army Air Field, Kansas, was led by Major General Charles F. Born, Commanding General of the Fifteenth Air Force.


Mass flight of B-29s, Los Angeles mission

First SAC Maximum Effort Mission - Within the United States, SAC units flew many simulated attacks on major metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles (11 April), Chicago (1 August), and New York. The most significant flight was over New York on 16 May, when 101 B-29s theoretically dropped their bombs in a maximum effort mission. Another 30 B-29s remained at their home bases; they were unable to take off because of maintenance and supply problems.

First Fully Equipped F-13As (RB-29s) Delivered - In July 1947 the first two fully equipped for reconnaissance F-13As, serial numbers 44-61583 and 44-61999, were delivered to the 7th Geodetic Control Squadron of the 311th Reconnaissance Wing at MacDill Army Air Field, Florida. A month later they were transferred to the 16th Photo Squadron, Special. Until these aircraft were available, SAC reconnaissance units had to use F-2s (RC-45); F-9s (RB-17) and standard B-29s with limited reconnaissance capabilities. A few F-13s had been assigned to the 7th Geodetic Control Squadron since August 1946, but these were trainers without SHORAN or reconnaissance equipment.

Aerial Mining Added to SAC Maritime Mission - On 28 November 1947 USAF told SAC to add strategic aerial mining training and operations to its maritime activities. In December the 307th Bomb Group assumed this task.


33d Fighter Group P-51s on the ramp at Roswell Army Air Field, September 1947

1948

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
51,965 (5,562 officers, 40,038 airmen, 6,365 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
837 (35 B-36, 35 B-50, 486 B-29, 131 F-51, 81 F-82, 24 RB-17, 30 RB-29, 4 RC-45, 11 C-54).

Aircraft Units

Active Bases
21 CONUS bases.

Effective 13 January, all installations formerly designated U.S. Army Air Fields were redesignated as U.S. Air Force Bases. This slightly belated action was a consequence of the creation of the Department of the Air Force as one of the three coequal services of the Department of Defense, which had been effected on 18 September 1947.


Lt Gen Curtis E. LeMay

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General LeMay Assumed Command

Lieutenant General Curtis E. LeMay, Commanding General, effective 19 October. Replaced General George C. Kenney, who was reassigned.

Brigadier General Thomas S. Power, Deputy Commander, effective 26 October. Replaced Major General Clements McMullen, who was reassigned.

Brigadier General August W. Kissner, Chief of Staff, effective 2 November. Replaced Brigadier General David W. Hutchinson, who had served as Acting Chief of Staff since General McMullen's departure.

ORGANIZATION

Headquarters SAC Moved From Andrews to Offutt - Movement of Headquarters Strategic Air Command from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, was effected at 0001 hours, 9 November.

Effective 16 April, Headquarters 311th Reconnaissance Wing was redesignated Headquarters 311th Air Division, Reconnaissance. On 20 July, the organization moved from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, to Topeka Air Force Base, Kansas.

OPERATIONS


B-50A

First B-50 Delivered - On 20 February, the first B-50, an "A" model, Serial Number 46-017, was delivered to the 43d Bomb Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. The B-50 was essentially an improved version of the B-29 Superfortress, but it had more powerful engines and a taller fin and rudder. Like some B-29s it was equipped for in-flight refueling.


B-36A "Peacemaker"

First B-36 Delivered - On 26 June, the first B-36, an "A" model, Serial Number 44-92004, was delivered to the 7th Bomb Group at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. Nicknamed "The Peacemaker," the B-36 was the world's largest bomber. It measured 160 feet in length and had a wing span of 230 feet. The early models, those delivered in 1948 and throughout most of 1949, were powered by six pusher-type, propeller-driven engines. The introduction of the B-36 as an operational aircraft brought about a change in the designation of bombardment aircraft. The B-29s and the B-50s, which had been designated as "very heavy," were designated "medium" aircraft, while the new B-36 was designated a "heavy" bomber. The term "very heavy" was dropped.

First Air Refueling Squadrons Activated - In preparation for the assignment of tanker aircraft, the 43d and 509th Air Refueling Squadrons were activated at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and Roswell Air Force Base, New Mexico, on 19 July. Assigned to the 43d and 509th Bomb Groups, these two squadrons were the first air refueling units in the United States Air Force. They began receiving tanker aircraft in late 1948. These first tankers were simply B-29s modified to carry and dispense fuel in the air. Employing the British-developed system of in-flight refueling, that is, the use of trailing hoses and grapnel hooks, these tankers were designated KB-29Ms.

Berlin Blockade - When the Berlin Blockade began in late June, one B-29 squadron of the 301st Bomb Group was on rotational training at Furstenfeldbruck, Germany. SAC immediately ordered the 301st Group's other two B-29 squadrons to move to Goose Bay, Labrador, in preparation for movement to Germany. Two additional B-29 groups, the 28th and 307th, were placed on alert and ordered to be ready to deploy within 12 and three hours, respectively, after notice, while the rest of the SAC force was placed on 24-hour alert. By early July, the 301st Group's other two B-29 squadrons were in place at Furstenfeldbruck. Later in the month, the 28th Bomb Group moved from Rapid City Air Force Base, South Dakota, to RAF Scampton, England, and the 307th deployed from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, to RAF Stations Marham and Waddington, England.

B-29 Round-the-World Flight - On 22 July, three B-29s of the 43d Bomb Group departed Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, on a round-the-world flight attempt. The flight was scheduled to take 14 days, but one extra day was required due to the crash of one B-29 in the Arabian Sea. The other two aircraft made eight en route stops and completed the 20,000 mile flight in 103 hours and 50 minutes of actual flight time. The two aircraft completing the flight were "Gas Gobbler," commanded by Lt Col R. W. Kline, and "Lucky Lady," commanded by 1st Lt A. M. Neal. They landed at Davis-Monthan on 6 August.

B-36 and B-50 Nonstop Flights to Hawaii - From 7 to 9 December, a B-36B and a B-50A, two of SAC's newly-assigned bombers, completed round trip nonstop flights from Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, to Hawaii. The B-36, assigned to the 7th Bomb Group and commanded by Major J. D. Bartlett, flew over 8,000 miles without landing in 35 hours and 30 minutes. The B-50, a 43d Bomb Group aircraft, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, was able to make the flight over a much longer route of 9,870 miles in 41 hours and 40 minutes. It received three in-flight refuelings from KB-29 tankers of the 43d and 509th Air Refueling Squadrons.

BOMBING COMPETITION

The First Competition - Confronted with serious manning, supply, and administrative problems throughout its first two years of existence, the Strategic Air Command was unable to devote much time to bombing practice. Bombing accuracy fell far below desired standards. Hoping to stimulate interest in improving bombing accuracy, General Kenney decided to hold a bombing tournament, which came to be called the SAC Bombing Competition. The first competition was held at Castle Air Force Base, California, from 20 to 27 June. Ten B-29 groups participated, with each group being represented by three crews. Each crew accomplished three visual bomb releases and three radar releases from 25,000 feet altitude. Eighth Air Force's five entries swept the first five places in the competition, with the 43d Bomb Group being the top unit. Trophies were presented to the 43d and to the winning crew, a 509th Bomb Group entry commanded by 1st Lt M. J. Jones.

1949

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
71,490 (10,050 officers, 53,460 airmen, 7,980 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
868 (390 B-29, 36 B-36, 99 B-50, 67 KB-29, 62 RB-29, 18 RB-17, 19 C-54, 11 C-82, 5 YC-97, 80 F-86, 81 F-82).

Aircraft Units

Active Bases
17 CONUS bases.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

Lieutenant General Curtis E. LeMay, Commanding General.
Major General Thomas S. Power, Deputy Commander.
Brigadier General August W. Kissner, Chief of Staff.


Major General Leon W. Johnson, Commander, 3d Air Division with Lord Trenchard in London.

ORGANIZATION

On 6 April, the Strategic Air Command assumed jurisdiction over the 3d Air Division "for activities pertaining to Strategic Air Command units on rotational duty in the United Kingdom." Major General Leon W. Johnson, Commanding General of the 3d Air Division, reported directly to General LeMay on matters pertaining to the rotational units. The 3d Air Division was assigned directly to Headquarters USAF.

Second Air Force Assigned to SAC - Effective 1 November, the Second Air Force was established and assigned to SAC and Headquarters Second Air Force was activated at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. It was manned from the personnel resources of Headquarters 311th Air Division, which had relocated from Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas, to Barksdale in late October. The 311th Air Division was discontinued.

Movement of Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force - On 7 November, Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force began operations at March Air Force Base, California, having moved there from Ent Air Force Base, Colorado.

OPERATIONS

In line with the emphasis placed on the strategic air warfare mission by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Air Force gave top priority to manning and equipping the SAC force. Training of the medium-range B-29 and B-50 bombers was intensified. In order to familiarize personnel with operating conditions outside the United States, units were deployed on a rotational schedule for limited periods of time to selected oversea bases. Accuracy of high altitude bombing was substantially improved. Combat crew proficiency was raised through the system of "lead crew" training which had proved so successful during World War II. The SAC Lead Crew School was established at Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The tempo of the command's operations and the constantly recurring rotational flights greatly increased SAC's effectiveness, but they subjected flight personnel to tensions that in many ways resembled those of combat.

In spite of arduous duty and extended absences from their families, about 50 percent of the command's airmen discharged at the end of their term of service reenlisted to fill their own vacancies. Although the reenlistment rate was far below the desired level, it was exceptionally high v. lien viewed against a background of frequent movement and inadequate housing.


B-50 "Lucky Lady II" completed first nonstop round-the-world flight.
(Full Size JPG)


Secretary of the Air Force Symington greets Captain J. Gallagher aircraft commander of "Lucky Lady II," at completion of nonstop round-the-world flight.
In line behind the Secretary are General H. S. Vandenberg, Air Force Chief of Staff; Major General R. M. Ramey, Commander, Eighth Air Force; and Colonel J. C. Selser, Jr., Commander, 43d Bomb Group.
(Full Size JPG)


B-50 being refueled by KB-29M tanker.

"Lucky Lady II" Flight and First Mackay Trophy - On 2 March, the "Lucky Lady II," a B-50A (Serial Number 46-010) of the 43d Bomb Group, completed the first nonstop round-the-world flight, having covered 23,452 miles in 94 hours and one minute. The crew of 14 was commanded by Captain James Gallagher. Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, was the place of origin and return. "Lucky Lady II" was refueled four times in the air by KB-29 tankers of the 43d Air Refueling Squadron. For this outstanding flight, the "Lucky Lady II" crew received numerous awards and decorations. Foremost among the awards were the Mackay Trophy, given annually by the National Aeronautic Association for the outstanding flight of the year, and the Air Age Trophy, an Air Force Association award, given each year in recognition of significant contributions to the public understanding of the air age (the Air Age Trophy was later renamed the Hoyt S. Vandenberg Trophy in honor of the third U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff).

B-36 Long Distance Record Flight - On 12 March, a B-36 of the 7th Bomb Group set a long distance record when it completed a 9,600-mile flight in 43 hours and 37 minutes without refueling. The flight began and ended at Fort Worth, Texas. The aircraft, with a crew of 12, was piloted by Captain Roy Showalter.

In addition to this long-range flight demonstration, numerous test flights were conducted in order to evaluate the speed, altitude performance, weight-carrying capacity, armament, and ability of the B-36 to penetrate a realistic air defense system.

SAC continued to play an important role in the field of atomic energy through the development of strategies, tactics, techniques, and logistics to assure the most effective combat employment of atomic weapons in the national interest. Secretary of the Air Force W. Stuart Symington pointed out at the end of the year: "Existence of this strategic atomic striking force is the greatest deterrent in the world today to the start of another global war."

BOMBING COMPETITION

Second Competition - Convinced that the first competition had produced better bombing and a competitive spirit among crews, General LeMay decided to make it an annual affair. Held from 3 through 7 October, the second competition included 12 bomb groups: three B-36, seven B-29, and two B-50. Competition headquarters was at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, which was also the staging base for B-29s and B-50s. The B-36 crews operated out of their home bases. Ground rules and bombing requirements were the same as in 1948. Deprived of any major honors in the first meet, the Fifteenth Air Force's groups were ready for the 1949 competition and won top honors. The 93d Bomb Group, which had to switch to B-29s after fuel leaks developed in its new won the unit award for bombing. A 28th Bomb Group B-36 crew won the individual crew trophy.

Spot Promotions Initiated - After the October Bombing Competition, General LeMay decided to do something for the many outstanding and deserving aircraft commanders and other crew members who held the grade of first lieutenant. By 21 December, he had obtained approval from Headquarters USAF to promote "on-the-spot" 237 of these officers to the temporary grade of captain. Expanded in 1950 and 1951 to include temporary promotions to major, lieutenant colonel, technical sergeant, and master sergeant, spot promotions soon became closely associated with SAC combat crew duty. They were designed to increase crew stability and proficiency and to reward outstanding combat crews. They were awarded to all eligible members of a combat crew. Winning crews in the top events of the SAC Bombing Competition usually received spot promotions. Loss of the temporary promotions by the entire crew or individual members followed failure to maintain high standards of performance.

1950

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
85,473 (10,600 officers, 66,600 airmen, 8,273 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
962 (38 B-36, 286 B-29, 196 B-50, 126 KB-29, 20 RB-36, 19 RB-50, 46 RB-29, 27 RB-45, 4 C-82, 14 C-97, 19 C-124, 167 F-84).

Aircraft Units

Active Bases
19 CONUS bases and one oversea base in Puerto Rico.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

Lieutenant General Curtis E. LeMay, Commanding General.

Major General Thomas S. Power, Deputy Commander.

Major General August W. Kissner, Chief of Staff (promoted to Major General, effective 12 January).

ORGANIZATION

In early 1950, SAC's three numbered air forces were somewhat distinct. The Eighth was concerned primarily with medium and heavy bombers, the Fifteenth concentrated on medium bombers, and the Second devoted its attentions almost exclusively to reconnaissance activities. Expansion and the integration of B-36s and B-50s into the command created the need for a more balanced organization. Geographic factors also prompted the need for reorganization. Headquarters Second Air Force, located in Louisiana, controlled units at Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base, California, while Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force, located in California, controlled units at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. On 1 April, the SAC forces were realigned. Each numbered air force was assigned both bomber and reconnaissance aircraft and was assigned units and bases in rather specific geographical regions of the United States—the Second in the eastern part, the Eighth in the central region, and the Fifteenth in the western area.

OPERATIONS


B-29 bombing over Korea

Korean War, SAC B-29 Bombers Enter the Conflict - The invasion of South Korea by North Korea on 25 June brought part of the SAC force into combat for the first time. On 3 July, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, USAF Chief of Staff, ordered the 22d and 92d Bomb Groups to deploy their B-29s to the Far East to carry out conventional bombing operations north of the 38th Parallel. The 22d went to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and the 92d deployed to Yokota Air Base, Japan. Upon arrival at these bases, the two groups joined the 19th Bomb Group, another B-29 unit that was assigned to the Far East Air Force (FEAF), to form the FEAF Bomber Command (Provisional). Organized on 8 July 1950 by Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer, FEAF Commander, the Bomber Command was manned largely by SAC personnel. Its first commander was Major General Emmett "Rosie" O'Donnell, Jr., who was temporarily pulled out of his job as commander of the Fifteenth Air Force to direct the bombing effort in Korea. SAC's 31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, an RB-29 organization, was on temporary duty at Kadena when the Korean conflict began. It was also attached to the FEAF Bomber Command.

FEAF Bomber Command's first strike was on 13 July, when fifty B-29s of the 19th, 22d, and 92d Bomb Groups hit Wonsan, an important North Korean port.

Three B-29 groups soon proved to be insufficient to carry out strategic bombing and provide the more immediate tactical support to ground troops. In early August, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander Allied Powers, accepted a Joint Chiefs of Staff offer of two more SAC B-29 groups, the 98th and 307th. The 98th flew its first combat mission from Yokota on 7 August, five days after leaving Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington; and the 307th launched its first strike from Kadena on 8 August, one week after leaving MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.


Haeju Marshalling Yard - Before Bombing


Haeju Marshalling Yard - After Bombing

By late September, the strategic bombardment offensive was finished. The FEAF Bomber Command had destroyed all significant strategic targets and enemy airfields in North Korea, and General MacArthur allowed the 22d and 92d Bomb Groups to return home. The 98th and 307th remained in the Far East under the operational control of FEAF.

Effective 16 November, the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron moved without personnel and equipment from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to Yokota Air Base, Japan. The 91st absorbed personnel and aircraft of the 31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, which returned to Travis Air Force Base, California.


27 FEW F-84Es aboard USS Bataan en route to Japan. (U.S. Navy Photo)

27th Fighter Wing in Korean War, First F-84E Delivered - On 8 November, the 27th Fighter-Escort Wing was directed to deploy to the Far East. Movement of the 27th's 75 F-84Es (the first F-84E was delivered in early 1950) was accomplished by aircraft carriers. It took approximately two weeks to make the trip from San Diego Naval Air Station, California, to Yokasuka, Japan. Upon arrival in Japan, Colonel Ashley B. Packard, the wing commander, established a rear echelon at Itazuke and took his fighters to Taegu Air Field in South Korea. The first F-84 mission was launched from Taegu on 6 December. The F-84s were used primarily for reconnaissance and close support missions. The 27th was still in the Far East at the end of the year.

SAC Maritime Mission Reduced - At SAC's request USAF, on 12 May 1950, agreed to relieve the 307th Bomb Group of its maritime mission and reduce SAC's involvement in sea search, antisubmarine warfare, and aerial mining. Some capacity was retained in the 306th Bomb Group at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Fox Able Three and the Second Mackay Trophy - In September and October, the 27th Fighter-Escort Wing flew 180 F-84E fighters from Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, to Furstenfeldbruck, Germany. Nicknamed Fox Able Three, this gigantic ferry mission was divided into two almost equal flights. The first contingent of 90 aircraft left Bergstrom on 15 September. One aircraft aborted the flight before the first leg was completed, but the other 89 fighters continued the mission, stopping five times en route for fuel. On 18 September, 84 fighters landed at Furstenfeldbruck, having covered approximately 5,858 miles in 16 hours and three minutes actual flying time. The other five fighters, held up for mechanical troubles at Keflavik, Iceland, landed in Germany on 19 September.

Airlifted back to Bergstrom by Military Air Transport Service aircraft, the 27th's crews began getting ready for the second phase of Fox Able Three. On 15 October, 92 F-84s took off from Bergstrom, following the same route as the first flight. Bad weather hampered this phase of the flight, and it was not until 28 October that 91 fighters (one aircraft had trouble on the first leg and landed at Memphis, Tennessee) finally landed in Germany. Colonel Cy Wilson, the 27th commander, directed the two flights as task force commander, flying in the lead aircraft.

For this flight, the 27th Wing received the Mackay Trophy for 1950. General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, USAF Chief of Staff, made the presentation to Colonel Raymond F. Rudell, the wing commander, at Bergstrom on 11 December 1951.


B-36 ("D" model) with jet engines

Delivery of First RB-36D - On 2 June 1950 the first RB-36D, Serial Number 44-92091, was delivered to the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Rapid City Air Force Base, South Dakota. The "D" model was the first reconnaissance version of the B-36 and the first model with four jet engines added to the six propeller engines. This first RB-36D had been converted from a "B" model. The additional power provided by the jet engines, other modifications and the elimination of various "bugs" that had to be worked out of any new aircraft made the B-36 fully operational in 1951.

Delivery of First RB-50 - On 12 July 1950 SAC's first reconnaissance configured RB-50, a "B" model, Serial Number 47-123, was delivered to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.


KB-29P refueling B-50D

Delivery for First KB-29P - On 1 September, the 97th Air Refueling Squadron, Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, received the first KB-29P tanker (Serial Number 44-86427). Prior to delivery of this aircraft, all SAC tankers were KB-29Ms, equipped with British-developed hose refueling equipment. The British system involved trailing a hose from the tanker to the receiver and transferring fuel by means of gravity. In the flying boom system, as developed by the Boeing Airplane Company and used on KB-29P aircraft, a telescopic pipe was lowered from the tanker, connected to a socket in the receiver aircraft, and the fuel transfer was made with the aid of a pump.

Delivery of First RB-45 - On 26 August, SAC's first RB-45, a "C" model, four engine jet reconnaissance aircraft was delivered to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

B-29 Crash and the Cheney Award - On 5 August, a B-29 of the 9th Bomb Group crashed and burned after attempting to take off from Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base, California. Included among the 19 casualties were Brigadier General Robert F. Travis, Commanding General of the 9th Bomb Wing, and Sergeant Paul P. Ramoneda, a member of the 9th Food Service Squadron. Upon hearing the crash, Sergeant Ramoneda, and some fellow workers rushed from the base bake shop to the scene and began pulling people from the wreckage. Although ordered to stop rescue efforts because of the imminent explosion, Sergeant Ramoneda reentered the burning plane to rescue others and died when the plane exploded. Subsequently, Sergeant Ramoneda was posthumously awarded the Soldier's Medal and the Cheney Award, which was given annually for an "act of valor, extreme fortitude, or self-sacrifice in a humanitarian interest performed in connection with aircraft." In April 1951, Fairfield-Suisun was redesignated Travis Air Force Base in honor of General Travis.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Not held due to the Korean War.


Munitions specialists brave the snow and the cold to load bombs aboard a B-29


Korea 1950

1951

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
144,525 (19,747 officers, 113,224 airmen, 11,554 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,186 (340 B-29, 219 B-50, 98 B-36, 12 B-47, 187 KB-29, 21 KC-97, 38 B/RB-45, 65 RB-36, 40 RB-50, 30 RB-29, 4 C-82, 36 C-124, and 96 F-84).

Tactical Units

Active Bases
22 in CONUS and 11 overseas (North Africa, Puerto Rico, and United Kingdom).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP


Commander's Conference, 1951 - (1. to r.) Col Auton, Col Preston, Unkn, Col Blanchard, Maj Gen Kissner, Brig Gen Irvine,
Maj Gen Atkinson, Lt Gen LeMay, Maj Gen O'Donnell, Maj Gen Power, Col Walsh, Unkn, Brig Gen Hutchinson, Col Selser, and Col Knapp.

General Curtis E. LeMay, Commanding General (promoted to General, effective 29 October).

Major General Thomas S. Power, Deputy Commander.

Major General August W. Kissner, Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

In January, Headquarters USAF approved General LeMay's proposal to reorganize SAC's combat forces at base level. Prior to this reorganization, each combat wing consisted of a wing headquarters, a combat group of tactical squadrons, a maintenance and supply group, an air base group (air base groups had replaced airdrome groups in 1948), and a medical group. This standard structure existed in most combat wings, including those on both single and double-wing bases. On two-wing bases (these were becoming more prevalent with the tremendous expansion brought about by the Korean conflict) the senior wing commander exercised control over the junior wing commander.

Under the new system that was effected in February, each wing was reorganized to consist of a wing headquarters; a combat group of tactical squadrons and, where applicable, air refueling and aviation squadrons; three maintenance squadrons; and an air base group of housekeeping squadrons, a supply squadron, and a medical squadron. Medical and maintenance and supply groups were discontinued. The combat group headquarters was not discontinued at this time; it continued to exist in name only. The wing commander served as the combat group commander. Gradually, the term "group" was falling into disuse and the term "wing" was becoming more popular.

Air Divisions Assigned - In conjunction with this reorganization, SAC received authority from Headquarters USAF to organize air division headquarters on double-wing bases and to operate only one air base group on these installations. Composed of approximately 17 people, representing the functions of command, operations, materiel, and administration, the air division headquarters served as an intermediate echelon of command between the combat wings and the numbered air force headquarters. The air division commander exercised direct control over the two wing commanders and the air base group commander. The first five air divisions were organized on 10 February at the indicated bases: 4th, Barksdale; 6th, MacDill; 12th, March; 14th, Travis; and 47th, Walker.

Headquarters 5th Air Division Established in French Morocco - Effective 14 January, Headquarters 5th Air Division was activated at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, with Major General Archie J. Old, Jr., being named commander. General Old began forming a new staff and making preparations to move to French Morocco in June. Instead of going directly to French Morocco as planned, General Old and his staff were sent to England in late April to open Headquarters 7th Air Division, whose staff had been lost in a plane crash. In late May, with a new 7th Air Division commander in place and another staff being formed, General Old and his staff moved on to Rabat, French Morocco, where Headquarters 5th Air Division was opened on 14 June. The primary mission of the new air division headquarters was to conclude negotiations for use of bases in French Morocco, to monitor construction of these facilities, and to supervise training of SAC units at these bases.

Headquarters 7th Air Division Established in England - After the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the U.S. and Great Britain decided jointly to build a number of bases in England to accommodate USAF bombers, fighters, and reconnaissance aircraft. Pending completion of these bases, other airfields were earmarked for use by SAC. These included several bases that had been supporting SAC rotational units since 1948. In early 1951, Headquarters USAF approved General LeMay's proposal to establish an air division headquarters in England to monitor the base development program and to supervise SAC units rotating there. Effective 10 March, Headquarters 7th Air Division was activated at South Ruislip, London, England. On the same day, at Headquarters SAC, a briefing was held for Brigadier General Paul T. Cullen, who had been selected to command the new air division. General Cullen and about 50 members of his new staff left for England on 23 March, but they were lost en route when their C-124 crashed somewhere in the Atlantic. On 26 April, Major General Archie J. Old, Jr., assumed temporary command of the 7th Air Division and opened the new headquarters. General Old remained in this position until 24 May, at which time Major General John P. McConnell assumed command and began forming a new staff. General Old and his people moved on to French Morocco.

OPERATIONS

Korean War - Throughout 1951, the 98th and 307th Bomb Wings remained in the Far East under the operational control of the FEAF Bomber Command. Their B-29s were engaged primarily in attacking bridges, marshalling yards, supply and troop concentration camps, and various other targets. The 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron also remained in the Far East and supported the FEAF Bomber Command effort with photographic and surveillance missions. In June, the 27th Fighter-Escort Wing began training its replacements from other major air commands and by the end of August it had returned to Bergstrom, leaving its F-84Es in the Far East. Upon returning to Bergstrom, the 27th began making preparations to receive the F-84G Thunderjet fighters (first aircraft delivered on 23 September), which were equipped for in-flight refueling. No additional SAC fighter wings were called upon to serve in Korea.


43 AREFS KB-29M over Korea

First Air Refuelings in Combat - On 6 July, a KB-29M type tanker of the Air Materiel Command operated by a crew of SAC's 43d Air Refueling Squadron conducted the first air refueling operation over enemy territory under combat conditions. Operating out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, and temporarily assigned to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, the KB-29M refueled four RF-80 aircraft flying a reconnaissance mission over North Korea. In the meantime, one 91st Air Refueling Squadron KB-29P tanker, outfitted with the boom type system, had deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to Yokota where it was assigned to Detachment 2 of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, which was operating RB-45C aircraft. On 14 July, the KB-29P tanker successfully refueled one of the RB-45Cs on a combat mission over North Korea.


B-47, SAC's first all-jet bomber

Delivery of First B-47 - Committed to production in 1949, the B-47 medium bomber first made its appearance in the 306th Bomb Wing on 23 October. On that day, Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, Wing Commander, flew the first operational B-47 (Serial Number 50-008) from the Boeing Airplane Company plant at Wichita, Kansas, to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. On 19 November, in a ceremony at MacDill, this B-47 was named "The Real McCoy." The B-47 was a revolutionary aircraft. It was powered by six jet engines, strut-mounted under swept-wings, and was categorized as a 600 mph bomber. The authorized complement was 45 for each wing.


KC-97E Tanker

Delivery of First KC-97 - The 306th Air Refueling Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, was the first unit to begin equipping with the KC-97 tanker. Its first aircraft, a KC-97E (Serial Number 51-183), was delivered on 14 July. Outfitted with a flying boom and loaded with fuel tanks, the four-engine, propeller-driven KC-97 could fly fast enough to match the minimum speed of the B-47. It transformed the B-47 into an intercontinental bomber. Each KC-97 squadron was authorized 20 aircraft.

Rotational Training - Seven medium bombardment groups, two strategic reconnaissance groups, and selected squadrons deployed to oversea locations, with most of the units going to the United Kingdom. However, rotations were also made to Japan, Guam, and Tripoli.

First B-36 Flight to England - On 16 January, the first B-36s arrived in England. Six B-36Ds of the 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, landed at Lakenheath RAF Station, England, having staged through Limestone Air Force Base, Maine. The flight returned to Carswell on 20 January.


First B-36s in French Morocco at Sidi Slimane, December 1951

First B-36 Flight to French Morocco - On 3 December 1951, the first B-36s arrived in French Morocco. Six B-36s of the 11th Bomb Wing landed at Sidi Slimane, French Morocco, having flown nonstop from Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. The flight returned on 6 December.

Redesignation of RB-50s - During late 1950 and early 1951, SAC RB-50Bs were further modified for more specific tasks. On 16 April 1951, the RB-50Bs were redesignated RB-50Es, Fs, and Gs according to task (i.e., Es - Photoreconnais-sance; Fs - Photomapping, and Gs - Electronic Reconnaissance).

The Daedalian Trophy - For its flying safety record in 1951, the Strategic Air Command received the Daedalian Trophy. First awarded for calendar year 1950, this trophy was established by the Order of the Daedalians, an organization of World War I pilots. It was administered by Headquarters USAF and awarded to the major air command with the lowest aircraft accident rate.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Third Competition - With abatement of the threat of World War III developing out of the Korean conflict, the bombing competition was resumed and expanded. To stress the importance of celestial navigation and to enable reconnaissance wings to compete, navigation was included as a separate phase of the meet. MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, served as the competition headquarters as well as the staging base for medium aircraft, while Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, was the staging base for heavy aircraft. Held from 13 through 18 August, the third meet was attended by 45 SAC crews representing 12 bomb wings and three reconnaissance wings and flying B/RB-36, B/RB-29, and B-50 aircraft. Two Royal Air Force crews using standard B-29s (Washington) also participated. Bombing requirements included three visual releases and four radar runs, and the navigation phase included three night celestial navigation legs.


Fairchild Trophy


Gen Muir S. Fairchild

The Fairchild Trophy First Awarded - In addition to numerous trophies for separate fields of bombing and navigation, the Fairchild Trophy was presented for the first time to the outstanding bomb unit in the combined fields of navigation and bombing. Named in honor of General Muir S. Fairchild, a former USAF vice chief of staff, this impressive trophy bore the inscription:

"In honor of General Muir S. Fairchild and to promote national security this trophy is presented to the Strategic Air Command by the Hughes Aircraft Company."

The first recipient of this trophy was the 97th Bomb Wing, a B-50 unit of the Eighth Air Force.

SAC Participation in First RAF Bombing Competition - The Royal Air Force Bomber Command held its first bombing competition from 12 through 15 December. SAC entered six aircraft and crews in this meet, officially called the Navigation and Blind Bombing Competition. Operating out of RAF Sculthorpe, United Kingdom, were one B-29 of the 9th Bomb Wing, Travis Air Force Base, California; one B-29 of the 301st Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana; two B-36s of the 7th and 11th Bomb Wings, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas; and two B-50Ds of the 93d Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California. The SAC B-29 team of the 9th and 301st Bomb Wing placed first in the overall competition.

1952

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
166,021 (20,282 officers, 134,072 airmen, 11,667 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,638 (154 B-36, 114 RB-36, 62 B-47, 224 B-50, 39 RB-50, 230 F-84, 417 B-29, 18 RB-29, 36 C-124, 22 RB-45, 4 C-82, 179 KB-29, 139 KC-97).

Tactical Units

Active Bases
26 in CONUS and 10 overseas (Puerto Rico, North Africa and United Kingdom).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Curtis E. LeMay, Commanding General.

Major General Thomas S. Power, Vice Commander (position changed from deputy commander to vice commander on 10 October).

Major General August W. Kissner, Chief of Staff; reassigned 19 September.

Brigadier General Richard M. Montgomery, Chief of Staff, effective 20 September.

ORGANIZATION

Combat Groups Inactivated - Effective 16 June, all bombardment, fighter and reconnaissance groups were inactivated. Simultaneously, the combat squadrons were assigned to the wings. For all practical purposes, the combat groups had ceased to exist in 1951 when the wings were reorganized and the group headquarters were left unmanned.

Medical Groups Activated - Effective 14 February, medical squadrons were redesignated medical groups and assigned to wings.

SAC Insignia Approved — On 4 January, Headquarters USAF approved an insignia for the Strategic Air Command. The insignia evolved out of a contest conducted in late 1951. With a $100 U.S. Defense Bond as the prize, the contest drew entries from 60 military and civilian personnel scattered throughout the command. The judges, Generals LeMay, Power, and Kissner, selected the design submitted by Staff Sergeant R. T. Barnes, who was assigned to the 92d Bomb Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The significance of the insignia:

The blue sky is representative of the Air Force operations. The arm and armor is a symbol of strength, power and loyalty and represents the science and art of employing far reaching advantages in securing the objectives of war. The olive branch, a symbol of peace, and the lightning flashes, symbolic of speed and power, are qualities underlying the mission of the Strategic Air Command.

OPERATIONS


Bridge bombing in Korea

Korean War - B-29s of the 98th and 307th Bomb Wings and RB-29s of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron continued to support the United Nations' efforts in Korea.


RB-45 reconnaissance aircraft. (Rockwell Photo)

RB-45 Flight, Alaska to Japan and the Third Mackay Trophy - On 29 July, a 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing RB-45C (Serial Number 48-042), commanded by Major Louis H. Carrington, made the first nonstop, transpacific flight from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, to Yokota Air Base, Japan. This flight, which was made possible by two KB-29 in-flight refuelings, earned Major Carrington and his two-man crew the Mackay Trophy for 1952.


31 FEW F-84G refueling during Fox Peter I

Fox Peter One and Fox Peter Two - The use of in-flight refueling as a means of speeding up mass flights of fighters was soundly and profitably tested during two significant deployments to Japan,

In early July, Colonel David C. Schilling led 58 F-84Gs of the 31st Fighter-Escort Wing from Turner Air Force Base, Georgia, to Misawa and Chitose Air Bases, Japan. The revolutionary flight, nicknamed Fox Peter One, was the first mass fighter deployment to be supported by in-flight refueling. KB-29 tankers of the 2d and 91st Air Refueling Squadrons refueled the fighters on the first leg of the flight from Turner to Travis Air Force Base, California. The second refueling, conducted by tankers of the 2d, 91st, and 93d Air Refueling Squadrons, was carried out on the Travis to Hawaii leg of the flight. From Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, the fighters island-hopped to Japan, with en route stops at Midway, Wake, Eniwetok, Guam, and Iwo Jima. It took approximately ten days to complete that portion of the flight from California to Japan. In late 1950, it had taken over two weeks to move the 27th Wing's F-84Es by aircraft carriers from California to Japan, and it took several more days to get them ready for combat. For this 10,919-mile flight, the 31st Wing was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award in early 1954. The 31st was the first unit to receive this USAF award. The 27th Fighter-Escort Wing was selected to replace the 31st Wing in Japan under the 90-day rotational training program. Nicknamed Fox Peter Two, this deployment involved 75 F-84Gs under the command of Colonel Donald J. Blakeslee. The 7,800-mile flight, much shorter than Fox Peter One, began at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, on 3 October and terminated at Misawa Air Base, Japan, on 14 October. En route stops were made at Travis, Hickam, and Midway, while in-flight refuelings were accomplished on the Travis to Hickam and the Midway to Misawa legs. Aircraft were grounded one day at Hickam and held over another day at Midway because of bad weather.

The Daedalian Trophy - For the second consecutive year, the Strategic Air Command had the lowest aircraft accident rate in USAF. It received the Daedalian Trophy.

SAC Maritime Mission Further Reduced - SAC participation in antisubmarine warfare was eliminated when USAF allotted that function to Continental Air Command on 5 June 1952.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Fourth Competition - Held from 13 through 18 October, the competition involved ten B-29, five B-50, and four B-36 wings. Medium bombers staged out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and the heavy bombers operated out of Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico. The Royal Air Force entered the meet with four crews, two flying Washington (B-29) medium bombers and two flying Lincoln heavy bombers. Ground rules were altered somewhat for this meet. Each SAC wing sent only two crews instead of three as in previous years. Eighth Air Force's 97th Bomb Wing and Fifteenth's 93d Bomb Wing, both flying B-50Ds, tied for the Fairchild Trophy, and Major General Thomas S. Power, Vice Commander of SAC, flipped a coin to decide which would gain possession of the trophy for the first half of the ensuing year. The 93d won this privilege.

RAF Bombing Competition - SAC units participated in two RAF bombing competitions in 1952: the Visual Bombing Competition held in July and the Blind Bombing Competition conducted in December. The 509th Bomb Wing, a B-50D unit on rotation at Lakenheath and Mildenhall, represented SAC in the July meet and one of its squadrons took second place. In the December meet, SAC's 301st Bomb Wing, a B-29 unit on rotation at Upper Heyford, participated with one of its squadrons winning the competition.

RECONNAISSANCE COMPETITION

First Competition - Planned as an annual event, the initial SAC Reconnaissance, Photo, and Navigation Competition was held between 23 October and 1 November. Twelve crews representing four wings, two RB-36, one RB-50, and one RB-45, participated. The RB-45s and RB-50s staged out of Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, while the RB-36s flew from Rapid City Air Force Base, South Dakota. The 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, an RB-36 unit of the Eighth Air Force, had the highest score in the combined areas of photoreconnaissance and navigation and won the P. T. Cullen Award. This impressive sterling silver trophy was named in honor of Brigadier General Paul T. Cullen. Prior to his death in a C-124 crash on 23 March 1951, General Cullen had been one of the leading photo-reconnaissance authorities in the United States.


P. T. Cullen Trophy - first awarded in 1952 to the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.


Brig Gen Paul T. Cullen

1953

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
170,982 (19,944 officers, 138,782 airmen, 12,156 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,830 (185 B-36, 137 RB-36, 329 B-47, 138 B-50, 38 RB-50, 235 F-84, 110 B-29, 8 RB-29, 49 C-124, 143 KB-29, 359 KC-97, 88 YRB-47, 11 RB-47).

Tactical Units

Active Bases
29 CONUS bases and 10 overseas (North Africa, Puerto Rico, and United Kingdom).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Curtis E. LeMay, Commander (position redesignated "commander" in June).

Major General Thomas S. Power, Vice Commander.

Brigadier General Richard M. Montgomery, Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

Although SAC continued to grow throughout 1953, this growth was tempered somewhat by the USAF wing program being reduced slightly from a goal of 143 to 120 combat wings.

Strategic Fighter Wings Replaced Fighter Escort Wings - Effective 20 January, SAC's four fighter escort wings (12th, 27th, 31st, and 508th) were redesignated strategic fighter wings in recognition of their new mission of developing an atomic bombing capability. Two additional F-84 strategic fighter wings were activated in 1953.

OPERATIONS


91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron crew that flew last combat mission in Korea, 27 July 1953


B-29 "Superfortress," Command Decision, a Korean veteran

Korean War - The 98th and 307th Bomb Wings and the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron continued to serve in a combat capacity with the FEAF Bomber Command until the fighting ended on 27 July. With exception of FEAF's own 19th Bomb Wing, the FEAF Bomber Command was composed entirely of SAC units and was commanded by SAC personnel. Through the three-year conflict, the Bomber Command's B-29s flew 21,328 effective combat sorties, including 1,995 reconnaissance sorties and 797 psychological warfare sorties. The B-29s dropped 167,000 tons of bombs on various targets ranging from front line enemy troop emplacements to airfields on the banks of the Yalu River. The 98th and 307th Bomb Wings and the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron were included in the South Korean Presidential Unit Citation that was bestowed upon the FEAF Bomber Command, Provisional. These units remained in the Far East throughout 1953.

Operation Longstride and the Fourth Mackay Trophy - Swift deployment of F-84Gs across the Atlantic became equally important to SAC operations, particularly since the F-84 had been converted to a fighter-bomber with a nuclear bombing capability. Appropriately nicknamed Operation Longstride, the first mass nonstop fighter flight over the Atlantic was a dual mission conducted by the 31st and 508th Strategic Fighter Wings, located at Turner Air Force Base, Georgia. These wings were assigned to the 40th Air Division. The first phase of Operation Longstride began at 0743 ZULU time, on 20 August, when Colonel David C. Schilling, 31st Wing Commander, led a flight of nine F-84s off the runway at Turner Air Force Base. One Thunderjet spare accompanied the flight as far as Savannah, Georgia, and then returned home, while the main flight of eight continued on its way to North Africa. Three in-flight refuelings by KC-97 aircraft were required to get the fighters across the Atlantic. Operating out of Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda, KC-97s of the 305th Air Refueling Squadron furnished the first two refuelings, while KC-97s of the 26th Air Refueling Squadron positioned at Lajes Air Force Base, Azores, provided the third refueling. The formation of eight landed at Nouasseur Air Base, French Morocco, approximately 10 hours and 20 minutes after leaving Turner. After spending a few days at Lakenheath RAF Station, England, the flight returned to Turner on 2 September.

Within a few minutes after Colonel Schilling's flight was on its way to North Africa, the second phase of Operation Longstride began. This flight of 20 Thunderjets was led by Colonel Thayer S. Olds, 40th Air Division Commander, and Colonel Cy Wilson, 508th Wing Commander. Using the North Atlantic route, the 508th's fighters were also refueled three times, once over Boston by KB-29 tankers of the 100th Air Refueling Squadron, once near Labrador by KC-97s of the 26th Air Refueling Squadron, and once near Iceland by KC-97s of the 306th Air Refueling Squadron, which was TDY to England. The main flight of 17 landed at Lakenheath RAF Station, England, approximately 11 hours and 20 minutes after leaving Turner. Three Thunderjets were held over one day at Keflavik before completing the flight. The flight returned to Turner on 12 September.

The 40th Air Division received the Mackay Trophy for Operation Longstride.

First B-47 Wing Deployment - From 22 January through 20 February, the 306th Bomb Wing, the first B-47 wing, was subjected to an exhaustive exercise, Sky Try, in which the B-47 was successfully tested under simulated combat conditions.

Shortly after completion of Sky Try, SAC decided the 306th was ready for its graduation exercise, a 90-day rotational training mission to England. Maintaining one or more bomb wings in the United Kingdom was nothing new as B-29 and B-50 wings had been rotating there since 1948. The 306th's deployment originated at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, and involved equal flights of 15 B-47s on 3, 4, and 5 June. Establishing a precedent that would be followed many times in the future, the B-47s staged through Limestone Air Force Base, Maine, where they remained overnight before going on the next day. They landed at Fairford RAF Station on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of June. The B-47 record of five hours and 38 minutes over the 3,120 mile route from Limestone to Fairford, established by Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, 306th Wing Commander, on a 6 April indoctrination flight was broken nine times before the deployment was over. The best time was recorded by the last B-47 to land on 6 June. It completed the trip in five hours and 22 minutes, averaging about 575 miles per hour. The 306th Air Refueling Squadron's KC-97s, crammed with support personnel and equipment, deployed on the same dates as the B-47s. They stopped overnight at Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, Newfoundland, and then flew on to Mildenhall RAF Station.

When the 90-day rotation was over, the 305th Bomb Wing, SAC's second B-47 wing, was ready to begin rotational training. As the 305th arrived in England - the bombers went to Brize Norton and the tankers to Mildenhall - the 306th began returning home. The return flight was nonstop, with the 306th Air Refueling Squadron's tankers providing one in-flight refueling for the bombers shortly after leaving England. By the time the 305th's tour was over the 22d Wing had completed the transition to B-47s and was ready to rotate. The policy of maintaining at least one B-47 wing in England at all times would continue until early 1958.


RB-47E

First RB-47s Delivered - On 25 April 1953 Colonel Joseph J. Preston, 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing Commander, delivered the first reconnaissance configured RB-47 (serial number 51-2194), a YRB-47, to its home base, Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. This aircraft had been modified from a B-47B. An earlier batch of YRB-47s assigned to the 320th Bomb Wing at Mather Air Force, California, had no reconnaissance equipment and were used for bombardment training.

Transfer of RB-45s to FEAF - On 1 December, SAC's last four RB-45s, which had been assigned to a detachment of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, were transferred to FEAF.


Operation "Big Stick," 92 BW, B-36 arriving Yokota on 26 August

Operation Big Stick - In August and September, the 92d Bomb Wing made the first mass B-36 flight to the Far East, visiting bases in Japan, Okinawa, and Guam. Nicknamed Operation Big Stick, thi3 30-day exercise came shortly after the termination of hostilities in Korea and demonstrated the U.S. determination to use every means possible to maintain peace in the Far East.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Fifth Competition, First B-47 Participation - Seventeen bomb wings sent two crews each to the competition, which was held between 25 and 31 October. For the first time in the competition's history spare aircraft were prohibited. This placed emphasis upon high quality maintenance. The B-47 made its first appearance in the competition, with seven participating wings staging out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico, was the staging base for ten wings, four B-36, four B-50, and two B-29.

Maintenance was extremely good as there was only one ground abort. Results of the competition for the Fairchild Trophy were extremely close, with the winner not being decided until the last mission was flown. The 92d Bomb Wing, a B-36 unit of the Fifteenth Air Force, won the trophy with 1,687 points, edging out its nearest competitor, a B-50D wing, by 20 points. The B-50D wings fared extremely well in the meet, with the other three units taking third, fourth, and fifth places. The B-47 fell below expectations in several aspects, particularly navigation, and of the seven wings competing, one placed ninth, one tenth, and the other five brought up the rear.

RAF Bombing Competition - As in the previous year, the Royal Air Force held two bombing competitions in 1953- SAC was represented by a B-50D-equipped detachment of the 2d Bomb Wing on rotational training at Upper Heyford. In the Visual Bombing Competition, held in September, the B-50D contingent did not fare well, but in the Blind Bombing Competition, conducted in November, it placed first, marking the third consecutive year for a SAC unit to win the meet.

RECONNAISSANCE COMPETITION

Second Competition - Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, was the staging base for this competition, which was held from 18 through 27 October. The 14 competing crews represented seven wings (four RB-36, one RB-50, one RB-29, and one YRB-47). The 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, an RB-36 unit of the Fifteenth Air Force, won the P. T. Cullen Award.


B-50D

1954

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
189,106 (23,447 officers, 151,466 airmen, 14,193 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
2,640 (209 B-36, 133 RB-36, 795 B-47, 78 B-50, 12 RB-50, 411 F-84, 54 C-124, 91 KB-29, 592 KC-97, 265 YRB/RB-47).

Tactical Units

Active Bases
30 in the CONUS and 11 overseas (Puerto Rico, North Africa, and United Kingdom).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Curtis E. LeMay, Commander.

Major General Thomas S. Power, Vice Commander; reassigned effective 14 April.

Major General Francis H. Griswold, Vice Commander, effective 3 May.

Brigadier General Richard M. Montgomery, Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

Activation of Headquarters 3d Air Division on Guam - In early 1954, Headquarters USAF directed that the FEAF Bomber Command be discontinued and that its three B-29 wings be returned to the United States and equipped with B-47s. It was at this time that FEAF's 19th Bomb Wing was reassigned to SAC. On 18 June, concurrent with the inactivation of the FEAF Bomber Command at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Headquarters 3d Air Division was activated at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and assigned to SAC. The new division was manned largely with people from the FEAF Bomber Command. Brigadier General Joseph D. Caldara, the last commander of FEAF Bomber Command, became the first 3d Air Division Commander. The 3d Air Division's primary responsibility was to control all SAC units operating in the Far East and to monitor the construction of bases and facilities to support these operations. Throughout 1954, the 3d Air Division operated as a tenant at Andersen, with logistical support provided by FEAF's 6319th Air Base Wing. It was not until April 1955 that Andersen was transferred from FEAF to SAC.

OPERATIONS

With the acquisition of additional B-47s and KC-97s, SAC operations increased tremendously. Approximately 142,000 air refueling hookups were effected during the year. Operational training flights were conducted throughout the world, with more than 3,400 individual transatlantic and transpacific crossing being made by various types of aircraft. Records were established and broken.


B-47E


22 BW B-47E departing Yokota, 25 June 1954


Nonstop B-47 Flight to Japan - On 21 June, Major General Walter C. Sweeney, Jr., Fifteenth Air Force Commander, led a flight of three 22d Bomb Wing B-47s on a nonstop flight from March Air Force Base, California, to Yokota Air Base, Japan, a distance of 6,700 miles in less than fifteen hours. This flight, supported by two in-flight refuelings by KC-97s, was the longest point-to-point, nonstop B-47 flight to that date. It marked the first appearance of the B-47 in the Far East.

Operation Leap Frog and the Fifth Mackay Trophy - On 6 and 7 August, two B-47s of the 308th Bomb Wing flew a 10,000-mile nonstop flight from Hunter Air Force Base, Georgia, to French Morocco and back to Hunter. Each aircraft was refueled four times by KC-97s. One made the flight in 24 hours and four minutes, while the other took 25 hours and 23 minutes.

This flight was conducted in conjunction with Operation Leap Frog, in which the two B-47 wings of the 38th Air Division tested a new concept of intercontinental bombing operations. In this test, the B-47s took off from Hunter, flew a simulated bombing mission, and then recovered at a base in North Africa. Prior to this time, SAC's concept of war operations was basea on deployment of its bombers to forward bases where they would land and subsequently take off for bombing.

The Mackay Trophy was awarded to the 308th Bomb Wing for this flight.

B-47 Record Flight - Distance and Endurance - On 17 November, Colonel David A. Burchinal, Commander of the 43d Bomb Wing, took off from Sidi Slimane, French Morocco, in a B-47 and directed his course toward Fairford RAF Station, England, where his wing was on 90-day rotational training. Bad weather prevented him from landing at Fairford, and he returned to French Morocco only to find bad weather at Sidi Slimane. With the assistance of nine in-flight refuelings, Colonel Burchinal kept flying until the weather finally cleared at Fairford on 19 November. In the meantime, he had established a distance and endurance jet flying record of 21,163 miles in 47 hours and 35 minutes.


92 BW, B-36 at Andersen AFB First B-36 wing rotation to Guam 15-16 October 1954

First B-36 Wing Rotation to Guam - On 15 and 16 October, the 92d Bomb Wing, a B-36 unit stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for a 90-day rotational training assignment. This was the first time an entire B-36 wing had been deployed to an oversea base.

RB-36 Wings Given a Bombardment Mission - Effective 16 June, SAC's four RB-36 equipped heavy strategic reconnaissance wings were given a primary mission of bombing. They retained limited reconnaissance as a secondary mission.

Retirement of Last B-29 - On 4 November, SAC's last B-29 bomber, an "A" model, Serial Number 42-94032, which had been assigned to the 307th Bomb Wing, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, was retired to the USAF aircraft storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

SAC's First Automated Machines - In April 1954, SAC installed an IBM 407 punch card tabulator system at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. This was one of three Air Force prototypes for a base level electronic accounting machine program. In October, the IBM cardatype supply accounting system was introduced at Lockbourne. The cardatype tabulating system remained the standard base level data processing system until replaced by modern computers at the end of the decade.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Sixth Competition - The sixth competition was held from 23 through 29 August. Competition ground rules were essentially the same as in 1953, with each wing being represented by two crews. Fifteen B-47 wings staged out of Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, while six B-36 and two B-50 wings staged out of Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico. One RB-36 crew of the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing was allowed to compete on the basis of its outstanding bombing performance in the 1954 SAC Reconnaissance Navigation Competition. The B-36 wings continued to dominate the meet as they finished "one-two-three" in both bombing and navigation. The 11th Wing, an Eighth Air Force B-36 unit, won the Fairchild Trophy. While the B-47 wings showed remarkable improvement in navigation, their bombing was still below that of the B-36 wings. The 305th Bomb Wing made the best showing of any B-47 wing by placing fourth in the Fairchild Trophy competition. The 28th Wing's lone entry tied for first place in crew navigation and placed 11th in crew bombing.

RECONNAISSANCE AND NAVIGATION COMPETITION

Third Competition - The 1954 competition was held at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, from 9 through 14 August, and included two crews from each participating wing. In addition to the photo and navigation requirements, which were common to all participants, the four RB-36 wings also conducted radar bombing in recognition of their newly-acquired bombing mission. The RB-36 units monopolized the competition by capturing first place in the six events in which they competed against the two RB-47 wings. The 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, the Eighth Air Force's lone entry, won the P. T. Cullen Award for the best combined score in photo and navigation.


F-84F — Swept-wing version of F-84

1955

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
195,997 (26,180 officers, 151,595 airmen, 18,222 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
3,068 (205 B-36, 133 RB-36, 1,086 B-47, 234 RB-47, 12 RB-50, 18 B-52, 679 KC-97, 82 KB-29, 51 C-124, 568 RF/F-84).

Tactical Units

Active Bases
37 CONUS and 14 oversea bases (in Puerto Rico, North Africa, United Kingdom, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP


Gen LeMay (center), CINCSAC, and commanders, June 1955, (l.r.): Maj Gen J. B. Montgomery, 8 AF;
Maj Gen F. A. Armstrong, 2 AF; Maj Gen Griswold, VC, SAC; and Maj Gen W. C. Sweeney, 15 AF.

General Curtis E. LeMay, Commander in Chief (position redesignated "commander in chief" in April).

Major General Francis H. Griswold, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Richard M. Montgomery, Chief of Staff (promoted to major general in December).

ORGANIZATION

Numbered Air Force Realignment and Move of Headquarters Eighth Air Force - By 1955, the New York-New England area was becoming increasingly important to SAC operations. Dow and Loring Air Force Bases, Maine, had been supporting F-84 and B-36 wings, respectively, for some time; Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, which became a SAC installation on 1 April, was being groomed to support tankers and bombers; and new B-47/KC-97 bases were being built at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Plattsburgh, New York. In line with this expansion, SAC realigned its three numbered air forces and, effective 13 June, moved Headquarters Eighth Air Force from Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, to Westover. Following this realignment, SAC's numbered air forces were generally responsible for units and base3 in the following geographical sections of the country: Second—southeast (including Texas); Eighth—northeast and central; Fifteenth—southwest and west.

Organization of Air Refueling Wings - Prior to 1955, the majority of air refueling squadrons were collocated with and assigned to bomber and fighter wings. A few squadrons were physically separated from their parent wings and located on non-SAC bases. In 1955, SAC departed from these practices and organized two air refueling wings, the 4060th at Dow and the 4050th at Westover, and assigned two KC-97 squadrons to each of them. Establishment of these two wings signaled the beginning of a program to concentrate air refueling strength in the Northeast. The buildup would continue well into the sixties and would provide SAC with increased B-47 deployment mobility over the North Atlantic.

Redesignation of RB-36 Strategic Reconnaissance Wings - Effective 1 October, SAC's four heavy strategic reconnaissance wings were redesignated heavy bombardment wings in recognition of the conversion of the RB-36 from a reconnaissance to a bomber aircraft. They retained "latent" reconnaissance capability.


Performing maintenance on engines and tail armament of B-47

OPERATIONS

Rotational Training - SAC's mobility and flexibility were continuously demonstrated by the rotation of entire combat wings, air refueling squadrons, and elements thereof to various oversea bases for periods of time ranging from a few days to three months. Entire B-47 wings and KC-97 air refueling squadrons were periodically rotated to the North African bases of Benguerir and Sidi Slimane. Other B-47 wings, some with and others without air refueling squadrons were rotated to England, using such bases as Lakenheath, Upper Heyford, Fairford, Mildenhall, and Brize Norton. In early May, the 27th Strategic Fighter Wing deployed to Sturgate for a 90-day tour, marking the first time since 1951 that fighter wing had been deployed to Great Britain. To support these mass flights of B-47s and F-84s across the Atlantic, KC-97 squadrons were maintained on a rotational basis at such places as Goose Air Base, Labrador, Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, Newfoundland, and Thule Air Base, Greenland. At the same time, B-36 wings were deploying to Nouasseur Air Base, French Morocco; Burtonwood and Upper Heyford RAF Stations in the United Kingdom; and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The Alaskan bases, Elmendorf and Eielson, were also busy supporting KC-97, B-47, and F-84 aircraft.


29 June 1955—First B-52 delivered to SAC

First B-52 Delivered - The 93d Bomb Wing, located at Castle Air Force Base, California, was the first wing to be equipped with the B-52 Stratofortress. On 29 June, Brigadier General William E. Eubank, Jr., the wing commander, flew the first aircraft (a "B" model, Serial Number 52-8711) from the Boeing factory at Seattle, Washington, to Castle. Powered by eight turbojet engines, the B-52B had a gross takeoff weight of around 420,000 pounds and a maximum speed of 650 mph. It could fly above 50,000 feet. While it had an unrefueled range of 6,000 miles (substantially less than later models), its actual range was unlimited since it could be refueled in the air. Most of the B-52Bs produced were assigned to the 93d Bomb Wing during the period from June 1955 to March 1956.

Phaseout of Last B-50 - On 20 October, the last B-50, a "D" model, Serial Number 49-330, assigned to the 97th Bomb Wing, Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, was phased out of the SAC force.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Seventh Competition - With the B-50 phaseout almost completed, there were only two types of aircraft, B-47s and B-36s, entered in the seventh bombing competition, held from 24 through 30 August. March Air Force Base, California, was the staging base for 23 B-47 wings. The ten B/RB-36 wings (RB-36s were no longer classified as reconnaissance aircraft) staged out of Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Each wing was again represented by two crews.

The most significant factor in this competition was the tremendous improvement made by B-47s in both bombing and navigation. For the first time, a B-47 unit, Fifteenth Air Force's 320th Bomb Wing, won the Fairchild Trophy.

RECONNAISSANCE COMPETITION

Fourth Competition - With the conversion of all RB-36s to bombers, the reconnaissance competition became an all RB-47 affair, with five strategic reconnaissance wings sending 15 crews. It was held at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, from 24 through 30 September. Eighth Air Force's 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing won the P. T. Cullen Award.

MISSILES

Throughout the early fifties, the Strategic Air Command became more and more involved in the development of missiles as a means of increasing its long-range striking power. The actual development and testing of missiles remained in the hands of contractors and the Air Research and Development Command, but SAC maintained close liaison with the various programs by presenting its requirements, offering technical assistance, and attending various meetings, conferences, and field tests.

By 1955, the Snark, a subsonic intercontinental missile (ICM), and the Rascal, an air-to-ground missile designed to be launched from a bomber, had undergone encouraging tests.

After President Dwight D. Eisenhower had placed the highest national priority on the development of ballistic missiles, Headquarters USAF accelerated the development of the Snark as well as the Navaho, another intercontinental missile, and the Atlas, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Furthermore, on 18 November, Headquarters USAF told SAC to work closely with the Air Research and Development Command in establishing an "initial operational capability" for ICBMs, after which they would be turned over to SAC for operational use.


Moroccan nationals observing B-47 at North African base.

1956

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
217,279 (27,871 officers, 169,170 airmen, 20,238 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
3,188 (247 B/RB-36, 97 B-52, 254 RB-47, 1,306 B-47, 16 RB-57, 51 C-124, 750 KC-97, 74 KB-29, 336 F-84, 57 RF-84F).

Tactical Units

Active Bases
36 in the CONUS and 19 overseas (in Puerto Rico, North Africa, United Kingdom, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Curtis E. LeMay, Commander in Chief.

Major General Francis H. Griswold, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Richard M. Montgomery, Chief of Staff; reassigned 8 September.

Brigadier General David Wade, Chief of Staff, effective 9 September.

ORGANIZATION

No changes

OPERATIONS

B-52 Conversion Program, Establishment of B-52 Combat Crew Training at Castle - By the end of March, the 93d Bomb Wing, located at Castle Air Force Base, California, was fully equipped with 30 B-52s (it was later reorganized to operate 45 B-52s). Shortly thereafter, the 93d's 4017th Combat Crew Training Squadron, which had been activated on 8 January 1955, began training crews to man additional B-52 wings. The 42d Bomb Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, was the second wing to be equipped with B-52s, with the first aircraft being delivered in June. The 42d was the first B-36 unit to convert to B-52s as the 93d had been a B-47 outfit prior to conversion. The 99th Wing, Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, the third B-52 wing, began receiving aircraft in December.

The Suez Crisis - In reacting to the Suez Crisis from mid-November to raid-December, SAC took several actions to place its force in readiness and to demonstrate to the world the high degree of readiness maintained by its bomber force. In the early part of the crisis, KC-97 tankers were concentrated into tanker task forces at key bases in the northern part of the United States and overseas at Greenland, Newfoundland, and Labrador, on rotational training assignments. The oversea rotational training force, one B-47 wing in England, one B-47 wing in North Africa, and one B-36 wing in Guam, was left intact.

Quick Kick - B-52 Flight - On 24 and 25 November, in a spectacular operation called Quick Kick, four B-52s of the 93d Bomb Wing joined four B-52s of the 42d Bomb Wing for a nonstop flight around the perimeter of North America. The most publicized individual flight was that of a 93d Bomb Wing B-52 piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Marcus L. Hill, Jr. Colonel Hill's flight, which originated at Castle and terminated at Baltimore, Maryland, covered approximately 13,500 nautical miles in 31 hours and 30 minutes. The flight demonstrated both the value and the limitations of the KC-97 tanker. Without the four in-flight refuelings, the flight would have been impossible; but with a higher, faster flying jet tanker, refuelings could have been conducted much faster. According to Colonel Hill's estimation, his flying time could have been reduced by at least three hours by using the KC-135, an all-jet tanker that was being developed by the Boeing Airplane Company.

Power House and Road Block - 1,000 Aircraft Exercise - Within a two-week period ending on 11 December, SAC executed the largest and most complex B-47 and KC-97 exercise to date. In two closely related exercises, called Power House and Road Block, more than 1,000 B-47s and KC-97s flew gigantic simulated combat missions over North America and the Arctic. The KC-97s participating in these exercises were furnished by the strategically positioned tanker forces that had been formed in mid-November.

Last B-47 Delivered - On 24 October, the last production-line B-47, an "E" model, Serial Number 53-6244, was delivered to the 40th Bomb Wing, Schilling Air Force Base, Kansas.

Last KC-97 Delivered - On 16 November, the last production-line KC-97, a "G" model, Serial Number 53-3816, was delivered to the 98th Air Refueling Squadron, Lincoln Air Force Base, Nebraska.


RB-57D of the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing
(Full Size JPG)

First RB-57 Delivered - On 31 May, the first RB-57 (a "D" model, Serial Number 53-3973), the reconnaissance version of the British-designed B-57 Canberra light bomber, was delivered to the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Turner Air Force Base, Georgia. The 4080th had received a B-57 (a "C" model, Serial Number 53-3842) for a trainer on 1 May.

BOMBING AND RECONNAISSANCE COMPETITION

Eighth Competition, First Participation by B-52s - The competition grew along with SAC, and in 1956, the largest one to date was held with 42 wings participating in a combined bombing, navigation, and reconnaissance meet. It was held from 24 through 30 August, with Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, hosting 27 B-47 and five RB-47 wings and Loring Air Force Base, Maine, serving as the staging base for eight B/RB-36 and two B-52 wings. Each participant competed against bombers in bombing and navigation and, at the same time, competed against each other in the reconnaissance competition, the fifth in this series of meets. The B-36s of Second Air Force's 11th Bomb Wing won the Fairchild Trophy by beating out the B-47s, which had snared the trophy in 1955, and the newly-assigned B-52s that were competing in the event for the first time. Eighth Air Force's 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing won the P. T. Cullen Award.

FIGHTER COMPETITION


Brig Gen Jesse Auton


Auton Trophy

First Competition - Nicknamed Operation Left Hook, the first and only SAC fighter competition was held from 25 October to 14 November. Five strategic fighter wings competed, with each wing entering 36 F-84s. Although the requirement for all wings was the same, only one wing at a time flew in the competition, which was staged out of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The top wing in the competition, Second Air Force's 506th Strategic Fighter Wing, won the newly-established Auton Trophy. This trophy was named for Brigadier General Jesse Auton, a former SAC Deputy Director of Operations for Fighters, who was killed in a B-25 crash at Offutt on 30 March 1952. Planned as an annual rotational trophy, such as the Fairchild and P. T. Cullen awards, the Auton Trophy was awarded only once because in 1957 SAC disposed of its fighter wings.

MISSILES

On 18 March, Headquarters USAF gave SAC and the Air Research and Development Command responsibility for developing an initial operational capability with the Thor and assigned SAC the responsibility for deploying this missile to England and bringing it to a combat ready status after which it would be turned over to the Royal Air Force.

In July, Headquarters SAC announced that it was entering the planning phase of its missile program and that it was primarily interested in the Thor, an intermediate range ballistic missile, the Navaho and Snark subsonic intercontinental missiles, and Titan and Atlas intercontinental ballistic missiles. Other missiles being developed for possible use by SAC included Goose, Rascal, and Quail. Carried aboard a B-47, the Rascal was a supersonic guided missile that was designated to penetrate enemy target defenses from a distance and make its carrier less vulnerable to the enemy defense system.

Through the early fifties, all branches of service were involved in developing various types of missiles for military use. As these systems evolved through competitive means, there were changes in strategic concepts and different views on how the systems should be used and which branch of service should control them. On 26 November, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson issued a memo, which was designed to "improve the effectiveness of our overall military establishment, to avoid unnecessary duplication of activities and functions and to utilize most effectively the funds made available by the people through Congress."

The Air Force Assigned Responsibility for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles -While Secretary Wilson treated several areas of responsibility in his directive of 26 November, he was concerned primarily with clarifying the roles of the Army, Navy, and Air Force in regard to the development and use of various types of missiles. He gave USAF sole responsibility for operational employment of land-based intermediate range ballistic missiles and reconfirmed the earlier assignment to USAF of sole responsibility for operational employment of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Since the missiles being developed in these categories at that time were for strategic bombing purposes, SAC was assured a primary role in USAF's future missile program. At the same time, Secretary Wilson gave the Army responsibility for using land-based surface-to-air defensive missiles and surface-to-surface tactical missiles with ranges less than 200 miles. The Navy was given similar responsibility for ship-based intermediate range ballistic missiles.

1957

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
224,014 (29,946 officers, 174,030 airmen, 20,038 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
2,711 (127 B/RB-36, 243 B-52, 1,285 B-47, 216 RB-47, 24 RB-57, 50 C-124, 742 KC-97, 24 KC-135).

Tactical Units

Missile Unit

Active Bases
38 CONUS and 30 overseas (Puerto Rico, North Africa, United Kingdom, Guam, Spain, Greenland, Newfoundland, and Labrador).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Power Assumed Command

General Curtis E. LeMay, Commander in Chief; reassigned 1 July.

General Thomas S. Power, Commander in Chief, effective 1 July.

Lieutenant General Francis H. Griswold, Vice Commander in Chief (promoted to lieutenant general 31 December).

Major General David Wade, Chief of Staff (promoted to major general, 5 August); reassigned 15 December.

Brigadier General Edwin B. Broadhurst, Chief of Staff, effective 15 December.

ORGANIZATION

Sixteenth Air Force Assigned to SAC - On 1 July, SAC assumed jurisdiction over the Sixteenth Air Force in Spain. Since its activation on 15 July 1956 at Torrejon Air Base, near Madrid, Headquarters Sixteenth Air Force had operated as a special organization under the direct control of Headquarters USAF. Its primary responsibility had been to monitor the construction of Spanish bases to be used by SAC bombers. In addition to Torrejon, the Sixteenth controlled three other bases in Spain. Concurrent with its assignment to SAC, the Sixteenth assumed command jurisdiction over the Fifth Air Division and its bases in Morocco. It was not fully capable of taking over control of SAC operations in North Africa at this time. Second Air Force retained this responsibility throughout 1957.

First B-47s to Spain - On 23 and 24 July, the 40th Bomb Wing, which was on 90-day rotation in the United Kingdom, sent 15 B-47s to Zaragoza Air Base, Spain, for a short exercise.

Acquisition of NEAC Bases - The United States Air Force's base requirements in Newfoundland, Greenland, and Labrador were intensified in 1950 after the outbreak of the Korean War. The Joint Chiefs of Staff established the Northeast Air Command (NEAC), with headquarters at Pepperrell Air Force Base, Newfoundland, and gave it a twofold responsibility: to defend, in cooperation with ADC, the northeast approaches to the United States and to develop bases and related facilities to support SAC units deploying through or staging out of them. In the gigantic simulated combat mission associated with the Suez crisis in late 1956, four of these bases supported large tanker task forces. The success of the exercise strengthened Headquarters USAF's earlier decision that the bases no longer required close supervision by a major air command in the immediate area. Accordingly, NEAC was discontinued on 1 April, and its resources were reassigned to ADC and SAC. ADC received two bases and SAC received six. SAC, in turn, immediately placed its six bases under the jurisdiction of Eighth Air Force.


New Headquarters SAC Building, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, 1957

Relocation of Headquarters SAC - In January, Headquarters SAC completed its move into the newly-built Control Center. This nine million dollar facility (subsequent additions raised the value far beyond this initial cost) actually consisted of two interconnected structures: an administration building, consisting of three stories above ground and a basement, and an underground three-story command post. Access from one facility to the other was provided by a tunnel. The underground facility, which was designed to be safe from anything but a direct hit by a high yield nuclear weapon, housed the Control Room and related communications equipment and computers designed to maintain close contact with SAC forces throughout the world. Giant panels of maps and boards were used to depict the exact disposition and operational status of the entire force. Prior to this move, which commenced in December 1956, Headquarters SAC had operated out of several buildings that had housed the Glenn L. Martin bomber plant in World War II.

OPERATIONS

One-Third Ground Alert Program - By 1957, Russia was showing marked progress in developing intercontinental ballistic missiles. For some time, SAC had been planning for the day when its aircraft would have only fifteen minutes in which to become airborne after detecting an ICBM attack. In order to provide an effective and immediate retaliatory strike force, SAC devised the ground alert concept whereby it would maintain approximately one-third of its aircraft on ground alert, with weapons loaded and crews standing by for immediate takeoff. SAC's combat wings were neither manned nor organized to support this new concept. In order to determine what was needed to develop and maintain a one-third alert force, SAC conducted three extensive tests. The first test was conducted by the 38th Air Division (two B-47 wings and two KC-97 air refueling squadrons) at Hunter Air Force Base, Georgia, from November 1956 through March 1957. Nicknamed Operation Try Out, this test proved the concept to be feasible but it pinpointed numerous areas where changes would be required to make it practical. In order to perfect these areas, SAC conducted two additional tests, Operation Watch Tower by the 825th Air Division (two B-47 wings and one KC-97 air refueling squadron) at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, from April to November, and Operation Fresh Approach by the 9th Bomb Wing, a B-47 wing complete with one KC-97 air refueling squadron, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, in September.

Convinced that the concept would work, although there still remained many organizational and operational details to be worked out, General Power directed that ground alert operations commence at several CONUS and oversea bases on 1 October.

Reflex Action - In July, Reflex Action commenced with four Second Air Force wings sending five B-47 bombers each to Sidi Slimane Air Base, Morocco. This new system of operation was based on the premise that a few crews and aircraft on ground alert at oversea bases would be more effective than maintaining entire wings at these bases on 90-day rotational training assignments. If successful, SAC planned to replace the 90-day wing rotational program at all oversea bases with Reflex Action, with aircraft and crews being frequently rotated from bases in the United States. On 1 October, the Reflex bombers at Sidi Slimane were placed on ground alert along with those aircraft at CONUS bases.

B-47 Record Flight - Guam to Morocco - On 14 August, a 321st Bomb Wing B-47 under the command of Brigadier General James V. Edmundson, SAC Deputy Director of Operations, made a record nonstop flight from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to Sidi Slimane Air Base, Morocco, a distance of 11,450 miles in 22 hours and 50 minutes. The flight required four refuelings by KC-97 tankers.

B-47 Equipping Program Completed - In February, the 100th Bomb Wing, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, was fully equipped with B-47s. The 100th Bomb Wing, the famous "Bloody Hundredth" of World War II, was the 29th and last SAC wing to be equipped with B-47s (one of these wings, the 93d, had converted to B-52s in 1955).


KC-135A

Delivery of First KC-135 - The first KC-135 (Serial Number 55-3127) all-jet tanker was delivered to the 93d Air Refueling Squadron, Castle Air Force Base, California, on 28 June. Jet tankers drastically reduced the time involved in air refueling operations. With a KC-97, the bomber had to slow down and descend to lower altitudes than normal to effect the hookup. With a KC-135, the refueling rendezvous could be conducted at the bomber's normal speed and altitude. It was estimated that the total flying time on the B-52 round-the-world flight, Operation Power Flite, could have been cut by five to six hours if KC-135s had been available.

By the end of the year, two additional air refueling squadrons, the 42d at Loring Air Force Base, Maine, and the 99th at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, had commenced receiving KC—135s.


U-2

Delivery of First U-2 - On 11 June, the first U-2, Serial Number 56-6696, was delivered to the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.


B-52B, 53-0398, completing "Power Flite," 18 Jan 1957


Gen C. E. LeMay decorates Maj Gen A. J. Old, Jr., and crews at conclusion of Operation "Power Flite."

Operation Power Flite, B-52 Round-the-World Flight and the Sixth Mackay Trophy -From 16 to 18 January, three B-52Bs of the 93d Bomb Wing made a nonstop, round-the-world flight. The flight was under the command of Major General Archie J. Old, Jr., Fifteenth Air Force Commander. General Old rode aboard the lead plane, Lucky Lady III, Serial Number 53-0394, which was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Morris. Colonel Morris had served as copilot on the Lucky Lady II flight in 1949.

Five aircraft, including two spares, started the trip from Castle Air Force Base, California. One bomber, unable to take on fuel at the first in-flight refueling rendezvous with KC-97s, landed at Goose Air Base, Labrador; while the second spare continued on with the main flight until after receiving the second in-flight refueling from a KC-97 over Casablanca, Morocco, at which time it left the flight and landed at Brize Norton RAF Station, England, according to plan. With the aid of three more KC-97 in-flight refuelings, the Lucky Lady III and its two companions completed the trip without incident. The only deviation from the plan occurred at the end of the trip. The flight plan called for the lead aircraft to land at March Air Force Base, California, and the other two to land at their home base. Because of fog at Castle, however, all three bombers landed at March, after having completed the 24,325-mile flight in 45 hours and 19 minutes, less than one-half the time required on the Lucky Lady II flight.

General LeMay was on hand to personally congratulate the crews and to present each with the Distinguished Flying Cross. General LeMay said the flight was a "demonstration of SAC's capabilities to strike any target on the face of the earth."

Subsequently, the National Aeronautic Association recognized Operation Power Flite as the outstanding flight of 1957 and named the 93d Bomb Wing as recipient of the Mackay Trophy.

Retirement of First RB-47 and Beginning of B-47 Phaseout Program - On 14 October 1957, the first RB-47E type aircraft, Serial Number 51-5272, was sent to the storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. The aircraft was assigned to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. It was inactivated on 8 November 1957. With inactivation of the 91st, the number of wings equipped with B-47 type aircraft was reduced to 32—28 bomb wings and four strategic reconnaissance wings.

Disposition of the Strategic Fighter Force - Because of technological advances, changes in tactics, and the programmed phaseout of the slow-moving B-36, SAC's strategic fighter wings were no longer required for escort duty. One wing was transferred to TAC on 1 April, three were transferred to TAC on 1 July, and two were inactivated on 1 July.

Phaseout of KB-29s - SAC also disposed of its KB-29 tankers, which had been used primarily to support F-84s. On 25 November, the last two KB-29Ps (Serial Numbers 44-83956 and 44-84075) assigned to the 27th Air Refueling Squadron, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, were transferred to the USAF aircraft storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

KC-135 World Record Flights by General Curtis E. LeMay - On 11 and 12 November, General Curtis E. LeMay, USAF Vice Chief of Staff, piloting A KC-135, Serial Number 55-3126, established an official world record nonstop, nonrefueled flight of 6,322.85 miles from Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Total flying time was 13 hours, 2 minutes and 51 seconds. By flying around the hump of Brazil, he added approximately 1,000 miles to the direct airline distance from Westover to Buenos Aires. For this record nonrefueled flight, General LeMay was awarded the Harmon International Trophy.

On the return flight of 13 November, General LeMay flew a more direct route, 5,204 miles, and established a world course speed record from Buenos Aires to Washington, D.C., averaging 471.451 mph in 11 hours, 3 minutes, 57.38 seconds.

The LeMay flights were part of Operation Long Legs, the nickname for the U.S. Air Force's participation in Argentina's Annual Aeronautics Week.

B-52 Nonstop Flight - In another phase of Operation Long Legs that was conducted on 16 and 17 November, six B-52s of the 42d Bomb Wing flew a 10,600 mile nonstop, round trip flight from Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, to Buenos Aires and back to Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York. This flight was made possible by three in-flight refuelings, two by KC-97s and one by a KC-135.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Ninth Competition - Once again, the bombing and reconnaissance competitions were combined and held from 30 October through 6 November. Pinecastle Air Force Base, Florida, was the staging base for 28 B-47 and five RB-47 wings, while Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, provided the same services for five B-36 and five B-52 wings. After an absence of several years, the Royal Air Force entered the competition with two Vulcan and two Valiant aircraft and crews.

With the exception of the crew and wing navigation awards, which were won by a B-36 wing, B-47 units won all the major events in which they were pitted against B-36 units. The Fairchild Trophy was won by the 321st Bomb Wing, a Second Air Force unit. The 321st also won the McCoy Trophy, a one-time award for the best B-47 wing. This trophy was named after Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, who was serving as 321st Wing Commander at the time of his death in a B-47 aircraft accident on 9 October 1957. This accident also took the life of Group Captain John Woodroffe, commander of the Royal Air Force contingent that was in the United States for the SAC Bombing Competition.

Eighth Air Force's 26th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing won the P. T. Cullen Award.

MISSILES

Snark - On 21 March, Headquarters USAF selected Presque Isle Air Force Base, Maine, as the first Snark Base. In May, Headquarters USAF selected Patrick AFB, Florida, as the Snark training and testing site. Effective 15 December, SAC activated the 556th Strategic Missile Squadron at Patrick AFB.

Navaho - On 12 July, Headquarters USAF canceled the air-breathing Navaho missile in order to concentrate upon higher priority ballistic missiles.


Snark at Patrick AFB

1958

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
258,703 (34,112 officers, 199,562 airmen, 25,029 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
3,031 (22 B-36, 380 B-52, 1,367 B-47, 176 RB-47, 182 KC-135, 780 KC-97, 51 C-124, 54 F-86, 19 RB-57).

Tactical Units

Missile Units

Active Bases
39 in CONUS and 25 overseas (Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Guam, Spain, Morocco, Greenland, Newfoundland, and Labrador).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Thomas S. Power, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Francis H. Griswold, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Edwin B. Broadhurst, Chief of Staff (promoted to major general, 10 March).

ORGANIZATION

Reorganization to Support the One-third Alert - The reorganization of tactical wings and air base groups to support the one-third ground alert concept was completed at 11 bases in the latter part of the year. The new organizational structure evolved out of the extensive service tests (Try Out, Watch Tower, and Fresh Approach) conducted in 1956 and 1957. It differed appreciably from the old structure that had been in effect since 1951. Since ground alert emphasized combat-ready aircraft and combat-ready crews, a deputy commander for maintenance and a deputy commander for operations were authorized to assist the wing commander, replacing the directorate system that had been in operation since 1951. Within each B-47 wing, a fourth bomb squadron was activated since alert operations logically fell into a four-cycle arrangement: ground alert duty, flight planning, flying, and a day off. In order to bring similar functions under a single control, organizational maintenance squadrons were organized to replace periodic maintenance squadrons and to absorb all maintenance functions previously performed by the tactical squadrons. Air base groups were redesignated combat support groups in an attempt to more closely relate support functions to the ground alert requirement. Tactical hospitals were inactivated and USAF hospitals were discontinued. Medical functions were consolidated into medical groups, which were assigned directly to the wing commanders on single wing bases and to air division headquarters on double wing bases. Undoubtedly, the centralization of maintenance was the most important element of the reorganization. The 42d Bomb Wing's experience in Head Start I also substantiated the need for centralized maintenance in support of an airborne alert.

The reorganization started at two bases, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, and Lincoln Air Force Base, Nebraska, on 1 September. Beginning on 1 October, one base in each of the three numbered air forces would be reorganized on the first of each month.

The reorganization also applied to the B-52 wings, except for the activation of a fourth tactical squadron.

Organization of Strategic Wings - While the ground alert force was rapidly approaching its one-third objective, SAC was taking other actions to insure a survivable and responsive bomber force. During the tremendous expansion of the early and mid-fifties, bases had become overcrowded, with some of them supporting as many as 90 B-47s and 40 KC-97s. The first B-52 wings were also extremely large—composed of 45 bombers and 15 or 20 KC-135s, all situated on one base. As the Russian missile threat became more pronounced and warning time became less, SAC bases presented increasingly attractive targets. It was necessary to break up these large concentrations of aircraft and scatter them throughout more bases. Several KC-97 squadrons were separated from their parent B-47 wings and relocated to Northern bases. The B-47 dispersal program was a long-range one and would be effected primarily through the phaseout of wings in the late fifties and early sixties.

With the B-52 force, which was still growing, dispersal became an active program in 1958. Basically the B-52 dispersal program called for the larger B-52 wings already in existence to be broken up into three equal-sized wings of 15 aircraft each, with two of them being relocated, normally to bases of other commands. In essence, each dispersed B-52 squadron became a strategic wing. This principle would also be followed in organizing and equipping the remainder of the B-52 force. The entire force was established at 42 squadrons by Headquarters USAF in 1958. Ideally, each B-52 wing would have an air refueling squadron of 10 or 15 aircraft.

By the end of 1958, SAC had activated 14 strategic wings, but only three had aircraft assigned. The others were in various stages of development, with some having only a headquarters and one officer and one airman authorized.

Headquarters 5th Air Division Inactivated - On 15 January, Headquarters 5th Air Division was inactivated and the responsibility for directing operations in North Africa was transferred from Second Air Force to Sixteenth Air Force.

Fighter Interceptor Squadrons Assigned to SAC - On 5 July and 1 September, SAC acquired the 497th and the 431st Fighter Interceptor Squadrons from the Air Defense Command and the United States Air Force in Europe, respectively. Located in Spain, these two squadrons were equipped with F-86 fighters.

OPERATIONS

The Lebanon Crisis - July and August - In the middle of July, the President of Lebanon, fearful that a Russian invasion was imminent, asked the United States for help. President Eisenhower took action by sending ground, naval, and air forces to the area. He also ordered SAC to place its bomber forces on alert. Generation of additional ground alert forces (SAC was already in the process of building up its ground alert forces to the one-third level) began immediately. Within a few hours, over 1,100 aircraft were poised and ready for takeoff. A full show-of-force was maintained for several days. When it became clear that the Russians did not intend to invade Lebanon, the alert forces were gradually phased down.

Taiwan Crisis - August and September - Inspired by Russia's actions in the Middle East, the Chinese Communists began a heavy artillery bombardment of the islands of Quemoy and Matsu, off the China coast. Again the U.S. took swift action by ordering the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Strait. In support of the U.S. position of protecting Taiwan, SAC increased the strength of its ground alert forces at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and alerted several bomb wings for possible contingency operations in the Pacific. Since the Commander in Chief of Pacific Command did not anticipate having to use the SAC forces, they soon returned to their normal configuration.


B-47s on alert

The One-Third Alert and Expanded Combat Crew Training - With adoption of the one-third alert concept, additional combat ready crews were required. On 15 May and 15 June, SAC converted the 70th and 90th Strategic Reconnaissance Wings' primary missions from reconnaissance to B-47 crew training to supplement the flow of crews from the Air Training Command's 3520th Combat Crew Training Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.

On 1 July, SAC assumed responsibility for all B-47 and KC-97 combat crew training from the Air Training Command; the 3520th was transferred to SAC and redesignated the 4347th Combat Crew Training Wing and the 4397th Air Refueling Wing was organized at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, assigned to SAC, and given the job of training KC—97 crews.

Termination of B-47 Rotational Training - The success of the ground alert program and Reflex Action prompted SAC to discontinue the 90-day rotational training program that had characterized B-47 operations since 1953- The 100th Bomb Wing, the last B-47 wing to become combat ready, was the last B-47 wing to perform the 90-day rotational assignment. This assignment was conducted at Brize Norton RAF Station, United Kingdom, from early January to early April, Upon departure of the 100th, B-47 Reflex operations began at Brize Norton. Reflex had already commenced in early January at Greenham Common and Fairford.

Head Start I - Airborne Alert Test - From 15 September through 15 December, the 42d Bomb Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, successfully conducted a B-52 airborne alert test, nicknamed Head Start I.

Operation Top Sail KC-135 Record Flights - On 27 and 29 June, two KC-135s of the 99th Air Refueling Squadron broke the existing speed records in flights from New York to London and return. The actual official records that were established by the lead aircraft, "Alfa" (Serial Number 56-3630), which was piloted by Major Burl B. Davenport, were as follows: New York to London, five hours, 29 minutes, and 14.64 seconds; London to New York, five hours, 53 minutes, and 12.77 seconds (the record-making flights originated at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts). A third KC-135, also scheduled to participate in the flight, crashed on takeoff at Westover. Among the fifteen casualties were Brigadier General Donald W. Saunders, 57th Air Division Commander, and Lieutenant Colonel George M. Broutsas, 99th Air Refueling Squadron Commander.

KC-135 Weight Lifting Record - On 24 September, another KC-135 of the 99th Air Refueling Squadron, Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, piloted by Captain William H. Howell, captured the official world weight-lifting record by lifting a payload of 78,089.5 lbs to an altitude of 2,000 meters (approximately one and one-quarter mile). This broke the old record of 44,214 lbs airlifted by a Russian TU-104A jet transport on 6 September. The KC-135 carried a load of nails, concrete block, and steel plate.

Operation Jet Stream - KC-135 Record Flight - On 7 and 8 April, a KC-135 (Serial Number 56-3601) of the 93d Air Refueling Squadron, Castle Air Force Base, California, established two world records: distance in a straight line without refueling, 10,229.3 miles, Tokyo to Lajes, Azores; speed, 492.262 mph, Tokyo to Washington, D.C., in 13 hours, 45 minutes and 46.5 seconds. The KC-135 was piloted by Brigadier General William E. Eubank, Jr., 93d Bomb Wing Commander.

KC-135 World Record Flight - On 17 September, Captain Charles E. Gibbs, flying a KC-135 of the 92d Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, established four world records: distance in a closed circuit without refueling, 3,125.56 statute miles; speed for 2,000 kilometers, 589.278 mph, closed circuit with 2,204.6, 4,409.2, 11,023, and 22,046 lb payloads; speed for 5,000 kilometers, 587.136 mph, closed circuit; and speed for 5,000 kilometers, 587.136 mph, closed circuit, with 2,204.6, 4,409.2, 11,023, and 22,046 lb payloads.

B-52 World Record Flights - On 26 September, two B-52Ds of the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, established world speed records over two different routes: speed for 10,000 kilometers in a closed circuit without payloads, 560.705 mph, Lieutenant Colonel Victor L. Sandacz, pilot; speed for 5,000 kilometers in a closed circuit without payload, 597.675 mph, Captain Cholett Griswold, pilot.

First Munitions Loading Competition - During 24 through 28 February 1958, SAC held its first Munitions Loading Competition at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The winner was the 19th Aviation Depot Squadron which serviced B-47s of the 823d Air Division at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida.


Lt James E. Obenauf


Gen T. S. Power presents DFC to Lt Obenauf

Lieutenant Obenauf's Flight - On 28 April, a 341st Bomb Wing B-47 took off from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, on a training flight. The B-47 carried a three-man crew and a navigator-instructor. Approximately three hours out of Dyess, there was an explosion in one of the engines and the aircraft commander gave the proper order to bail out. He and the navigator parachuted to safety. As 1st Lieutenant James E. Obenauf, the copilot, prepared to leave the plane through the escape hatch (his ejection seat had failed to work), he noticed Major Joseph Maxwell, the instructor-navigator, was unconscious. Unable to revive Major Maxwell, Lieutenant Obenauf stayed with the crippled aircraft, which was in danger of burning. From the backseat position, he flew the B-47 back to Dyess and successfully landed it. For this heroic act, Lieutenant Obenauf received the Cheney Award, Aviator's Valor Award, Koren Kolligan Trophy, and Distinguished Flying Cross.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Final Appearance of the B-36, Tenth Competition - The tenth competition was held from 13 through 18 October, with RB/B-47s and the Royal Air Force's Valiants staging out of March Air Force Base, California, and the B-52s and the B-36s staging out of Castle Air Force Base, California. SAC participants included four crews from each of 38 bomb wings (two B-36, 26 B-47, and 10 B-52) and one RB-47 strategic reconnaissance wing. The Royal Air Force sent eight crews. Once again the competition was dominated by B-47 wings which won the first three places in combined bombing and navigation. The Fairchild Trophy went to Second Air Force's 306th Bomb Wing.

RAF Bombing Competition - SAC participated in the RAF Bombing Competition, held from 14 through 20 May. SAC's representative was the 92d Bomb Wing, which deployed six B-52s and crews, including two alternate aircraft and crews, to Brize Norton RAF Station. The 92d won five of the six awards for which it was eligible to compete.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California:

Launched by: SAC – 0
Other Agencies – 1

1st Missile Division Assigned to SAC - Through exhaustive and successful testing in 1957, the Air Force's strategic missiles developed to the point where they could start the transition from the research and development to the operational stage. As part of this transition, the 1st Missile Division, located at Cooke Air Force Base (renamed Vandenberg in October), California, was transferred from Air Research and Development Command to SAC. The transfer was effected on 1 January, and Major General David Wade assumed command of the division on the following day. Included in the transfer was the 704th Strategic Missile Wing, which had been activated as USAF's first missile wing on 1 July 1957. The 704th had a dual mission of training missile crews for other units and attaining an operational capability with the Atlas ICBM. It had one Atlas D squadron, the 576th Strategic Missile Squadron, assigned. Activated on 1 April, the 576th had a dual responsibility of maintaining an Atlas D alert force and providing training for other SAC Atlas units,

SAC MIKE Established - On 1 January, the Office of Assistant CINCSAC (SAC MIKE) was organized at Inglewood, California. Designed to serve as an extension of Headquarters SAC, this office was responsible for working closely with the latest techniques and information on ballistic missiles and related programs.

Atlas and Titan Wings Activated - The first Atlas wing was activated at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, on 1 February under the designation of 4320th Strategic Missile Wing. In an inactivation and activation transaction on 23 February, the designation was changed to 706th Strategic Missile Wing (ICBM-Atlas). Later in the year, two Atlas D squadrons were activated and assigned to the 706th. On 25 September, the first Titan unit, the 703d Strategic Missile Wing (ICBM-Titan) was activated at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado. Both missile wings were assigned to the 1st Missile Division.


Thor Missile Launch

SAC and the Thor Program - Under an early 1958 agreement, the United States and the United Kingdom shared responsibility for the Thor missile program. The United Kingdom agreed to build four bases and to man four Thor squadrons, while the United States agreed to furnish the missiles and provide training for the RAF crews. Effective 20 February, the 705th Strategic Missile Wing (IRBM-Thor) was activated at Lakenheath RAF Station and assigned to the 7th Air Division. Shortly thereafter, the 705th moved to South Ruislip where it merged with Headquarters 7th Air Division. It was responsible for monitoring the Thor program and for providing technical assistance to the four RAF squadrons. Thor training for RAF crews began at Vandenberg in August. This training was provided by the 392d Missile Training Squadron which was activated at Vandenberg on 15 September 1957.


Snark Missile in Flight

First Snark Launched - On 27 June, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, the 556th Strategic Missile Squadron launched its first Snark missile.

First Missile Launched From Vandenberg - On 16 December, the first missile, a Thor, was launched from Vandenberg by a crew of the 1st Missile Division backed up by contractor personnel. This was officially credited as an Air Research and Development Command launch.


Jupiter at Gioia Del Colle, Italy

SAC and the Jupiter Program - SAC was also responsible for training Italian and Turkish crews in the operation of the U.S. Army-developed Jupiter, another intermediate range ballistic missile. In 1958, three SAC Jupiter squadrons were activated at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, to handle this responsibility.

Rascal Canceled - On 29 November, Headquarters USAF canceled the Rascal air-to-surface missile which was designed to be carried aboard modified B-47s (they were designated DB-47s). The entire SAC program was to have been concentrated in one squadron of the 321st Bomb Wing, McCoy Air Force Base, Florida. The Rascal was canceled in deference to the Hound Dog and Quail, which were showing more promise of being effective weapon systems.


Goose in flight

Goose Canceled - On 12 December, the Goose missile development program was terminated. Designed to simulate a B-52 or a B-47 on radar screens, the Goose was a turbojet subsonic decoy missile that was programmed to be launched from the United States. It was dropped in favor of the Snark, which carried a nuclear weapon.

Minuteman Development Approved - On 27 February, the Department of Defense approved the development of an advanced solid propellant ICBM that could be launched from a hardened underground silo. This new missile was designated Minuteman.

"PEACE IS OUR PROFESSION" Adopted as SAC Slogan - In late 1957, as part of a reenlistment program, a fifty-foot Christmas tree was erected in front of the Headquarters SAC administration building. Unit commanders could light one of the bulbs by reenlisting a given number of first-term airmen. A status board was maintained nearby to reflect the names of those commanders who met the quota. A painter was called upon to affix a sign to the board reflecting the theme of the reenlistment drive - Maintaining Peace is Our Profession - but he found insufficient room to accommodate all these words. Lieutenant Colonel Edward Martin and Chief Warrant Officer Ben Kohot, project officers for the Tree of Peace program, decided to omit the word "maintaining."

While visiting Headquarters SAC, Colonel Charles T. Van Vliet, Eighth Air Force Director of Information, saw the sign, liked it, and took the idea back to Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts. Subsequently, "Peace is Our Profession" appeared on a large sign at Westover's main entrance.

In early 1958, other Eighth Air Force bases followed suit, journalists began publicizing it as being the SAC slogan, and soon it was readopted by Headquarters SAC.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 58, as of 30 June 1958)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $560,539,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased, and aviation petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL).

Assets - $12,092,568,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,316,350,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


Thor at Feltwell, England - September 1958

1959

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
262,609 (36,435 officers, 199,970 airmen, 26,204 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft (Highest Number Assigned in History of SAC):
3,207 (488 B-52, 1,366 B-47, 174 RB-47, 745 KC-97, 322 KC-135, 50 C-124, 6 RB-57, 56 F-86).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
6 Atlas D, 13 Snark, 5 Thor, 1 Hound Dog.

Missile Units

Active Bases
40 in CONUS; 25 overseas (United Kingdom, Spain, Morocco, Guam, Greenland, Puerto Rico, and Newfoundland).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Thomas S. Power, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Francis H. Griswold, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Edwin B. Broadhurst, Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

Numbered Air Force Realignment - Effective 1 January, SAC realigned several bases and units between the Second and Eighth Air Forces. One base and its assigned units were transferred from the Eighth to the Fifteenth Air Force. Basically, this realignment placed the Eighth Air Force in control of forces in the eastern section of the United States and Second Air Force in command of forces in the central section. The Fifteenth's area of responsibility remained in the western section of the country.

Dispersed Air Divisions - Prior to 1959, the air division headquarters was normally located on a double-wing base. In addition to the headquarters element, each air division consisted of two combat wings, a combat support group, and a medical facility. In a few cases, air division headquarters were located on single-wing bases, but in these cases, too, all elements of the division were located on the same base.

With tremendous expansion accompanying the dispersal program, SAC found it necessary to expand the supervisory role of the air division headquarters, to increase the personnel assigned from approximately 17 to 25, and to activate new ones. Specifically, the air division's responsibility was extended to organizations that were located on bases other than the one that supported the headquarters element. As initiated on 1 January, the concept was first applied to those air divisions that were situated on single wing bases, but it was subsequently applied to those on double wing bases. In the last six months of 1959, six new air division headquarters were activated. The number of wings assigned to these air divisions varied from three to five.

OPERATIONS

Airborne Alert - Based upon satisfactory results in 1958, SAC continued to test airborne alert in 1959. As General Power testified before Congress in February: "We in the Strategic Air Command have developed a system known as airborne alert where we maintain airplanes in the air 24 hours a day, loaded with bombs, on station, ready to go to the target. ... I feel strongly that we must get on with this airborne alert. ... We must impress Mr. Khruschev that we have it, and that he cannot strike this country with impunity."


B-52 at low-level

Low-Level Training - In November, SAC and the Federal Aviation Agency jointly announced the establishment of seven special air routes over which SAC bombers would fly low-level training missions. Each corridor was to be approximately 20 miles wide and up to 500 miles long. Russia's improved air defenses at high altitude had prompted SAC to concentrate on bombing at low altitudes, where detection was more difficult.

Last B-36 Retired - On 12 February, SAC's last B-36 bomber, a "J" model, Serial Number 52-2827, which had been assigned to the 95th Bomb Wing at Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, was flown to Amon Carter Field, Fort Worth, Texas, to be placed on display as a permanent memorial. With the departure of this B-36, SAC could boast of an all jet bomber force for the first time in its history.

Delivery of First B-52G - The first B-52G, Serial Number 57-6478, was delivered the 5th Bomb Wing at Travis Air Force Base, California, on 13 February.

The B-52G, which would subsequently become the most widely used B-52 in SAC, contained several refined features over previous models. The addition of fuel tanks in the wings and permanently affixed fuel tanks under the wings increased the unrefueled range of this bomber to approximately 10,000 miles as compared to 6,000 miles for the earlier models. The bomber was also originally designed to carry two nuclear-armed Hound Dog air-to-surface missiles, thereby increasing its bombing capacity.


Hound Dog - Air-to-ground missile

Delivery of First Hound Dog - Powered by a single turbojet engine, the 43-foot long Hound Dog could be launched from a B-52 when the bomber was over 500 miles away from the target. Two Hound Dogs could be carried under the wings of the B-52G and on modified earlier model Stratofortresses. The B-52H, which was scheduled for delivery to SAC in 1961, was also designed to carry two Hound Dogs.

On 21 December, the first Hound Dog was assigned to SAC. General Power accepted it during a ceremony at the North American Aviation plant, Downey, California. On 23 December, this missile was delivered to the 4135th Strategic Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, the unit responsible for supporting Category III Hound Dog tests in coordination with Air Research and Development Command's Air Proving Ground Center.


Daedalian Trophy

The Daedalian Trophy - For its 1959 aircraft accident rate, the lowest in USAF, the Strategic Air Command was awarded the Daedalian Trophy.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Eleventh Competition, Largest Ever Held - The eleventh competition, which was held from 25 through 30 October, was unique in that air refueling squadrons participated for the first time in the history of the meet. Two crews represented each of the 47 bomb wings, 27 B-47 and 20 B-52, and each of the 47 air refueling squadrons, 27 KC-97 and 20 KC-135. This was the largest bombing competition ever held. All bombers staged out of McCoy Air Force Base, Florida, while all tankers operated out of Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. Second Air Force's 307th Bomb Wing, a B-47 unit, won the Fairchild Trophy and the Second's 55th Air Refueling Squadron,, a KC-97 unit, won the award for the best air refueling squadron.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base and the U.S. Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello, California. All SAC launches were from Vandenberg:

Launched by: SAC – 1
Other Agencies – 30

Assignment of First Missile Wing to a Numbered Air Force - The first missile wing was assigned to a numbered air force 1 January, when the 702d Strategic Missile Wing (ICM-Snark) was activated at Presque Isle Air Force Base, Maine, and assigned to the Eighth Air Force. On 27 May, the first Snark missile was delivered to the 702d, and on 16 July, the 556th Strategic Missile Squadron, which had been stationed at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, conducting test launches, and under the direct control of SAC, was inactivated instead of moving to Presque Isle as planned. The 702d was unique in that it had no subordinate squadrons. All operational and maintenance functions associated with the Snark were handled by the deputy commander for missiles.

Designated a surface-to-surface intercontinental missile, the Snark was essentially a small turbojet-powered pilotless aircraft. Its fuselage contained the warhead, fuel, power plant, and guidance system. Unlike the Atlas and Titan, the Snark was non-ballistic with a subsonic cruising speed. It was designed to deliver a nuclear warhead on a target approximately 5,000 miles away from the launch site.

ICBM Units Assigned to Fifteenth Air Force - The assignment of ICBM units to numbered air forces continued on 15 January. At that time, the 703d Strategic Missile Wing (ICBM-Titan), located at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado, and the 706th Strategic Missile Wing (ICBM-Atlas), located at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, were transferred from the 1st Missile Division to Fifteenth Air Force. Francis E. Warren was also transferred to the Fifteenth. Lowry belonged to the Air Training Command and the 703d was a tenant there. On 1 February, the 395th Missile Training Squadron was activated at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to provide training for crews to man the other Titan units to be activated in SAC.


"Desert Heat" - first Atlas launch, Vandenberg AFB, California, 9 September 1959

First Atlas Launch - On 9 September, a crew of the 576th Strategic Missile Squadron, which was assigned to the 1st Missile Division, launched the first Atlas missile, a "D" model, from Vandenberg. The shot traveled approximately 4,300 miles at 16,000 mph. General Power, who regarded the shot as a "tremendous milestone," declared the Atlas to be operational. Designed to deliver a nuclear warhead approximately 5,500 nautical miles, the Atlas D was powered by a cluster of liquid propellant rocket engines, burning liquid oxygen and RP-1, a kerosene-like fuel. It was approximately 75 feet long and 10 feet in diameter. The first Atlas D was placed on alert at Vandenberg on 31 October.

Last Atlas D Squadron Activated - First Missile Unit Assigned to Second Force -SAC's fourth and last Atlas D unit was activated at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, and assigned to the Second Air Force on 15 August.

The Thor Program — On 16 April, an RAF crew launched its first Thor from Vandenberg as part of the training program. By the end of the year, three squadrons of Thor IRBMs had been turned over to the Royal Air Force and were operational in the United Kingdom.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 59, as of 30 June 1959)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $650,652,000, includes supplies, communications civilian pay, minor equipment purchased, and aviation petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL).

Assets - $14,152,248,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,617,130,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


Atlas Ds on alert at Vandenberg AFB

1960

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
266,788 (37,562 officers, 202,507 airmen, 26,719 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
2,992 (538 B-52, 1,178 B-47, 113 RB-47, 405 KC-135, 689 KC-97, 19 B/TB-58, 50 C-124).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
30 Snark, 12 Atlas, 93 Quail, 54 Hound Dog.

Missile Units

Active Bases
46 in CONUS; 20 overseas (Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Spain, Morocco, Labrador, Newfoundland, Guam, and Canada).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Thomas S. Power, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Francis H. Griswold, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Edwin B. Broadhurst, Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

JSTPS Established - While SAC still controlled most of the country's nuclear strength in 1960, substantial additional striking power was being provided by ballistic missile submarines and nuclear-armed missile and air units of tactical forces deployed in forward areas. This proliferation of nuclear strength brought with it the need for closer coordination of target planning among the services. Consequently, on 16 August, Secretary of Defense Thomas S. Gates, Jr., publicly announced the creation of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff (JSTPS). Composed of representatives of all branches of service, the JSTPS was charged with the task of preparing and maintaining a National Strategic Target List and a Single Integrated Operational Plan (SI0P) which would commit specific weapon systems to the various targets to be attacked in the event of war. In order to fully use the strategic planning experience and facilities available in SAC, Secretary Gates directed the Commander in Chief of SAC to be the Director of JSTPS and that the staff be collocated with Headquarters SAC at Offutt. On 18 August, Secretary Gates named Rear Admiral (subsequently promoted to Vice Admiral) Edward N. Parker to become Deputy Director of JSTPS.

Fighter Interceptor Squadrons Transferred - Effective 1 July, the 431st and the 497th Fighter Interceptor Squadrons, which were equipped with F-86s and located in Spain, were transferred to USAFE.

OPERATIONS

Delivery of First B-58 - On 1 August, General Power accepted the first operational B-58 medium bomber from Air Research and Development Command representatives in a ceremony at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. This aircraft was one of 12 which were turned over to the 43d Bomb Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, on that date.

Built by the Convair Division of the General Dynamics Corporation, the B-58 "Hustler" was America's first supersonic bomber. This delta-wing bomber was capable of flying twice the speed of sound (Mach 2) and could be refueled by KC-135 tankers.

B-52 Record Flight - On 14 December, a B-52G of the 5th Bomb Wing, Travis Air Force Base, California, completed an official record-breaking flight of 10,078.84 miles without refueling in 19 hours and 44 minutes. The aircraft, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel T. R. Grissom, flew a closed-circuit course from Edwards Air Force Base, California, to El Paso, Texas; Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland; Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, Newfoundland; Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska; Philip, South Dakota; and back to Edwards.


Checkout of Quail air decoy missile

Delivery of First Quail Missile - On 27 February, the first Quail missile to be assigned to a SAC unit was delivered to the 4135th Strategic Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The 4135th, working closely with Air Research and Development Command's Air Proving Ground Center at Eglin, was responsible for supporting Category III tests of the Quail.

Designated an air decoy missile, the Quail was designed to be carried in the bomb bay of a B-52 and to be launched while en route to the target. Powered by a single turbojet engine, it could fly at approximately the same altitude and speed of a B-52. The "blip" it created on a radar screen was similar to the one produced by a B-52. Therein rested its primary mission: to confuse enemy radar. The B-52G was built to carry four Quail missiles in addition to its normal bomb load.

First Hound Dog Launched - On 29 February, as part of its Hound Dog Category III testing responsibilities, a B-52G crew of the 4135th Strategic Wing accomplished the first SAC launch of a Hound Dog missile.

Operation Blue Nose - Conducted on 12 April, a B-52G crew of the 4135th Strategic Wing successfully launched a "Hound Dog" missile as the climax of its 20 and one-half hour captive flight to the North Pole and back. The crew completed extensive tests of both the B-52G and the Hound Dog's guidance system in temperatures as low as 75 degrees below zero.

First Quail Launch - On 8 June, a B-52G crew of the 4135th Strategic Wing accomplished the first SAC launch of a Quail missile as part of the Category III Test Program.

Airborne Command Post Test - On 1 July, SAC began testing an airborne command post at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Beginning that day and extending throughout the year, one of five specially modified KC-135s of the 34th Air Refueling Squadron was placed on ground alert and periodically tested to determine its ability to take off within 15 minutes. Once airborne, the KC-135's primary mission was to serve as an alternate command post, one that could assume control over the SAC combat force in the event an enemy attack destroyed the underground facility at Offutt and the other command posts collocated with the numbered air force headquarters. On each flight, the KC-135 was manned by a SAC general officer and a team of controllers and communications experts.

One-Third Alert Achieved - In May, SAC reached its goal of maintaining one-third of its bombers and tankers on 15-minute ground alert.

B-47 Dispersal - On 9 June, SAC began testing a B-47 dispersal program, whereby B-47 aircraft could, in times of crises, be deployed to civilian airfields and non-SAC military bases. This was another means of strengthening reaction capability and insuring a survivable force.

Transfer of Last RB-57 - On 22 April, SAC's last RB-57 (a "C" model, Serial Number 53-3839), which had been assigned to the 4080th Strategic Wing at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, was transferred to Headquarters Command, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D. C.

Short Order - In March, a new single sideband HF radio communications system was put into operation. Called "Short Order," the new system consisted of four stations: one at Headquarters SAC and the others at the three numbered air force headquarters in the CONUS. Its primary function was to provide a means of exercising "Positive Control," over SAC bombers which had launched and were en route to their targets. Under "Positive Control" procedures, SAC could launch its bombers and have them fly to a designated point outside enemy territory. Upon reaching this point, the bombers would automatically return to their home bases unless they received orders, "the Go-Code," to proceed to their targets.


Single sideband radio antenna

BOMBING COMPETITION

Twelfth Competition, First B-58 Participation - Officially titled Combat Competition but still affectionately called the Bombing Competition, the 1960 meet was held from 12 through 16 September. It was a different type competition. Each numbered air force held a preliminary meet to determine the participants. Only one base, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, was used for staging purposes because only 13 bomb wings and 13 air refueling squadrons were entered. Each numbered air force was represented by two B—52 wings, two B—47 wings, two KC-135 squadrons, and two KC-97 squadrons. In addition, the 43d Bomb Wing was. represented with the new B-58 and a seventh KC-135 squadron was allowed to enter to provide refueling for the Hustler. The 11th Bomb Wing, a B-52 unit of the Second Air Force, won the Fairchild Trophy, awarded to unit with best combined score in alert activities, bombing, navigation, electronic countermeasures, and air refueling.


Saunders Trophy

Saunders Trophy First Awarded -The Saunders Trophy, which was first awarded in this competition, was won by the 310th Air Refueling Squadron, a KC-97 unit of the Fifteenth Air Force. Comparable to the Fairchild Trophy, the new air refueling trophy was named for Brigadier General Donald W. Saunders, who had formerly commanded the 57th Air Division at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts. General Saunders was killed in the KC-135 that crashed while taking off for a record flight attempt from Westover on 27 June 1958.

SAC Participation in RAF Bombing Competition - Fifteenth Air Force's 6th Bomb Wing was selected to represent SAC in the 1960 RAF Bombing and Navigation Competition which was held from 1 through 3 May. Headquarters SAC selected the 6th Bomb Wing on the basis of it being the top B-52 unit in the 1959 SAC Bombing Competition. Flying out of Brize Norton RAF Station, the 6th Bomb Wing's six crews won the best unit award in the combined areas of bombing and navigation. Individual crews of the 6th also won top awards in bombing and in the combined areas of bombing and navigation.

Munitions Loading Competition Added to Bombing Competition - This year the Munitions Loading Competition was held along with the Bombing Competition at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas from 12 through 16 September. The 31st Missile Maintenance Squadron of the 303d Bomb Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, had the Best Loading Equipment, and the 27th Munitions Maintenance Squadron of the 384th Bomb Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, had the Best Loading Team. Both were B-47 units.

MISSILES

Missiles Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base and the U.S. Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello, California. All SAC launches were from Vandenberg:

Launched by: SAC – 7
Other Agencies – 36

Mobile Minuteman Test and Unit Activation - To determine the feasibility of deployed Minuteman ICBMs on mobile railroad car launchers, SAC conducted a series of tests from 20 June to 27 August. Operating out of Hill Air Force Base, Utah, the modified test train traveled across various railroad routes in the Western and Central sections of the United States to study such factors as the ability of the nation's railroads to support mobile missile trains, problems of communication and control, problems of vibration and their probable effect on sensitive missiles and launch equipment as well as the human factors involved in this operation. Six trial runs were projected, but only four were needed to realize all test objectives. On 1 December, the 4062d Strategic Wing {ICBM - Minuteman (Mobile)} was activated at Hill.

Thor Deployment Completed in United Kingdom - On 22 April, the fourth and final Thor squadron, which had been trained at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, was accepted by the Royal Air Force, thus completing the deployment of this intermediate range ballistic missile to the United Kingdom.

On 1 April, the 705th Strategic Missile Wing, which had been located at South Ruislip in the United Kingdom, was discontinued.

First Snark on Alert - On 18 March, the first Snark intercontinental missile was placed on alert at Presque Isle Air Force Base, Maine.

Titan I Squadrons Activated - Three Titan I squadrons were activated in 1960, with two being assigned to the 703d Strategic Missile Wing, Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado, and one to the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.

Atlas E Squadrons Activated - Three Atlas E squadrons were activated in 1960, with one being assigned to the 706th Strategic Missile Wing, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, one to the 92d Bomb Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, and one to the 21st Air Division, Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas.

Minuteman Training Squadron Activated - On 1 July, the 394th Missile Training Squadron was activated at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to provide combat crew training for the Minuteman squadrons scheduled to be activated in SAC.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 60, as of 30 June 1960)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $713,661,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased, and aviation petrole um, oil and lubricants (POL).

Assets - $15,738,327,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,742,225,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


B-58 "Hustler" - First SAC supersonic bomber

1961

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
280,582 (37,555 officers, 216,148 airmen, 26,879 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
2,759 (571 B-52, 889 B-47, 138 EB/RB-47, 444 KC—135, 651 KC—97, 66 B/TB—58).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
230 Hound Dog, 397 Quail, 30 Atlas D, 32 Atlas E, one Titan I.

Missile Units

Active Bases
46 in CONUS; 16 overseas (Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Spain, Morocco, Labrador, Newfoundland, Guam, and Canada).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Thomas S. Power, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Francis H. Griswold, Vice Commander in Chief; reassigned 1 July.

Lieutenant General John P. McConnell, Vice Commander in Chief, effective 1 July.

Major General Edwin B. Broadhurst, Chief of Staff; reassigned 1 August.

Major General James H. Walsh, Chief of Staff, effective 1 August.


SAC's Commanders - Early 1961 (l. to r.) Lt Gen Archie Old, Jr., 15 AF; Lt Gen John P. McConnell, 2 AF;
General Thomas S. Power, CINCSAC; Lt Gen Walter C. Sweeney, Jr., 8 AF.

ORGANIZATION

Redesignation of 1st Missile Division - Effective 21 July, Headquarters 1st Missile Division, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, was redesignated Headquarters 1st Strategic Aerospace Division. Redesignation was in consonance with a Headquarters USAF policy that the term "aerospace" could be injected into or substituted for "air" in the names of those organizations significantly engaged in aerospace operations or support thereof. In order to qualify for the new designation, an organization was required to be involved in the operations or support of two or more of the following: air systems, ballistic missile systems, and space vehicle systems.

Strategic Support Squadrons Discontinued - SAC's three strategic support squadrons transferred their C-124 aircraft and airlift functions to the Military Air Transport Service and the Air Force Logistics Command and were discontinued in March and June.

OPERATIONS

In a nationwide defense budget speech of 28 March, President John F. Kennedy requested an increase in funds to strengthen and protect the strategic deterrent force and to strengthen the ability to wage limited war.

50 Percent Ground Alert - He called for one-half of SAC's B-52s and B-47s to be placed on 15-minute ground alert. He also directed an accelerated B-47 phase-out program in order "to provide promptly the trained crews required for the expanded ground alert." The 50 percent ground alert posture by both bombers and tankers was attained in July.

The Skybolt - President Kennedy further recommended additional funds for the Skybolt, an air-launched ballistic missile that was being developed to replace the Hound Dog. He observed that successful development and production of the Skybolt would extend the life of SAC's heavy bombers into the missile age. Congress subsequently approved the additional funds for Skybolt.


Skybolt air launched ballistic missile (McDonnell-Douglas Photo)


XB-70A "Valkyrie" in flight (DF-SC-84-08874) (Original Size JPG)

Death of the B-70 - As part of his program to increase defense funds in several areas, President Kennedy asked for reductions in some programs, including the B-70 Valkyrie, the Mach 3 bomber that was being developed as a replacement for the B-52. While recognizing the advantages inherent in a controlled force of bombers, President Kennedy cited several factors that prompted him to recommend reduction of the B-70 program. These included the high cost of developing the aircraft, its greater vulnerability in the air compared to missiles, and its late projected readiness date which coincided with the readiness date of intercontinental ballistic missiles. In his opinion, all these factors combined to make the B-70 "unnecessary and economically unjustifiable."

He recommended continuing a B-70 research and development program to explore the problems of flying three times the speed of sound. Following his recommendation, Congress reduced the funds for the B-70 and geared the program to one that involved the production of three XB-70 aircraft with no operational bomber production.

B-58 Record Flights - On 12 January, a SAC B-58 Hustler of the 43d Bomb Wing, piloted by Major Henry J. Deutschendorf, Jr., established six international speed and payload records on a single flight, thus breaking five previous records held by the Soviet Union. Staging out of Edwards Air Force Base, California, the four-jet B-58 flew two laps around a course between Edwards Air Force Base and a point east of Yuma, Arizona. The bomber set three records over a 1,000-kilometer distance as follows: speed with no payload, 1,200.194 miles per hour; speed with one thousand kilogram payload, 1,200.194 miles per hour; and speed with two thousand kilogram payload, 1,200.194 miles per hour. The other three records were set over the total 2,000 kilometer distance without payload, with one thousand and two thousand kilogram payloads—all at 1,061.808 miles per hour.

The Thompson Trophy - On 14 January 1961, another 43d Bomb Wing B-58 broke three of the records made by the aircraft on 12 January. It established new records for a 1,000 kilometer course with payloads of 2,000 kilograms, 1,000 kilograms and no payload, all at 1,284.73 miles an hour. On 28 February, the crew was awarded the Thompson Trophy for 1961. This was the first time in its 31-year history that the trophy was awarded for a record set by a medium bomber. Sponsored by Thorapson-Ramo-Wooldridge, Inc., and administered by the Air Foundation, the Thompson Trophy was awarded annually for supremacy in closed course speed flying. Recipients of the award were: Major Harold E. Confer, pilot; Major Richard H. Weir, navigator-bombardier; and Captain Howard S. Bialas, defensive systems operator. All were members of the 43d Bomb Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas.

The Bleriot Cup — A new record for sustained speed was set by a 43d Bomb Wing B-58 Hustler on 10 May, flying 669.4 miles in 30 minutes and 45 seconds at an average speed of 1,302 miles per hour. The record flight won for the pilot of the aircraft, Major Elmer E. Murphy, the Aero Club of France's Bleriot Cup, a trophy named for Louis Bleriot, the first man to fly across the English Channel.


Harmon International Trophy

Another Record, the Seventh Mackay Trophy, and Tragedy — The B-58 continued its record-setting pace on 26 May when it flew the 4,612 miles from New York to Paris in 3 hours, 19 minutes, and 41 seconds, thus setting another record. The time was almost one-tenth that taken by Charles Lindbergh in his famous solo flight of 1927. The crew consisted of Major William R. Payne, pilot; Captain William L. Polhemus, and Captain Raymond Wagener, all from the 43d Bomb Wing. The crew received the Mackay Trophy and the Harmon International Trophy for this flight.

On 3 June, this B-58 crashed while participating in the Paris Air Show. All three crew members, those who had participated in the 10 May flight, were killed.

Delivery of First B-52H - On 9 May, the first B-52H (Serial Number 60-001) was delivered to the 379th Bomb Wing, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan. Powered by eight turbofan engines, the B-52H had greater range and climbing power than earlier models. A Gatling gun, capable of firing 20 millimeter cannon rounds at the rate of 4,000 per minute, was a special feature of this aircraft.

Berlin Crisis and B-47 Phaseout - On 25 July, with the U.S. and Russia seemingly headed for a showdown on the Berlin question, President Kennedy delayed his previously directed accelerated B-47 phaseout program in order to improve the national defense posture. Six bomb wings and six air refueling squadrons were affected.


Battle Staff aboard Airborne Command Post aircraft.


Lt Gen John P. McConnell, first Airborne Emergency Action Officer aboard "Looking Glass," SAC Airborne Command Post, 3 February 1961.

Airborne Command Post Began Operating - Initiated on a trial basis in July 1960, the airborne command post, or "Looking Glass" as it was later called, began continuous operations on 3 February. "The results of six months of testing have proven conclusively the effectiveness of the airborne command post," declared General Thomas S. Power, SAC Commander.

Airborne command post headquarters were converted KC-135 tankers equipped with the latest and most advanced radio equipment. The command post could communicate with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, any SAC base or any SAC aircraft in the air or on the ground. General officers were to take turns in commanding the post. Each aircraft flew approximately 8 hours and was replaced by another identically equipped KC-135.

Airborne Alert - On 18 January 1961, SAC publicly announced that B-52 heavy bombers were conducting airborne alert training. General Thomas S. Power declared that the indoctrination phase of airborne alert training had been completed and all combat ready B-52 bomber crews were participating in airborne alert training missions under realistic conditions. A number of B-52s would be in the air at all times. Approximately 24 bases were involved in the program because of the dispersal of heavy bomber units. More than 6,000 sorties during the previous two years had proved the feasibility of keeping a segment of the SAC bomber fleet in the air at all times.

SAC Designated Single Manager for KC-135s - In November, Headquarters USAF established the SAC KC-135 program at 32 squadrons (each 20 UE) or a total authorized strength of 640 aircraft. At the same time, Headquarters USAF designated SAC as the single manager of all KC-135 air refueling operations and as such would provide support for all fighter aircraft assigned to the Tactical Air Command and other major commands.

BMEWS Becomes Operational - On 1 February, the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) site at Thule Air Base, Greenland, became operational. Subsequently, BMEWS sites became operational at Clear, Alaska, and Fylingdales in the United Kingdom. Operated by the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), BMEWS provided a means of detecting and warning SAC of an impending intercontinental ballistic missile attack in sufficient time to allow aircraft to be launched before the missiles reached U.S. bases. It also provided SAC with valuable time in which to prepare its own missile force for launch.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Thirteenth Competition - Following the basic ground rules established in 1960, each numbered air force held a preliminary contest to determine who would participate in the SAC-wide competition, which was held at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, from 16 through 22 September. Participants included 12 bomb wings (six B-52 and six B-47) and 12 air refueling squadrons (six KC-135s and six KC-97s). The two B-58 wings were too deeply in training to participate in the competition. Each KC-97 squadron sent four crews to team as pairs in accomplishing refuelings (two tankers to one receiver) of both B-47s and B-52s; the other units entered two crews each. The 4137th Strategic Wing, a B-52 unit of the Eighth Air Force, received the Fairchild Trophy for having the highest score in the combined categories of alert exercise, bombing, navigation, electronic countermeasures, air refueling, pilot techniques, and munitions loading. The 915th Air Refueling Squadron, a KC-135 unit of the Eighth Air Force, won the Saunders Trophy.

Munitions Loading Competition - Again the Munitions Loading Competition was done in conjunction with the Bombing Competition, this time at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, during 16 to 22 September. The 32d Munitions Maintenance Squadron of the 68th Bomb Wing, Chennault Air Force Base, Louisiana, won the best overall loading team and best B-47 loading team awards while the 63d Munitions Maintenance Squadron of the 4126th Strategic Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, won the best B-52 loading team award.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base and the U.S. Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello, California. All SAC launches were from Vandenberg:

Launched by: SAC – 2
Other Agencies – 38

SAC MIKE Discontinued - Effective 1 July 1961, the Office of Assistant CINCSAC (SAC MIKE) was discontinued. Replaced by a smaller office, SAC Representative (Aerospace), SAC MIKE had been gradually phased down and its duties appropriated by the Headquarters SAC staff. Functions of the new office included providing SAC representation to configuration control boards, advising respective BSD program offices and providing information to Headquarters SAC staff agencies on technical knowledge and understanding of the design and operational aspects of strategic missile systems.

Snark Phased Out - In his special defense budget message of 28 March, President Kennedy directed that the Snark missile be phased out as it was "obsolete and of marginal military value. . . ." Thus, on 25 June, less than four months after it had been declared operationally ready, the 702d Strategic Missile Wing was inactivated at Presque Isle Air Force Base, Maine.

Mobile Minuteman Canceled - President Kennedy also deferred further action on the development of the Mobile Minuteman concept in favor of additional hardened Minuteman sites, and on 7 December, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara canceled the entire Mobile Minuteman program. The 4062d Strategic Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, was inactivated on 20 February 1962. It was never equipped.

Titan II Program Cut - In his 28 March speech, President Kennedy also announced that two Titan II squadrons which had been programmed for SAC would be canceled.

Atlas D Program Completed - On 30 March, the Atlas D program was completed when the fourth squadron, which was located at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, was fully equipped and its three sites at Arlington and Mead, Nebraska, and Missouri Valley, Iowa, were turned over to SAC.

First Minuteman Wing Activated - Effective 15 July, SAC's first silo based Minuteman wing, the 311st Strategic Missile Wing, was activated at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, and on 1 December, the 10th Strategic Missile Squadron was activated and assigned to this wing.

First Titan I Launch from Vandenberg - On 3 May, an Air Force Systems Command crew launched the first Titan I from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Previous launches, some successful and others unsuccessful, had been made by Air Force Systems Command from Cape Canaveral, Florida.


Atlas E - Dual Propellant Loading exercise - June 1961 (General Dynamics photo)


Aerial view of Atlas E complex of 567 SMS, Fairchild AFB

Atlas E Program Completed - SAC accepted its entire Atlas E force, three squadrons, from the Air Force Systems Command in 1961. The 566th Strategic Missile Squadron, located at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, was the last one to be accepted - on 20 November. The other Atlas E squadrons were located at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, and Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas.

The Future of SAC — Secretary McNamara — On 11 December, less than a year after he became Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara issued a prophetic statement on the future of the Strategic Air Command:

The introduction of ballistic missiles is already exerting a major impact on the size, composition, and deployment of the manned bomber force, and this impact will become greater in the years ahead. As the number of . . . ballistic missiles increases, requirements for strategic aircraft will be gradually reduced. Simultaneously, the growing enemy missile capability will make grounded aircraft more vulnerable to sudden attack, and further readiness measures will have to be taken to increase the survivability rate of the strategic bomber force.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 61, as of 30 June 1961)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $716,489,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased, and aviation petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL).

Assets - $15,830,227,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,835,603,000, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


Thule BMEWS site

1962

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel (Highest Number in History of SAC)
282,723 (38,542 officers, 217,650 airmen, 26,531 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
2,759 (639 B-52, 880 B-47, 100 EB-47, 5 EB-47L, 41 RB-47, 76 B/TB-58, 515 KC-135, 503 KC-97).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
30 Atlas D, 32 Atlas E, 80 Atlas F, 62 Titan I, 20 Minuteman, 547 Hound Dog, and 436 Quail.

Missile Units

Active Bases
43 CONUS; 14 overseas (Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Morocco, Spain, Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Thomas S. Power, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General John P. McConnell, Vice Commander in Chief; reassigned 1 October.

Lieutenant General Hunter Harris, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief, effective 1 October.

Major General James H. Walsh, Chief of Staff; reassigned 9 July.

Major General Hewitt T. Wheless, Chief of Staff, effective 9 July.

ORGANIZATION

In line with the Headquarters USAF policy to use the term "aerospace" in the official title of organizations employing two or more air, ballistic missile, or space systems, SAC began redesignating those air divisions and bomb wings that directed the operations of both aircraft and ballistic missile units. The first redesignations were effected on 15 February, at which time four air divisions (the 17th, 18th, 21st, and 821st) became "strategic aerospace divisions" and the 92d Bombardment Wing, Heavy, became the 92d Strategic Aerospace Wing. Subsequently, the term was applied to other air divisions and bomb wings.

OPERATIONS

The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Strategic Umbrella - The Russian buildup of offensive type missiles in Cuba began influencing SAC operations several days before President Kennedy revealed the exact nature of the threat to the American people. In response to a Joint Chiefs of Staff directive, a SAC U-2 reconnaissance plane, piloted by Major Richard S. Heyser, flew over Cuba on 14 October and obtained the first photographs of Soviet intermediate range ballistic missiles being installed there. Further evidence of the missile buildup was gathered during the following days as the high altitude air surveillance mission assigned to the 4080th Strategic Wing, the U-2 unit, was greatly intensified by the President.

On 22 October, President Kennedy announced the arms quarantine against shipments destined for Cuba and demanded the removal of missiles already situated there.

On the same day as the President's speech, SAC further intensified its readiness posture. Battle staffs were placed on 24-hour alert duty, leaves canceled and personnel recalled to duty. B-47s were dispersed to several widely separated and preselected civilian and military airfields, additional bombers and tankers were placed on ground alert, and the B-52 airborne alert indoctrination program was immediately expanded into an actual airborne alert involving 24-hour flights and immediate replacement of every aircraft that landed. The growing intercontinental ballistic missile force, numbering around 200 operational missiles, was rapidly brought into alert configuration. All bombers and missiles were armed with nuclear weapons. SAC was ready.


B-47s at dispersal base

On 25 October, with the arms quarantine in effect, SAC RB-47s and KC-97s joined other forces in the gigantic sea-search for Soviet ships bound for Cuba. On 27 October, an RB-47 of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, which was engaged in this sea-search mission, crashed on takeoff at Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda. All four crew members were killed. On the same day, Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr., a member of the 4080th Strategic Wing, was killed when his U-2 aircraft was shot down by an antiaircraft missile while performing a special reconnaissance mission over Cuba. The Cheney Award and the Distinguished Service Medal were awarded posthumously to Major Anderson for his heroic services.


Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr.


26 Nov 62 — President Kennedy awarding 4080th SW the AFOUA.


Soviet vessel discovered in SAC sea-search operation.

The first major break in the crisis came on 28 October. Russia agreed to remove its offensive missiles from Cuba, subject to verification by the United Nations. Throughout the next few days, SAC aircraft maintained close aerial surveillance while the missiles were dismantled, loaded on ships, and sent back through the quarantine to Russia.

On 20 November, when the Russians agreed to remove their medium bombers from Cuba, the quarantine was lifted and SAC began shifting back to normal operations. Medium bombers returned to their home bases, the ground alert force dropped back to the normal 50 percent standard, and routine B-52 airborne alert indoctrination flights commenced once more.

While visiting Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, on 26 November, President Kennedy presented the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award to the 4080th Strategic Wing for its vital reconnaissance missions over Cuba.

On 7 December, President Kennedy visited Headquarters SAC, toured the underground command post and presented General Power with a unique plaque citing SAC's extraordinary role and safety record in the Cuban crisis. The citation read:

For outstanding record in flight safety during airborne alert in the Cuban emergency, 22 Oct - 21 Nov 62.

Delivery of Last B-52 - On 26 October, SAC received its last B-52, an "H" model Serial Number 61-040, which was assigned to the 4136th Strategic Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Delivery of Last B-58 - On 26 October, SAC received its last three B-58s (Serial Numbers 61-2078, 61-2079, and 61-2080), which were assigned to the 305th Bomb Wing, Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Indiana.

SAC Bomber Production Ended - With the delivery of the last B-52 and the last B-58, for the first time since 1946 there was no bomber being produced or developed for the Strategic Air Command. The XB-70 was the only bomber-type aircraft under development and it had been excluded from consideration as a bomber. In September, an Air Force recommendation to expand the XB-70 program into a full-scale weapon system development was rejected by the Department of Defense.

A Follow-on Aircraft for the B-52 - On 30 October, Secretary of Defense McNamara requested the Air Force "consider an alternative bombing system" as a follow-on to the B-52, something that could serve as an airborne missile launching platform for the period beyond 1970.

Death of the Skybolt - On 7 December, President Kennedy confirmed reports that his administration planned to curtail development of the Skybolt, an air-to-surface ballistic missile being developed to replace the Hound Dog on the B-52 and to be used on the Royal Air Force's Vulcan bombers. He further announced that the final decision would not be made until after he and British Prime Minister Macmillan met and discussed the matter in Nassau, Bahamas.

On 21 December, upon completion of their discussions, President Kennedy and Prime Minister Macmillan issued a joint statement which confirmed the decision to cancel Skybolt.

According to Secretary of Defense McNamara, the Skybolt "... turned out to be considerably more expensive to develop and produce than had been anticipated . . . it was overtaken by the successful development of other weapons that could carry out the task of suppressing enemy defenses at substantially lower cost . . . lost its status as a vital defense requirement. ..."

B-52 Record Flights, Operation Persian Rug - On 10-11 January, a B-52H (Serial Number 60-0040) of the 4136th Strategic Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, completed a record-breaking 12,532.28-mile unrefueled flight from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, to Torrejon Air Base, Spain. This flight broke the old "distance in a straight line" world record of 11,235.6 miles held by the U.S. Navy's propeller-driven "Truculent Turtle." The entire crew, commanded by Major Clyde P. Evely, received Distinguished Flying Crosses. The Strato-fortress weighed exactly 488,000 pounds (244 tons) at takeoff. It flew at altitudes from 40,000 to 50,000 feet with a top speed of 662 miles per hour on the Kadena-Torrejon flight route.

A B-52H of the 19th Bomb Wing, Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, broke the world record for distance in a closed course without landing or refueling on 7 June. The closed course began and ended at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, with a validated distance of 11,336.92 miles. The old record of 10,078.84 miles had been held by a B-52G of the 5th Bomb Wing since 1960.

B-58 Record Flight, the Eighth Mackay Trophy, and the First Bendix Trophy, Operation Heat Rise - On 5 March, a 43d Bomb Wing B-58 (Serial Number 59-2458), piloted by Captain Robert G. Sowers, broke three speed records in a round trip flight between New York and Los Angeles. The Hustler made the trip in four hours, 41 minutes, and 14.98 seconds while averaging 1,044.46 miles per hour. Three in-flight refuelings by KC-135s were required. On its New York to Los Angeles leg, which took two hours, 15 minutes, and 50.8 seconds, the B-58 beat the sun across the United States, averaging 1,081.8 miles per hour. The most impressive part of the flight was that from Los Angeles to New York: two hours and 58.71 seconds at an average speed of 1,214.65 miles per hour.

For this flight, the crew received the Mackay Trophy, the Bendix Trophy, Distinguished Flying Crosses, and congratulations from President Kennedy.

Kolligan Trophy Won - On 9 October 1962, Lieutenant Colonel Forrest W. Wilson flying a U-2 on an air sampling mission over Alaska experienced a complete electrical system failure, including radio, autopilot, cabin heat and navigational instruments. Using a flashlight and a backup compass he was able to land at Elmendorf Air Force Base after more than three hours. Lieutenant Colonel Wilson received the Koren Kolligan, Jr. Trophy for 1962 for his superb airmanship.

Expansion of the Post Attack Command Control System (PACCS) - SAC's Post Attack Command Control System (PACCS) was expanded to include three auxiliary airborne command posts and four support squadrons. In April, auxiliary airborne command posts were established at those three bases that supported numbered air force headquarters - Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana; Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts; and March Air Force Base, California. These auxiliary airborne command posts were modified to carry communications equipment in much the same manner as the "Looking Glass" aircraft, the SAC airborne command post that had been in continuous operation since February 1961. On 20 July, as a further extension of PACCS, SAC organized support squadrons at four strategic locations - Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho; Lincoln Air Force Base, Nebraska; Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio; and Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York. These units were later equipped with EB-47L aircraft, B-47s modified with communications equipment, and redesignated Post Attack Command Control Squadrons.

BOMBING AND MUNITIONS COMPETITIONS

Not held due to Cuban Crisis and increased operational commitments.

MISSILES


Atlas F

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base and the U.S. Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello, California. All SAC launches were from Vandenberg:

Launched by: SAC – 15;
Other Agencies – 64

First Titan I Launch by SAC - On 20 January, the first Titan I launch to be conducted by a SAC crew was accomplished at Vandenberg.


Titan I

Titan I Operational - On 20 April and 10 May, the first two Titan I squadrons became operational at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado. They were assigned to the 703d Strategic Missile Wing.


Minuteman I

First Minuteman I's Operational - The Minuteman program proceeded on schedule, with the first two Minuteman flights of 10 missiles each becoming operational at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, on 11 December. Addition of these 20 operational Minuteman missiles brought the total SAC ICBM force to 200.

Minuteman Educational Program Started At Malmstrom - Under Minuteman alert conditions, combat crews were subjected to long hours of duty in remote, isolated underground launch control centers. The atmosphere was not conducive to developing and maintaining high morale. This was especially true since there was from four to eight hours in each 24 hour tour that was spare time, time during which individual crew members did not have to perform functions directly associated with maintaining the alert missiles. In order to improve morale by detracting from the boredom associated with the lack of activity for crew members and at the same time to attract and retain qualified officers for missile crews, SAC initiated a graduate college program for its Minuteman crews. The school began at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, in November 1962. It was operated by the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Last Jupiter Squadron Deployed to Turkey - On 25 May, the 866th Technical Training Squadron was inactivated at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. Inactiva-tion of this Jupiter training squadron had been made possible by the deployment of the third Jupiter squadron to Turkey in late 1961.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 62, as of 30 June 1962)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $750,958,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased, and aviation petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL).

Assets - $17,934,650,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,949,864,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


Quarter Century of Bombers - The B-52D Stratofortress passes in review followed by the B-47 Stratojet, the B-29 Superfortress, and the B-17 Flying Fortress.


B-58 "Cowtown Hustler." Crew (l. to r.) - Capt J. Walton, Defense Systems Operator; Capt R. McDonald, Navigator; Capt R. Sowers, Aircraft Commander; awarded the Mackay Trophy, Bendix Trophy, and Distinguished Flying Crosses for Operation "Heat Rise."

1963

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
271,672 (36,206 officers, 211,482 airmen, 23,984 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
2,424 (636 B-52, 613 B-47, 94 EB-47, 40 RB-47, 36 EB-47L, 86 B/TB-58, 613 KC—135, 306 KC—97).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
28 Atlas D, 33 Atlas E, 79 Atlas F, 63 Titan I, 56 Titan II, 372 Minuteman, 593 Hound Dog, and 492 Quail.

Missile Units

Active Bases
43 CONUS; 10 overseas (Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Spain, Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Thomas S. Power, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Hunter Harris, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Hewitt T. Wheless, Chief of Staff; reassigned 17 June.

Major General Keith K. Compton, Chief of Staff, effective 17 June.

ORGANIZATION

When the B-52 dispersal began in the late fifties, the new units created to support this program were named strategic wings and given four-digit designations, for example, the 4137th Strategic Wing. Under the USAF organization and lineage system, these four-digit units fell into the MAJCOM (major air command controlled) category and their lineage (histories, awards, and battle honors) ended with their discontinuation and could never be revived. In sharp contrast, AFCON (Headquarters USAF controlled) units, which were readily distinguishable by having one, two or three-digit designations, could go through a series of inactivations and activations and still retain their lineage.

Headquarters SAC was well aware of the historical significance of records and accomplishments of the strategic wings and the need to perpetuate this lineage as well as the lineage of many illustrious units that were no longer active.

In order to retain the lineage of the combat units and to perpetuate the lineage of many currently inactive units with illustrious World War II records, Headquarters SAC received authority from Headquarters USAF to discontinue its strategic wings that were equipped with combat aircraft and to activate AFCON units, most of which were inactive at the time.

The reorganization process, which extended from 1 January through 1 September, was applied to 22 B-52 strategic wings, three air refueling wings, and the 4321st Strategic Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. These units were discontinued and two and three-digit AFCON units were activated. In most cases, the bombardment squadrons that had been assigned to the strategic wings were inactivated and bombardment squadrons that had previously been assigned to the newly-activated wings were activated. While these actions were almost tantamount to redesignations, they were not official redesignations. Therefore, the records, awards and achievements of the strategic wings could not be inherited by the bomb wings.

Numbered Air Force Realignment - On 1 July, SAC reorganized its three numbered air forces in the United States. This realignment was effected primarily to correct an imbalance in the assignment of missiles. Due to restrictive geological factors in the eastern part of the United States, the Eighth Air Force's role in the SAC ICBM program had been limited to one squadron of Atlas F missiles at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York. With additional B-47 and KC-97 units of the Eighth Air Force scheduled to be inactivated in the following years, the imbalance of forces among the three numbered air forces would be accentuated.

Completely disregarding whatever influence geographical factors may have had upon a numbered air force's area of responsibility, SAC directed that its three numbered air forces be realigned on 1 July, an action which overnight plunged the Eighth Air Force into an operational ICBM environment in the Midwestern and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. From the Fifteenth, the Eighth acquired a tenant Titan I wing at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado, and Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, with an operational Atlas wing. With the acquisition of F. E. Warren, a Minuteman wing was activated there. From the Second Air Force, the Eighth acquired a Titan II wing, which would begin receiving missiles shortly thereafter at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, and Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, together with its embryonic Minuteman wing.

OPERATIONS


B-58 "Greased Lightning" landing at RAF Greenham Common after nonstop flight from Tokyo on 16 October 1963.

Operation Greased Lightning - B-58 Record Flight - On 16 October, in Operation Greased Lightning, a B-58 (Serial Number 61-2059) of the 305th Bomb Wing, Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Indiana, set an official world speed record in flying 8,028 miles from Tokyo to London in an elapsed time of eight hours, 35 minutes, and 20.4 seconds, averaging about 938 mph. This supersonic Hustler, piloted by Major Sidney J. Kubesch, took off from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and flew over Japan, Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and London before landing at Greenham Common RAF Station. Five in-flight refuelings were provided by KC-135s. The aircraft also established speed records from Tokyo to Anchorage, Alaska - three hours, nine minutes, and 41.8 seconds, averaging 1,093.44 mph - and Anchorage to London - five hours, 24 minutes, and 54 seconds, averaging 826.91 mph.

Operation Big Lift - SAC Support of TAC - Operating under the single manager tanker concept, SAC KC-135s flew over 1,000 sorties in support of routine Tactical Air Command fighter training in 1963. In addition, more than 250 tankers were used to support various oversea deployments of TAC fighters. The largest movement of fighters was conducted as part of Operation Big Lift in October. Directed by Secretary of Defense McNamara, Operation Big Lift involved flying an entire armored division, some 15,000 men - from the United States to Europe and to have them ready to participate in NATO maneuvers within five days. A composite strike force of 115 aircraft accompanied this move to provide close air support for the exercise. In-flight refueling for 71 TAC fighter and reconnaissance aircraft assigned to this composite strike force was provided by approximately 50 KC-135s staging out of Loring and Dow Air Force Bases, Maine.

Medium Aircraft Phaseout and Reflex Consolidation - During 1963, SAC continued to undergo transition from a manned aircraft force to a mixed aircraft and missile force. As intercontinental ballistic missiles became more numerous, the B-47s were phased out. By the end of December, only 12 B-47 wings, two of which were outfitted with highly sophisticated electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment, remained in the combat inventory. Six B-47 wings were disposed of during the year. At the same time seven medium air refueling squadrons phased out their KC-97s and were either inactivated or equipped with KC-135s.

Initial Emergency Rocket Communications System - On 11 July 1963 SAC accepted and declared operational three Blue Scout Junior launch sites at Wisner, West Point, and Tekamah, Nebraska. These rockets carried a UHF recorder with a prerecorded message to be transmitted to all units within line of site of the apogee of the rocket's flight. This was another method for ensuring reliable command control communications.

With the reduction of medium bombers, SAC began realigning its oversea Reflex forces. In July, B-47 Reflex operations ceased at the three Moroccan bases of Nouasseur, Benguerir, and Sidi Slimane and were thereafter concentrated at the three Spanish bases of Moron, Torrejon, and Zaragoza and in the United Kingdom at Brize Norton, Fairford, Greenham Common, and Upper Heyford. Medium bomber Reflex operations continued at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, while Air Mail operations, a variation of Reflex, continued at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

With the rapidly diminishing KC-97 force, fewer oversea support bases were required and SAC withdrew its tankers from Klndley Air Force Base, Bermuda, and Churchill, Cold Lake, and Frobisher Royal Canadian Air Force Stations, Canada. Ground alert forces of KC-97s remained at Namao Royal Canadian Air Force Station, Canada; Goose Air Base, Labrador; Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, Newfoundland; and Sondrestrom Air Base, Greenland.

BOMBING AND MUNITIONS COMPETITIONS

Not held due to increased operational commitments and cost reduction programs.

Disposition of Fairchild and Saunders Trophies - General Power decided to award the Fairchild and Saunders Trophies to the bomb wing and air refueling squadron with the best overall combat capability record for Fiscal Year 1963. A special board of officers, composed of the deputy commanders of the Second, Eighth, and Fifteenth Air Forces, reviewed the records and selected the winners - Second Air Force's 2d Bomb Wing won the Fairchild Trophy and the Second's 46th Air Refueling Squadron won the Saunders Trophy.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base and the U.S. Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello, California. All SAC launches were from Vandenberg:

Launched by: SAC – 45
Other Agencies – 71


Titan II after removal from silo

First Titan II Launched - On 23 September, for the first time, a SAC crew launched a Titan II from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

First Operational Minuteman Squadron - On 28 February, the first Minuteman squadron, the 10th Strategic Missile Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, became operational. Five additional squadrons had become operational by the end of the year.

Titan II Force Operational - The entire Titan II force of six squadrons became operational in 1963- The first to become operational was the 570th Strategic Missile Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. It was accepted by SAC on 8 June. The 374th Strategic Missile Squadron, located at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, was the last one to become operational. It was accepted on 31 December.

Weighing over 150 tons, the Titan II used storable propellants, could be launched directly from the silo, and employed an all-inertial guidance system. It could carry a heavier payload over a longer distance than any other SAC ICBM.

Phaseout of the Thor - On 1 February 1963, the 392d Missile Training Squadron was inactivated at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Since 1958, it had served as a training and launch support squadron for the Royal Air Force and Thor missile force. The 392d had lost its primary mission in August 1962 when the United Kingdom discontinued its IRBM Thor force and, consequently, canceled its combat training launches at Vandenberg.

SAC responsibilities for the Thor program in the United Kingdom ended on 20 December, at which time the system was completely phased out by the Royal Air Force.

Minuteman Educational Program Expanded - Inaugurated at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, in November 1962, the Minuteman Educational Program soon proved successful. In 1963, it was expanded to include the Minuteman crews at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, and Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. The schools at these bases were operated by state universities under contract with the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Organization of Combat Crew Training Squadron at Vandenberg - On 15 May, the 4315th Student Squadron was redesignated the 4315th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Since its organization on 1 May 1958, the 4315th Student Squadron had served as a holding unit for personnel receiving operational readiness training at Vandenberg. Concurrently with this redesignation, the 4315th Combat Crew Training Squadron absorbed the crew training functions previously performed by Vandenberg's three ICBM squadrons -the 576th (Atlas), 394th (Minuteman) and 395th (Titan). These three squadrons then became primarily responsible for operating the launch facilities at Vandenberg and supporting the missiles launched from there.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 63, as of 30 June 1963)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $723,017,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased, and aviation petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL).

Assets - $19,243,729,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $2,020,428,000, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


Titan II Launch at Vandenberg AFB

1964

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
259,871 (35,035 officers, 201,933 airmen, 22,903 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
2,075 (626 B-52, 679 EC/KC-135, 391 B-47, 46 EB-47, 22 EB-47L, 27 RB-47, 190 KC-97, 94 B/TB-58).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
13 Atlas D, 30 Atlas E, 75 Atlas F, 56 Titan I, 59 Titan II, 698 Minuteman, 566 Hound Dog, 477 Quail.

Missile Units

Active Bases
43 CONUS; eight overseas (Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Spain, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP


General John D. Ryan

General Ryan Assumed Command

General Thomas S. Power, Commander in Chief; retired 30 November.

General John D. Ryan, Commander in Chief, effective 1 December.

Lieutenant General Hunter Harris, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief; reassigned 1 August.

Lieutenant General John D. Ryan, Vice Commander in Chief, effective 1 August. Promoted to General and assumed position of Commander in Chief, SAC, effective 1 December.

Lieutenant General Joseph J. Nazzaro, Vice Commander in Chief, effective 1 December.

Major General Keith K. Compton, Chief of Staff; reassigned 1 August.

Major General Charles M. Eisenhart, Chief of Staff, effective 1 August.

ORGANIZATION

No significant changes.

OPERATIONS

President Johnson Announced Development of the SR-71 - On 24 July, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the successful development of a new manned aircraft, the SR-71, which would be produced for the Strategic Air Command shortly after flight testing in early 1965. According to the President, "the SR-71 aircraft reconnaissance system is the most advanced in the world."

SAC's First Operational Participation in Southeast Asia - At the urging of Secretary of Defense McNamara, President Lyndon B. Johnson approved the use of SAC U-2 aircraft in Southeast Asia on the last day of 1963. SAC U-2s arrived in the Far East in February 1964 and immediately began photographic reconnaissance of South Vietnam's borders. Early in March, SAC's U-2 contingent settled into permanent quarters at Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam.

B-47 Phaseout and Reflex Alterations - In line with Secretary of Defense McNamara's objective to get rid of all B-47s and KC-97s by the end of Fiscal Year 1966, four medium bomb wings and five medium air refueling squadrons disposed of their aircraft in 1964.

Reflex operations declined along with the phaseout of B-47s and KC-97s. In April and May B-47s stopped Reflexing to Fairford and Greenham Common RAF Stations in England, and Zaragoza Air Base in Spain. The composition of the ground alert force at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, changed in April when B-47s were replaced by B-52s. At the end of the year, only five bases continued to support B-47 Reflex forces. They were Moron and Torrejon Air Bases, Spain; Brize Norton and Upper Heyford RAF Stations, United Kingdom; and Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

In June, Sondrestrom Air Base, Greenland, and Namao RCAF Station, Canada, ceased to support KC-97 operations. In October, the Reflex force at Goose Air Base, Labrador, was switched from KC-97s to KC-135s. At the end of the year, Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, Newfoundland, was the only oversea base still supporting KC-97s.

SAC Maritime Responsibilities Expanded - On 15 January 1964 USAF directed SAC to support Air Defense Command in providing an antisubmarine defense of the Continental United States. In September 1964 a B-52 dropped eight types of aerial mines during tests at the Air Proving Ground Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

ICBM Alert Force Equals Bomber Alert Force - With the rapid acquisition of Minuteman missiles and the gradual phaseout of B-47s, SAC became more and more of a mixed manned aircraft and ICBM force. On 21 April, the number of ICBMs on alert equaled the number of bombers on ground alert. From that day on, the ICBM alert force would gradually outdistance the bomber alert force.

Future of the Manned Bomber - In 1964, with the B-47 force gradually committed to the storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and the B-52 production having been completed since 1962, there were still no firm plans for a replacement bomber. According to Secretary of Defense McNamara, "various options are open for replacing the B-52s in the seventies, if a replacement requirement exists at that time. In case supersonic speed and high altitude are needed for the future strategic bomber, the experience gained from three different Mach 3 planes, currently in the research and development stage, will be available - the XB-70, the A-11, and the SR-71."

"In case low-level penetration capabilities turn out to be the key to future bomber effectiveness, the lessons being learned from the F-111, for example, will be applicable . . . the fiscal year 1965 budget includes funds for a special study on an Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft (AMSA), a long-range, low altitude penetrator to serve as an airborne missile platform."

SAC Tankers Used to Support Combat Operations - On 9 June, SAC tankers were used to support combat operations in Southeast Asia for the first time. Four KC-135s, operating out of Clark Air Base in the Philippines and nicknamed Yankee Team Tanker Task Force, refueled eight F-100 fighters on their way to strike Communist-backed Pathet Lao antiaircraft emplacements on the Plain of Jars in northern Laos. The tankers loitered over southern Laos until the strike was over and then refueled two of the fighters before returning to Clark. They remained at Clark until mid-June when the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed them to return to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, where they joined the main body of a larger tanker task force supporting routine Tactical Air Command deployments. On 5 August, the Joint Chiefs of Staff reestablished the Yankee Team Tanker Task Force at Clark. Consisting of eight KC-135s and renamed Foreign Legion on 3 September, this force began supporting Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) fighters engaged in combat on 28 September.


Alaska earthquake , photographed by low-level B-58, March 1964

Alaska Earthquake and Reconnaissance - On 28 March, Headquarters USAF directed SAC to undertake a special aerial reconnaissance mission of the Alaska earthquake which had occurred on the previous evening. Two B-58s of the 43d Bomb Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, were given a priority assignment to conduct low-level photography over the quake area. Within two hours after being notified, the two aircraft had their special camera pods loaded and were on their way. Approximately 14 and one-half hours after receiving the assignment, these aircraft had completed their assignment, having flown a round trip flight of 5,751 miles, and the processed photographs of the quake were available in Washington, D.C. On the same day, SAC sent three U-2s and two RB-47s to photograph the area from high altitudes; and on the following day, two more 43d Bomb Wing B-58s flew the low-level mission again.

The Daedalian Trophy - With its 1964 aircraft accident rate being the lowest in USAF, the Strategic Air Command was named recipient of the Daedalian Trophy.

BOMBING AND MUNITIONS COMPETITIONS

Not held due to continued emphasis upon cost reduction and increased SAC tanker support for TAC activities in Southeast Asia.

Disposition of Fairchild and Saunders Trophies - Continuing the program established in 1963, the Fairchild Trophy was awarded to the Second Air Force's 70th Bomb Wing and the Saunders Trophy was awarded to the Eighth Air Force's 42d Air Refueling Squadron on the basis of their overall operational records for FY 1964.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Included for the first six months of the year are those launches emanating from the U. S. Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello, California. Effective 1 July, this 19,000 acre facility was transferred to SAC and became part of Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 69
Other Agencies – 50

Phaseout of Atlas D Missiles - In 1964, major developments in the SAC ICBM program reflected the Department of Defense's 1961 decision to place major reliance upon solid-fueled (Minuteman) rather than liquid-fueled or first generation missiles. As a result, phaseout of first generation missiles began. The phase-out of Atlas D missiles started on 1 May, with the removal of the first missile from alert status at Vandenberg; it was concluded on 1 October, when the last missile of the 549th Strategic Missile Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, was removed from alert. Three Atlas D squadrons were inactivated, while the fourth, the one at Vandenberg, remained active to support the Atlas E and Atlas F program.

Atlas E and F and Titan I Phaseout Announced by McNamara - On 19 November, Secretary of Defense McNamara announced that all remaining first generation missiles, Atlas E and F and Titan I, would be phased out by the end of June 1965. This decision to phase out these missiles, some of which had been operational for less than two years, was indicative of the rapid technological advances being made in the missile field, particularly in the Minuteman and Polaris programs.

Redesignation of Vandenberg Units - On 1 February, the 394th and 395th Missile Training Squadrons, Minuteman and Titan, respectively, were redesignated Strategic Missile Squadrons.

Minuteman Ripple Launch - On 29 February, two Minuteman missiles were launched in the "ripple" fashion, that is, a single launch crew of the 10th Strategic Missile Squadron, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, gave both commands to launch. These successful launches, which occurred within less than 20 minutes of each other, were conducted at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 64, as of 30 June 1964)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $737,370,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased, and aviation petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL).

Assets - $21,084,000,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $2,033,000,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.

1965

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
216,681 (30,336 officers, 164,414 airmen, 21,931 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,490 (600 B-52, 665 EC/KC-135, 114 B-47, 93 B/TB-58, 18 EB/RB-47).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
59 Titan II, 821 Minuteman, 542 Hound Dog, and 465 Quail.

Missile Units

Active Bases
40 CONUS; seven overseas (Puerto Rico, Spain, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General John D. Ryan, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Joseph J. Nazzaro, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Charles M. Eisenhart, Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

Inactivation of 7th Air Division - Effective 30 June, Headquarters 7th Air Division, located at High Wycombe RAF Station, was discontinued. Inactivation was effected approximately 90 days after B-47 Reflex operations had ceased at Brize Norton and Upper Heyford RAF Stations, the last two United Kingdom bases to support B-47s.

OPERATIONS

KC-135 and B-52 Operations in Vietnam War - In January, the 4252d Strategic Wing was activated at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Its mission at first was to provide KC-135 air refueling for the Pacific Air Forces* fighter-bombers engaged in air operations over South and North Vietnam. Later in the year, the 4252d began refueling B-52s that were carrying out bombing missions against Viet Cong bases in South Vietnam. During the last six months of 1965, SAC KC-135s flew over 4,000 sorties in direct support of PACAF operations.


Bunker uncovered by B-52 bombing

First B-52 Arc Light Bombing Mission - The first B-52 bombing mission was carried out on 18 June. On this mission, 27 B-52F bombers of the 7th and 320th Bomb Wings based at Guam were used to attack a Viet Cong jungle redoubt with conventional 750- and 1,000-pound bombs. In some circles, this first raid was regarded as a fiasco. Few, if any, Viet Cong were killed. Furthermore, two B-52s were lost in a mid-air collision on way to the target. The press, well indoctrinated in the nuclear bombing role of the B-52 and in the SAC strategic deterrence theory, regarded the use of B-52s against the Viet Cong as something closely akin to "swatting flies with a sledgehammer."

General William C. Westmoreland, commander of the U.S. forces in South Vietnam, was by no means discouraged by this first mission. Convinced of the B-52's effectiveness, he called for more bombing missions and he received them. From June through December, the 7th, 320th, and 454th Bomb Wings, rotating crews and aircraft to the Pacific area, completed over 100 missions to South Vietnam. These B-52Fs were used primarily in saturation bombing of Viet Cong base areas, but later in the year, they were used in direct tactical support of the Marine Corps' Operation Harvest Moon and the First Cavalry Division's fight in the Ia Drang Valley. Of this support, Major General L. W. Walt, Commander of the 3d Marine Amphibious Force, said ". . .we are more than impressed with the results. We are delighted. The timing was precise, the bombing accurate and the overall effects awesome to behold. ... The enemy has abandoned his prepared positions and much of his equipment in great confusion, and this is making our part of the job easier."

"Big Belly" Modification Program - Throughout 1965, the SAC bombers committed to the Vietnam conflict were B-52F models. Each bomber's maximum bomb load was 51 750-pound bombs, 27 internally and 24 externally. In the meantime, the entire B-52D fleet was being prepared for the conflict. In December, a "Big Belly" modification program was started to increase the B-52d's capacity to carry 500-pound bombs from 27 to 84 or its capacity to carry 750-pounders from 27 to 42 internally. In addition, the B-52D could still carry 24 500-pound or 750-pound bombs externally. The maximum bomb load would be about 60,000 pounds or 30 tons of bombs.

Project Fast Fly B-47 and KC-97 Phaseout Programs Accelerated - B-47 Ground Alert Terminated - In early October, Headquarters USAF initiated Project Fast Fly, which directed that SAC's remaining five B-47 wings and six KC-97 air refueling squadrons be phased out approximately six months ahead of the previously-established deadline of June 1966. By the end of the year, three wings had disposed of their aircraft. Two wings, the 9th and 100th, retained their aircraft and ground alert requirements until 31 December, after which they began disposing of their aircraft.

KC-97 Ground Alert Terminated - Phaseout of Last KC-97s - On 10 November, the last KC-97 was removed from ground alert. It belonged to the 9th Air Refueling Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Disposition of all KC-97s was completed on 21 December, when the last two aircraft, Serial Number 53-0282 of the 100th Air Refueling Squadron, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, and one, serial number unknown, of the 384th Air Refueling Squadron, Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, were flown to the storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

B-52B Phaseout - SAC's two B-52B squadrons were also earmarked for accelerated phaseout in early 1966. The B-52B phaseout program had actually begun in March 1965 when SAC began retiring those aircraft that had reached the end of their service life; that is, they had reached a specific number of flying hours under certain conditions of structural stress.

Phaseout of First B-52B - Disposition of First B-52 Assigned to SAC - On 8 March, the first B-52B (Serial Number 52-8714) to be retired under this program was transferred from the 22d Bomb Wing, March Air Force Base, California, to Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois, to be used for instructional purposes by the Air Training Command. On 29 September, the first B-52 to be assigned to SAC, a "B" model, Serial Number 52-8711, was transferred from the 22d Bomb Wing (it had been transferred from the 93d Bomb Wing to the 22d in early 1956) to the Aerospace Museum, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

Last KC-135 Delivered - On 12 January, the last KC-135 (Serial Number 64-14840) to be assigned to SAC was delivered to the 380th Air Refueling Squadron, Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York.

B-47 Reflex Terminated in Spain - On 31 March, B-47 Reflex operations ended at Moron and Torrejon Air Bases, Spain.

B-58 and B-52 Phaseout Announced by Secretary of Defense McNamara - On 8 December, Secretary of Defense McNamara announced another aircraft phaseout program that would further reduce the Strategic Air Command's bomber force. Basically, this program called for the retirement of all B-58s and the older B-52s (C, D, E, and F models) by the end of June 1971. This reduction would be accompanied by additional base closures and unit relocations.

The FB-111 Selected for Assignment to SAC - On 10 December, Secretary of Defense McNamara somewhat softened the impact of his 8 December phaseout announcement by announcing that 210 FB-111s would be purchased at a cost of $1.7 billion and assigned to SAC as replacements for the older model B-52s and the B-58s. The new bomber was a modified version of the F-111 fighter which was once the highly controversial TFX.

B-52 and KC-135 Sea-Search Exercise - During March and April 1965, SAC B-52s and KC-135s flew in the first extensive visual and photographic sea-search exercise (Water Gap) for those aircraft.

PACCS Force Converted to All KC-135 - On 25 March, SAC's Post Attack Command and Control System (PACCS) force was reorganized. The 4363d and the 4364th Post Attack Command Control Squadrons, located at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, and Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, respectively, were discontinued. Their radio-relay missions were absorbed by EC-135As that were assigned to air refueling squadrons at Lockbourne and Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Thereafter, the PACCS force became an all KC-135 system with EC-135s performing the "Looking Glass" and auxiliary airborne command posts' missions.

SAC Automated Command Control System (SACCS) - On 1 March, the Strategic Air Command accepted the SAC Automated Command Control System (SACCS) from the Air Force Systems Command. Refined under the direction of the SACCS Management Group, which was established in Headquarters SAC, SACCS, or 465L as it was often called, provided means of complementing the numerous systems of voice transmission in operation throughout SAC with printed messages, which could be transmitted to and printed out by any or all SAC command posts in North America. SACCS also embodied data processing and data display subsystems. The data processing subsystem was composed of computers which stored information on the status of the aircraft and missile forces, while the data display subsystem provided a means for visually displaying this force status information to those commanders and key operating officials who needed it.

Spot Promotion Program Terminated - On 28 December, General John P. McConnell, USAF Chief of Staff, terminated the SAC Spot Promotion Program, which had been started by General LeMay in December 1949. General McConnell directed that all crew members who held these spot promotions would revert to their normal grades on 30 June 1966.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Fourteenth Competition - Last B-47 Participation - After being canceled for three years, the fourteenth SAC Bombing Competition was finally held from 12 through 18 September. New ground rules, more compatible with the ones for the original competition than with those for recent years, were issued to the participants, which included one aircraft and one crew from each of 44 bomb wings, two B-58, five B-47, and 37 B-52. This was the last competition for the B-47s. All aircraft staged out of Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The 454th Bomb Wing, a B-52F unit of the Second Air Force, won the Fairchild Trophy. Air refueling squadrons did not participate in this competition, but the Saunders Trophy, which was normally awarded to the best tanker unit in the meet, was awarded to the 922d Air Refueling Squadron, Eighth Air Force. This award was based upon the past year's performance.

Munitions Loading Competition - Although held in conjunction with the Bombing Competition in 1960-1961, the Munitions Loading Competition was not resumed in 1965. It was not revived until 1974.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 50
Other Agencies – 51

Atlas E and F and Titan I Phaseout Completed - In line with Secretary of Defense McNamara's 19 November 1964 directive, all first generation missiles were removed from alert during the period from 4 January through 12 April. By 20 April, all missiles had been shipped to storage facilities for later use as launch vehicles in various research and development programs. With the phase-out completed, the missile squadrons, three Atlas E, six Atlas F, and six Titan I, were inactivated by 25 June.

Minuteman I Program Completed - SAC completed its Minuteman I program on 15 June, when the sixteenth squadron, the 400th Strategic Missile Squadron, became operational at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. The operational Minuteman I force actually consisted of two types of missiles, the "A" and "B" models. The slightly larger Minuteman B's second stage motor chamber was made of titanium while the Minuteman A's chamber was made of steel. The Minuteman A was assigned only to the three squadrons of the 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.


Minuteman II blasts off

Minuteman II Program Started -Three Minuteman II squadrons were activated and assigned to the 321st Strategic Missile Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. These squadrons were partially equipped by the end of the year. The Minuteman II, appreciably longer than the Minuteman I models, was outfitted with a more powerful second-stage engine and possessed a greater range than the Minuteman I. It also possessed a more accurate reentry vehicle and penetration aids to protect it from anti-ballistic missiles.


Project "Long Life" at Ellsworth AFB, 1 March 1965

Operational Base Launch - On 1 March, a crew of the 44th Strategic Missile Wing launched a Minuteman I from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. To preclude overflight accidents, Headquarters SAC limited the missile's flight to about seven seconds or a range of only two miles. Nicknamed Project Long Life, this successful firing demonstrated that a SAC missile crew could launch a Minuteman from an operational site.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 65, as of 30 June 1965)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $740,594,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased, and aviation petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL).

Assets - $20,578,200,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,987,124,000, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.

1966

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
196,887 (26,588 officers, 147,197 airmen, 23,102 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,352 (591 B-52, 662 EC/KC-135, 83 B/TB-58, 16 RB-47.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
60 Titan II, 908 Minuteman, 548 Hound Dog, and 457 Quail.

Missile Units

Active Bases
35 CONUS; three overseas (Puerto Rico, Guam, and Labrador).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General John D. Ryan, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Joseph J. Nazzaro, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Charles M. Eisenhart, Chief of Staff; reassigned 5 July.

Major General James B. Knapp, Chief of Staff, effective 5 July.

ORGANIZATION

Sixteenth Air Force Transferred to USAFE - With B-47 Reflex operations having ceased there in late March 1965, the Spanish base complex became less important to SAC operations. On 15 April, Headquarters Sixteenth Air Force and Moron, Torrejon, and Zaragoza Air Bases were transferred from SAC to USAFE. SAC remained as a tenant at Torrejon, with its support functions being carried out by the 3970th Strategic Wing. On 25 June, the 3970th was discontinued and its personnel and functions were absorbed by the 98th Strategic Wing, one of those illustrious units preserved through redesignation after the B-47 phaseout was completed.

OPERATIONS

SAC in Southeast Asia - SAC continued to support U.S. military actions in Southeast Asia with B-52 conventional bombing missions and KC-135 in-flight refueling. As in 1965, the SAC bombers concentrated upon area bombing of Viet Cong base camps, with the primary objective being to keep the enemy from building up large forces in the jungle sanctuaries. At the same time, B-52s began to be used in direct support of ground troops who were in contact with the enemy.

Although the B-52s were used primarily against targets in South Vietnam, they were also used to bomb the approaches to the Mu Gia Pass in North Vietnam on 12 and 26 April. The objective here was to stop the infiltration of enemy troops who, after leaving the Mu Gia Pass, crossed over into Laos and made their way down the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

By late June, after one year of participating in the war, the B-52s were dropping approximately 8,000 tons of bombs each month. Missions were flown in all types of weather, night and day. In 1966, over 5,000 B-52 sorties released bombs over target. General William C. Westmoreland, Commander of the U.S. Forces in Vietnam, said, "... we know, from talking to many prisoners and defectors, that the enemy troops fear B-52s, tactical air, artillery and armor, in that order." He also told General John P. McConnell, USAF Chief of Staff, that SAC attacks frequently resulted in the enemy being thwarted in his plans for an offensive and his being prevented from massing and carrying out his planned maneuvers.

Throughout 1966, the B-52s continued to operate from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Normally the aircraft, crews, and combat support elements (or cadre) of two B-52 wings with augmentee aircraft and crews from other wings were maintained there for that purpose. While committed to the conflict, these people and equipment were assigned to the 3d Air Division's 4133d Bomb Wing, Provisional, which was organized on 1 February. Normally each wing remained in combat for about six months. After being replaced by a wing from the CONUS, it returned home. Since these combat elements came and went in a temporary duty status, none of the wings participating in the war in this fashion received any campaign credit.

With the deployment of the 28th and 484th Bomb Wings to Guam in April, the B-52D bomber, modified with the Big Belly to carry more bombs, replaced the B-52F as the SAC bomber in the Vietnam conflict.

In June, SAC activated the 4258th Strategic Wing at U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand, and gave it responsibility for satisfying some of the growing demand for inflight refueling. The majority of the KC-135s assigned to the 4258th and the 4252d Strategic Wings came from air refueling squadrons that were deployed to the area at the same time their parent B-52 wings deployed to Guam. These tanker forces were also augmented with aircraft and crews from other air refueling squadrons.

Project Fast Fly Completed - Retirement of Last B-47s - In the first half of 1966, Project Fast Fly, the accelerated phaseout of all SAC B-47 and B-52B aircraft, was completed. On 11 February, SAC's last two B-47 bombers (there were still RB-47s assigned to the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing) - B-47E Serial Number 53-2286, assigned to the 100th Bomb Wing, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, and B-47E Serial Number 53-6235, assigned to the 9th Strategic Aerospace Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho - were transferred to the storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

Disposition of Units - All Fast Fly units were either redesignated and reorganized to support other type aircraft or inactivated before the end of June. Because of their illustrious records, the five medium bomb wings were retained in SAC: two became B-52 units, two became strategic reconnaissance wings, and one was moved to Spain. SAC's last five KC-97 air refueling squadrons were inactivated.

Of the two B-52B wings that were phased out (all B-52B aircraft had been sent to storage by the end of June), one was inactivated and the other was equipped with B-52D aircraft from a less illustrious wing that was inactivated.


SR-71 - Mach 3 - Reconnaissance

Delivery of First SR-71 - On 7 January, SAC's reconnaissance force was strengthened immeasurably with the delivery of the first SR-71, "B" model trainer, Serial Number 61-7957, to the 4200th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, California. Capable of flying three times the speed of sound (Mach 3) at altitudes over 80,000 feet, the SR-71 could carry a variety of photographic, radar, and infrared sensors. Manned with a crew of two, a pilot and reconnaissance systems officer, the SR-71 could survey an area of 60,000 square miles in one hour.


Barrels of contaminated soil and vegetation for disposal in U.S.


Brigadier General Arturo Montel Touzet, Spanish Coordinator for the Search and Recovery Operation at Palomares, Spain, congratulates Commander U.S. Navy Task Force 65, RADM William S. Guest (second from right) on the successful recovery of the fourth and final weapon which was hoisted aboard the USS Petrel from its 2850 foot perch by members of U.S. Navy Task Force 65. Sr. Don Antonio Velilla Manteca, Chief of the Spanish Nuclear Energy Board in Palomares, and Major General Delraar E. Wilson, Commander of Sixteenth Air Force, watch the ceremony. (U.S. Navy Photograph)

B-52 Crash - Palomares, Spain - On 17 January, a B-52 collided with a KC-135 tanker during a high altitude refueling operation and both aircraft crashed near Palomares, Spain. There were four survivors and seven fatalities. Some radioactive material was released when two weapons underwent nonnuclear TNT-type explosions on impact. Cleanup work began immediately and involved removing approximately 1,400 tons of slightly contaminated soil and vegetation to the U.S. for disposal. Simultaneously, an exhaustive land and sea-search was started to locate a nuclear weapon that had been lost. It was finally located on 15 March by a U.S. Navy submarine about five miles from the shore and approximately 2,500 feet under water. Following several unsuccessful attempts to retrieve the weapon, during which time it became dislodged and slipped deeper and deeper into the water, it was recovered intact on 7 April.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Fifteenth Competition - SAC's fifteenth bombing competition was held from 2 through 8 October at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Approximately 1,500 people converged upon Fairchild for this competition. Included were the crews, maintenance technicians, and support personnel from each unit, competition staffs from each numbered air force headquarters and Headquarters SAC, personnel from the 1st Combat Evaluation Group who were responsible for scoring the meet, and a Royal Air Force contingent. Participants included one crew from each of 35 B-52 wings and two B-58 wings and three RAF crews flying Vulcan bombers.

Armed with the motto "Not to Win is a Very Bad Thing," which was provided by their commander, Lieutenant General David Wade, Eighth Air Force wings completely dominated the competition. They captured the first four places in the overall competition for the Fairchild Trophy. The 19th Bomb Wing, a B-52 unit, won the trophy.

The Saunders Trophy - In line with the procedure followed in previous years when air refueling squadrons did not participate in the competition, the Saunders Trophy was awarded to the unit with the best record in the previous fiscal year. The 1966 winner was Second Air Force's 906th Air Refueling Squadron.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 55
Other Agencies – 68


First salvo launch of Minuteman - 24 February 1966

First Minuteman Salvo Launch - On 24 February, combat crews of the 341st Strategic Missile Wing launched simultaneously two Minuteman "A" missiles from test silos at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. This salvo launch successfully demonstrated the multiple countdown and launch techniques that might be used at operational sites under actual combat conditions.

Activation of Last Minuteman Squadron - On 1 April, the 564th Strategic Missile Squadron, SAC's 20th and last Minuteman squadron was activated at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, and assigned to the 3^1st Strategic Missile Wing. The 341st already operated three squadrons of Minuteman I missiles. The fourth squadron was scheduled to become operational with Minuteman II missiles in early 1967.

Force Modernization Program - Force Modernization entailed the replacement of Minuteman I, "A" and "B" series, missiles with Minuteman II or "F" series missiles. Scheduled to apply to the entire Minuteman I force, the modernization program began at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, on 7 May, when the first flight of ten Minuteman I, "B" series, missiles were removed from their silos. In order to prepare for the emplacement of Minuteman II missiles, it was necessary to completely retrofit the original missile launchers, control facilities, and other ground equipment. In the retrofit program, the modernized Minuteman missile systems were not identical to the Minuteman II systems installed at Grand Forks and in the fourth squadron at Malmstrom. The Force Modernization Program included modifying the missile's underground launching sits to accept the advanced Minuteman II and renovation of the launch control center and related ground support equipment to accommodate the more sophisticated missile.

Minuteman II Operational - On 25 April, the first Minuteman II squadron, the 447th Strategic Missile Squadron, became operational at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. Two additional 321st Strategic Missile Wing squadrons had become operational at Grand Forks by 22 November.

Inactivation of Last Atlas Squadron - On 2 April, the 576th Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM Atlas) which had been located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, since 1 April 1958, was inactivated.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 66, as of 30 June 1966)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $392,912,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $18,477,079,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,591,457,000, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


Minuteman II assembly in silo, Grand Forks AFB

1967

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
191,305 (25,745 officers, 143,412 airmen, 22,148 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,327 (588 B-52, 81 B/TB-58, 658 EC/KC-135).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
63 Titan II, 973 Minuteman, 477 Hound Dog, and 448 Quail.

Missile Units

Active Bases
32 CONUS; three overseas (Labrador, Puerto Rico, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP


General Joseph J. Nazzaro

General Nazzaro Assumed Command

General John D. Ryan, Commander in Chief; reassigned 1 February.

General Joseph J. Nazzaro, Commander in Chief, effective 1 February.

Lieutenant General Joseph J. Nazzaro, Vice Commander in Chief; became Commander in Chief 1 February.

Lieutenant General Keith K. Corapton, Vice Commander in Chief, effective 1 February.

Major General James B. Knapp, Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

No significant changes.

OPERATIONS

Along with the overall growth of U.S. military operations in Southeast Asia, the SAC B-52 conventional bombing activity increased tremendously in 1967. During the year, the B-52s flew approximately 9,700 effective bombing sorties, almost twice the "number flown in 1966. Most of this bombing effort was aimed at supporting U.S. ground troops who were in close contact with the enemy. A great deal of attention was also devoted to enemy troop concentrations and supply lines in the Ashau Valley, around Dak To near the Cambodian border, and in and around the Demilitarized Zone. In September, the majority of the targets struck by the B-52s was in the Demilitarized Zone. On 6 May, SAC flew its 10,000th B-52 sortie in Southeast Asia. To that time, more than 190,000 tons of bombs had been dropped in less than two years of combat operations.

"Big Belly" Modification Program Completed - Throughout the year, only B-52D bombers outfitted with the "Big Belly" modification were used in SEA (on 13 September, the last B-52D was modified to carry the increased bomb load). At one time or another during the year, the following wings served as cadre units and, augmented by bombers and crews from other wings, were responsible for carrying out the conventional bombing effort: 306th, 91st, 22d, 454th, 461st, and 99th.

B-52 Operations from Thailand - In early April, part of this B-52 force began operating out of U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand. Staging out of this base, the bombers could complete their missions without KC-135 in-flight refueling which was required when operating from Guam. This saved both time and money. The 4258th Strategic Wing, which had been functioning strictly as a tanker organization since June 1966, assumed control of the bomber operations from U-Tapao.

B-52 Accidents in Southeast Asia - In July SAC lost three B-52Ds as the result of accidents in Southeast Asia. On 7 July, two B-52s collided in the air and crashed in the South China Sea. Among the six casualties was Major General William J. Crumm, Commander of the 3d Air Division. On 8 July, another bomber crashed and was destroyed while attempting an emergency landing at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam. Five of the six crew members were killed.

KC-135 Operations in Southeast Asia - During 1967, SAC KC-135s operating out of Kadena, U-Tapao, and other Western Pacific bases flew over 22,000 sorties while dispensing over 1.1 million pounds of fuel in support of B-52s and fighters of the Pacific Air Forces.

KC-135 Refueling over the Gulf of Tonkin and the Ninth Mackay Trophy - On 31 May, a KC-135 crew of the 902d Air Refueling Squadron (Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base, Oklahoma) was involved in a complex and spectacular air refueling operation over the Gulf of Tonkin. This mission started out as a routine in-flight refueling of two F-104s, but before it was over it involved saving six fuel-starved, carrier-based U.S. Navy aircraft (two A-3 tankers, two F-8 fighters, and two F-4 fighters). At one point in this intricate operation, the KC-135 was refueling an A-3 tanker which in turn was refueling an F-8. While the A-3 was partially loaded with fuel that could be dispensed to other aircraft, it could not transfer this fuel to Its own tanks. After satisfying everybody's fuel requirements, the KC-135's own fuel supply was so low that it had to land at an alternate base.

The Mackay Trophy for 1967, symbolic of the most meritorious flight of the year, was awarded to Major John H. Casteel and his three-man crew for this life-saving mission. This marked the ninth time for SAC personnel to receive this award.

SR-71 and the Sonic Boom - In July, SAC began making supersonic SR-71 training flights across the United States, after having warned residents of the corridors over which these flights were scheduled to expect sonic booms. Because the SR-71 normally operated at about 80,000 feet altitude, its sonic boom at that level resembled distant thunder and the impact was far less than that generated by the lower-flying supersonic B-58. However, when the SR-71 descended to around 30,000 feet for a refueling rendezvous with the KC-135, its sonic boom became more pronounced, particularly during descent and climb back to higher altitude. It was for this reason that refueling patterns were established over sparsely populated areas.

Retirement of Last RB-47 - On 29 December, SAC's last B-47 type aircraft was flown to the storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. This was an RB-47H reconnaissance aircraft, Serial Number 53-4296, of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The last B-47 bomber had been retired on 11 February 1966.

B-52 Phaseout Program - In pursuance of Secretary of Defense McNamara's 1964 and 1965 decisions to eliminate a major part of the SAC bomber force by the end of FY 1971, three B-52 squadrons were inactivated in the first half of the year. However, the inactivation of these squadrons did not result in the immediate retirement of their "D" and "E" model aircraft. The "D" aircraft, which had been modified for conventional bombing, were used to bolster the resources of those SAC wings committed to the Southeast Asia conflict. Excess "E" model aircraft were designated nonoperational active (NOA) aircraft, that is, actively stored with operational units, maintained in a serviceable condition, and periodically flown. No additional crews or maintenance personnel were authorized for these aircraft. The only aircraft retired were a few "E" and "F" models that had reached the end of operational life by accumulating a specified number of flying hours under conditions of structural stress.

Maintaining a Deterrent Force - While the war in Southeast Asia was demanding more and more B-52 and KC-135 support, the primary mission of SAC remained one of deterring a nuclear attack upon the United States. In furtherance of this objective, SAC continued to maintain about 40 percent of the bomber force and nearly 100 percent of the ICBM force on alert. A small number of bombers continued to fly daily alert indoctrination missions.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Scheduled to be held in October, the competition was canceled in August by General Joseph J. Nazzaro, SAC Commander in Chief, because of "current operational commitments and overriding training requirements."

Neither the Fairchild Trophy nor the Saunders Trophy was awarded in 1967.

RAF Bombing Competition - From 13 through 15 March, SAC participated in the RAF Bombing Competition. Each numbered air force sent one B-52 and crew to compete in this event at RAF Station Marham. Participants represented the 449th Bomb Wing, Second Air Force; 19th Bomb Wing, Eighth Air Force; and 93d Bomb Wing, Fifteenth Air Force. The overall SAC showing in this competition was disappointing with not one trophy being brought home.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 38
Other Agencies – 75


Blanchard Trophy


General William H. Blanchard

First Missile Competition - With the ICBM force having become fairly stabilized, conditions were favorable to hold missile competitions similar to bombing competitions. Planning for the first missile competition began in mid-1966 and it was finally held from 3 through 7 April at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Participants included two combat crews and one target alignment team from each of the six Minuteman and three Titan wings. Crews were tested in missile procedure trainers, while the alignment crews were tested in the launch facilities. The 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Eighth Air Force's lone Minuteman unit, made a clean sweep of the competition by winning all the Minuteman class awards and the Blanchard Trophy, which was awarded to the best wing in the competition. Established especially for the missile competition, this trophy was named in honor of General William H. Blanchard, who died on 31 May 1966 while serving as USAF Vice Chief of Staff. The recipient retained custody of the trophy until the next competition. The 381st Strategic Missile Wing, the Eighth Air Force's only Titan unit, won the Best Titan Wing award.

Airborne Launch Control System Tested - The Airborne Launch Control System (ALCS) was developed to provide SAC with the means of launching land-based Minuteman missiles from an airborne command post aircraft. On 17 April, the system was successfully tested when a Minuteman II was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, after having received the necessary launch signal from a KC-135 aircraft. The ALCS attained Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on 31 May.


Minuteman crew in Launch Control Facility

Minuteman II and Force Modernization - On 21 April, the 564th Strategic Missile Squadron, SAC's 20th Minuteman squadron, became operational at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. It was equipped with Minuteman II or "F" series missiles, while its three sister squadrons, all assigned to the 341st Wing, were equipped with Minuteman I, "A" and "B" series, missiles. In December, the 341st entered the Force Modernization program in order to convert its three older squadrons from Minuteman I to Minuteman II.

Minuteman Emergency Rocket Communications System Replaced Blue Scout Junior - On 10 October 1967 the first Emergency Rocket Communications System (ERCS) installed on a Minuteman II ICBM was operational at Whiteraan Air Force Base, Missouri. On 1 December 1967, the Blue Scout Junior ERCS sites in Nebraska were inactivated.

In the meantime, the Force Modernization Program had been completed at Whiteraan Air Force Base, Missouri, where the 351st Strategic Missile Wing had become fully modernized and operational with Minuteman IIs on 3 October.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 67, as of 30 June 1967)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $397,952,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $16,942,453,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,556,355,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.



U-Tapao after arrival of B-52s; new barracks below

1968

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
168,500 (24,323 officers, 124,221 airmen, 19,956 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,307 (579 B-52, 76 B/TB-58, 652 EC/KC-135).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
59 Titan II, 967 Minuteman, 312 Hound Dog, and 445 Quail.

Missiles Units

Active Bases
28 CONUS; three overseas (Labrador, Puerto Rico, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP


General Bruce K. Holloway

General Holloway Assumed Command

General Joseph J. Nazzaro, Commander in Chief; reassigned 29 July.

General Bruce K. Holloway, Commander in Chief, effective 29 July.

Lieutenant General Keith K. Compton, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General James B. Knapp, Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

FB-111 Group Organized - Effective 2 July, the 340th Bombardment Group, Medium, was organized at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. Assigned to the 19th Air Division of Second Air Force, the 340th was scheduled to be the first SAC unit to receive FB-111 aircraft. The 340th's primary mission was to train combat crews in the operation of the new bomber. Upon completion of their training, the crews would be assigned to an operational FB-111 wing.

OPERATIONS


B-52 crew observes Arc Light (B-52) strike on Fire Base Six

SAC in Southeast Asia - In 1968, SAC B-52s were called upon to provide more bombing missions in support of the U.S forces in the Vietnam conflict. An increase was already being carried out in the early part of the year when the enemy launched the Tet offensive and laid siege to the U.S. Marine base at Khe Sanh. Almost simultaneously, along with the overall buildup of U.S. forces in the area as a result of the seizure of the USS Pueblo, additional SAC bombers were sent to the Western Pacific.

The defense of Khe Sanh developed into the largest and most significant air campaign to date. Round-the-clock strikes were made against enemy forces besieging the base, with SAC bombers accounting for approximately 60,000 tons of bombs being dropped. With fighter-bomber support being limited by the monsoon season, which was at its height on 21 January when the base was surrounded, the B-52 was particularly valuable. In conducting this bombing, the B-52 crews relied upon ground-based radar to direct them to their targets, where they destroyed tons of North Vietnamese supplies that had been concentrated in the area. These air attacks helped break the siege on Khe Sanh and force the North Vietnamese to withdraw.

Although the siege of Khe Sanh ended in early April, the B-52 bombing operations continued at a high level throughout the year, with a variety of targets being hit in South Vietnam. Special attention was directed toward enemy areas in the Ashau Valley, the Kontum-Dak To tri-border area, and especially the NVA/VC assault corridor running southeast from War Zone C and the Cambodian border to Saigon.

The following B-52D wings provided cadre forces in the Western Pacific during the year: 99th, 509th, 28th, 92d, 454th, and 70th.

Establishment of RTU at Castle - On 15 April, a Replacement Training Unit (RTU) was established within the 93d Bomb Wing's 4017th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Castle Air Force Base, California. The RTU's primary mission was to cross-train crews from B-52F through B-52H model wings in the operation of B-52D aircraft. Upon completing the two-week school, the crews were used to augment the cadre units in Southeast Asia, thereby more equitably spreading out the combat duties among the entire B-52 force and providing the resources needed to meet the increased bombing effort. SAC's KC-135s, operating under the single manager tanker concept that had been in effect since 1961, continued to support a variety of operations in Southeast Asia in addition to those directly associated with aircraft engaged in combat. They made possible the rapid deployment of tactical fighters and interceptors to Korea following the seizure of the USS Pueblo. In rotating to and from Western Pacific bases under the operational nickname of Young Tiger, the KC-135s also furnished priority airlift of support personnel and augmentation crews.

B-52 Crash at Thule - On 22 January, a B-52G with four nuclear weapons aboard crashed and burned on the ice of North Star Bay while attempting an emergency landing at nearby Thule Air Base, Greenland. In cooperation with the Government of Denmark, the U.S. Air Force conducted an extensive cleanup operation to remove all possible traces of radioactive material. This gigantic operation was completed on 13 September.

B-52 Phaseout Program - Although six B-52 squadrons (accounting for an authorization of 90 bombers) were inactivated during the year, there was only a slight decrease in the number of B-52s assigned to SAC. The Department of Defense and Headquarters USAF continued to allow SAC to retain the serviceable "E" and "F" model aircraft from these inactivated units and to assign them to active units. Only those B-52s that had exceeded their service life criteria were retired.

Dispersal Program - The dispersal program, which had been effectively used by B-47s in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, was revived and expanded in early 1968 to include B-52s and KC-135s. The objective of this program was to provide a means of dispersing the aircraft force over a large number of bases, both military installations and civilian airfields, during periods of increased tension or international crisis. By providing additional bases to which the aircraft could be dispersed, the enemy's targeting problem was compounded, and more bombers could become airborne within a given time period.

BOMBING COMPETITION

None scheduled.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 24
Other Agencies – 54

Throughout 1968, the Force Modernization Program continued within the 341st Strategic Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. The 12th Strategic Missile Squadron was fully equipped with five flights of Minuteman IIs on 22 April. By the end of the year, the 10th Strategic Missile Squadron had almost completed the conversion, while the 490th Strategic Missile Squadron was still equipped with Minuteman I "A" and "B" series missiles.

MISSILE COMPETITION

None Scheduled.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 68, as of 30 June 1968)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $365,730,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $16,436,434,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,548,967,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.

1969

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
164,328 (23,167 officers, 122,828 airmen, 18,333 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,196 (505 B-52, 41 B/TB-58, 647 EC/KC-135, 3 FB-111A).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
60 Titan II, 1,005 Minuteman, 349 Hound Dog, and 430 Quail.

Missile Units

Active Bases
25 CONUS; three overseas (Labrador, Puerto Rico, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Bruce K. Holloway, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Keith K. Corapton, Vice Commander in Chief; retired 1 August.

Lieutenant General Glen W. Martin, Vice Commander in Chief, effective 1 August.

Major General James B. Knapp, Chief of Staff; reassigned 22 January.

Brigadier General Timothy J. Dacey, Jr., Chief of Staff, effective 22 January. Promoted to major general effective 1 August.

ORGANIZATION

No significant changes.

OPERATIONS

Southeast Asia Operations - SAC B-52 conventional bombing operations in Southeast Asia continued at a steady pace during the year. In early January, U-Tapao Airfield in Thailand was converted from a forward operating base to a main operating base for B-52s on duty in Southeast Asia.

Greater emphasis was placed on harassment and disruption of enemy operations than in previous years. Potential and actual enemy forces were hampered in South Vietnam, particularly in the III Corps Area around Saigon. The NVA/VC assault corridor running southeast from War Zone C and the Cambodian border to Saigon was struck repeatedly throughout the year and received more B-52 strikes than any other area. SAC bombers also continued to hit enemy supply dumps, base areas, troop concentrations and the infiltration network that supplied the enemy forces in the south.

SAC KC-135 tanker operations also continued at a steady pace in Southeast Asia, with the total air refueling sorties flown being only slightly less than those of the previous year. SAC support of tactical fighters continued to account for the largest number of tanker missions.


Satellite base facility

Satellite Basing - On 20 February, SAC began testing a new satellite basing program at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, a Tactical Air Command installation. In this test B-52s and KC-135s of the 72d Bomb Wing, Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico, were relocated to Homestead and placed on ground alert. The test was successfully completed on 20 May; and on 1 July several additional bases were brought into the satellite program. The program was designed to help counter an increasing sea launched ballistic missile threat. By placing small cells of bombers and tankers on satellite bases, SAC was able to increase simultaneously the number of targets a potential enemy must reckon with and at the same time reduce the time required to get the entire alert force off the ground. Satellite basing was, in effect, a continuation of the dispersal program of the late fifties and early sixties, wherein large B-52 wings of 45 aircraft each were divided up into small wings of 15 aircraft each and relocated to other bases. Other than the difference in the size of the force, the primary distinction between the two programs was that in the latter one the entire force was maintained on continuous ground alert. A small detachment of maintenance and support personnel was also relocated from the main operating base to the satellite base. Crews rotated to and from the site.


FB-111A

The FB-111 Program - Program Reduced by Secretary Laird - On 19 March, Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird, in presenting revised FY 69 and FY 70 military budgets to Congress, announced that the FB-111 program would be reduced to four operational squadrons of about 60 aircraft plus some replacement aircraft. Secretary Laird further declared that the FB-111 did not meet requirements for a true intercontinental bomber but that purchase of four squadrons was necessary to "salvage what we can of work in progress."

First FB-111A Delivered - On 8 October, in a formal ceremony at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, General Holloway accepted the first operational FB-111A, Serial Number 67-7193, from Major General Lee V. Gossick, Commander of the Air Force Systems Command's Aeronautical Systems Division. The aircraft was actually assigned to the 340th Bomb Group on 25 September. This FB-111A represented the first new type bomber the command had received since 1 August 1960, when General Thomas S. Power accepted the first B-58 in similar ceremonies at Carswell. Only two more FB-111As were delivered to the 340th before 24 December, at which time all F/FB-111 type aircraft were grounded following the 22 December crash of a F—111 fighter at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft (AMSA) Program Accelerated by Secretary Laird -On 19 March, at the same time the FB-111 program was reduced, Secretary Laird announced that additional funds were being added to the military budget in order to develop an entirely new long range manned bomber - the AMSA, Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft. He explained that these funds were not for purchasing the AMSA but rather for speeding up preliminary designs.

On 3 November, the Air Force requested proposals be submitted for full-scale engineering development of the AMSA or the B-1 as it had come to be called. The North American Rockwell Corporation, General Dynamics, and the Boeing Airplane Company were the three contractors interested in submitting proposals for the airframe. General Electric and the Pratt and Whitney Division of United Aircraft submitted proposals for the engines.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Sixteenth Competition - Having been shelved for operational commitments since 1966, the bombing competition was renewed in 1969 and held from 5 through 15 October at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Participants included one aircraft and crew from 22 B-52 wings and two B-58 wings. Three Royal Air Force crews flying Vulcan bombers also competed. The B-52D wings, those units being used for conventional bombing in Southeast Asia, were allowed to participate at the discretion of the numbered air force commanders. Eighth Air Force's 70th, 306th, and 509th Bomb Wings and Second Air Force's 7th Bomb Wing did not enter the competition.

As in previous competitions, the scoring was handled by the 1st Combat Evaluation Group through its fixed and mobile radar bomb scoring facilities. Second Air Force's 319th Bomb Wing, a B-52H unit, won the combined bombing and navigation award - the Fairchild Trophy.

Disposition of Saunders Trophy - Among the numerous awards presented during the closing ceremony was the Saunders Trophy. General Holloway presented it to Eighth Air Force's 919th Air Refueling Squadron, the unit which Headquarters SAC had previously judged to be the top air refueling squadron in SAC.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 34
Other Agencies – 61


Minuteman facility

Phaseout of Minuteman "A" Completed - As part of the Force Modernization Program, the last Minuteman I series "A" missiles were removed from their launch facilities at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, on 12 February. Immediately thereafter, contractors began refurbishing the facilities in order to outfit them with Minuteman II or "F" missiles. On 27 May, the Force Modernization Program was completed at Malmstrom, when Flight K was returned to the 341st Strategic Missile Wing.

Upon completion of the Force Modernization Program at Malmstrom, the SAC Minuteman force was composed of three wings or ten squadrons of Minuteman I "B" series missiles, and three wings or ten squadrons of Minuteman II or "F" series missiles. Of the ten Minuteman II squadrons, six (three at Whiteman and three at Malmstrom) were of the modernized variety, that is, their launch facilities, launch control facilities, and related ground support equipment had been originally designed to support Minuteman I missiles. These facilities were modified to support Minuteman II missiles.

MISSILE COMPETITION


Missile Competition scoreboard and trophies

Second Competition - SAC's second missile competition was held from 17 through 24 May at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Competitors included six Minute-man wings and three Titan II wings. Each wing was represented by two combat crews and one maintenance team. Each crew participated in three exercises which were conducted In a missile procedures trainer. The 4315th Combat Crew Training Squadron supplied the trainer facilities and the exercises were conceived and conducted by the 3901st Strategic Missile Evaluation Squadron. Maintenance teams participated in four exercises. They used the facilities of the 394th and 395th Strategic Missile Squadrons and the 51st Munitions Maintenance Squadron, all of which were located at Vandenberg.

Second Air Force's 321st Strategic Missile Wing, a Minuteman II unit, had the highest score in the combined areas of operations and maintenance and was awarded the Blanchard Trophy. The 321st also won the Best Minuteman Wing Award, while Fifteenth Air Force's 390th Strategic Missile Wing won the Best Titan Wing Award.

Inactivation of 395th Strategic Missile Squadron (Titan) - Effective 31 December, the 395th Strategic Missile Squadron was inactivated. This inactivation was part of the Headquarters USAF directed manpower reduction program, Project 703• Since 1 February 1959, the 395th had been responsible for the maintenance and support of Titan facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The 394th Strategic Missile Squadron, which had similar responsibilities for Minuteman missiles, absorbed some of the 395th's personnel and assumed responsibility for supporting Titan II activities at Vandenberg.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 69, as of 30 June 1969)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $425,311,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $16,088,687,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,878,666,000, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


Maintaining the guns at U-Tapao

1970

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
154,367 (23,244 officers, 112,401 airmen, 18,722 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,159 (459 B-52, 42 FB-111, 658 EC/KC-135).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
982 Minuteman, 57 Titan II, 345 Hound Dog, and 430 Quail.

Missile Units

Active Bases
26 CONUS; three overseas (Labrador, Puerto Rico, and Guam).

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Bruce K. Holloway, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Glen W. Martin, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Timothy J. Dacey, Jr., Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

As part of a Headquarters USAF-directed manpower reduction program (Project 703), which was announced in August 1969, SAC reduced its numbered air forces in the CONUS from three to two and effected a major realignment of combat forces.

Closure of Headquarters Eighth Air Force at Westover - Headquarters Eighth Air Force ceased operations at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, at 1900 hours, local time, on 31 March. At that time, all Eighth Air Force Bases and units were transferred to SAC's two other numbered air forces - the Second and Fifteenth.

With this closure of Headquarters Eighth Air Force, SAC was left only two numbered air forces in the CONUS for the first time since late 1949 when the Second Air Force was assigned.

Numbered Air Force Realignment - Under the realignment, the Second Air Force became an all manned aircraft command, consisting of B-52, FB-111, and KC-135 units; while the Fifteenth Air Force became responsible for all combat ICBM units, the entire strategic reconnaissance force, and a few B-52 and KC-135 units.

Movement of Headquarters Eighth Air Force - Because of its illustrious history, primarily its World War II record in Europe, the Eighth Air Force was not inactivated as originally announced. It was preserved by transferring the numerical designation to Guam. Specifically, the following actions were taken to effect this change: Effective 1 April, Headquarters Eighth Air Force moved without personnel and equipment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Concurrently, Headquarters 3d Air Division, which had been at Andersen since 1954, was inactivated and its personnel and functions were absorbed by Headquarters Eighth Air Force.

PACCS Reorganized - On 1 April, SAC reorganized its Post Attack Command Control System (PACCS) and moved some of its EC-135s out of Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and March Air Force Base, California. In this reorganization, all EC-135s were assigned to the 2d, 3d, and 4th Airborne Command and Control Squadrons, which were activated at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana, and Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. The basic function of PACCS remained unchanged. Airborne command post aircraft (Looking Glass) continued to remain airborne at all times in the vicinity of Offutt. Auxiliary airborne command post and relay aircraft remained on round-the-clock ground alert.

OPERATIONS


"Big Belly" clip-in being loaded into B-52D in SEA

Southeast Asia Operations - Arc Light B-52 bombing operations in Southeast Asia declined during the year. Emphasis continued to be placed on harassment and disruption of enemy operations. SAC bombers continued to hit enemy supply dumps, base areas, and troop concentrations, as well as infiltration networks supplying the enemy forces.

From November 1969 through April 1970, B-52s flew interdiction missions against targets in Laos in support of Commando Hunt III.

In April and May, B-52 Arc Light missions were flown in support of ground operations in Cambodia.

SAC KC-135 tanker operations in Southeast Asia also continued at a steady pace, although the totals were under those of the previous years. SAC support of tactical aircraft continued to account for the largest part of this activity.

Retirement of Last B-58s - On 16 January, the B-58 retirement program was completed with the flight of the last four "Hustlers" to the storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, from the 43d Bomb Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas (Serial Numbers 55-668 and 58-1007) and the 305th Bomb Wing, Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana (Serial Numbers 55-662 and 61-2078). At Davis-Monthan, these aircraft joined 82 other "Hustlers," including eight TB-58s, which had been retired since 3 November 1969. The two aircraft that had been responsible for record-breaking flights in 1962 and 1963 escaped retirement to Davis-Monthan and were placed in museums: 59-2458, the aircraft flown in the 1962 round trip flight from Los Angeles to New York to Los Angeles, went to the Air Force Museum, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; while 61-2059, the one flown in the 1963 flight from Tokyo to London, went to the SAC Aerospace Museum, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

Retention of Units with Illustrious Histories - Since both B-58 wings had illustrious histories extending back through World War II, they were retained in the Strategic Air Command. The 305th Bombardment Wing became the 305th Air Refueling Wing and remained at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana.

Effective 1 April, the 43d Bombardment Wing was redesignated the 43d Strategic Wing and replaced the 3960th Strategic Wing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. At the same time, two other illustrious units that had been inactive since 1965 were activated as strategic wings in the western Pacific. The 307th Strategic Wing replaced the 4258th Strategic Wing at U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand, and the 376th Strategic Wing replaced the 4252d Strategic Wing at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.

B-1 Development Contract Awarded - On 5 June, Secretary of the Air Force Robert C. Seamans, Jr., announced the two winners in the competition to receive the B-1 development contracts - North American Rockwell for the airframe and General Electric for the engines.

At that time, the B-1 was scheduled to be ready for flight testing in mid-1974, with production go-ahead, if authorized, to take place some time thereafter. The North American Rockwell contract called for the production of seven prototype airframes, five for flight tests, one for static tests, and one for fatigue tests. Subsequently (in February 1971), the number of aircraft scheduled to be built for flight tests was reduced to three in conjunction with a new concept to test more intensely and on an individual basis the airframe and engine before testing the completely developed aircraft.

P. T. Cullen Award Revived - In 1970, Headquarters SAC revived the Brigadier General Paul T. Cullen Memorial Reconnaissance Trophy, which had been inactive since 1957 when it was given to the 26th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing for winning the SAC Reconnaissance Competition. It was revived as an annual rotating award to be presented to the reconnaissance unit that contributed most to the photographic and signal intelligence efforts of SAC. An ad hoc committee convened by the Headquarters SAC Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations selected the 82d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron as the 1970 winner.


Omaha Trophy

First Omaha Trophy Winner — The Omaha Trophy was first awarded to the 93d Bomb Wing for its overall outstanding record in 1970. As with many awards listed in this book, actual presentation was not made until sometime in the subsequent year. This award was both established and first presented in 1971 (see Omaha Trophy Established under 1971).

Benjamin D, Poulois Memorial Trophy (Daedalian Trophy) - The 1970 Benjamin D. Foulois Trophy was awarded to SAC as the major air command with the most effective aircraft accident prevention program. After the death of Major General Benjamin D. Foulois in April 1967) the Order of the Daedalians renamed its annual rotating trophy to commemorate the many contributions that General Foulois had made to aviation and flight safety.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Seventeenth Competition - First FB-111 Participation - The 1970 Bombing Competition, which was held from 15 through 20 November, was unique in several aspects. For the first time since I960, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, was not used as the staging base. Instead, McCoy Air Force Ba3e, Florida, served as the host for all bombers. The tanker units staged out of their home bases. The second unique feature was that FB-111s participated for the first time. Thirdly, tanker squadrons were included for the first time since 1961.

Competitors included one aircraft and crew from 23 B-52 wings and 28 KC-135 squadrons, two FB-111s and crews of the 340th Bomb Group, and three RAF crews with their Vulcan bombers. Nonparticipating SAC units included 12 KC-135 squadrons that were involved in Southeast Asia support or other assignments; the 96th Strategic Aerospace Wing, which was serving as a B-52 cadre unit in Southeast Asia; and the 509th Bomb Wing, which was in the process of equipping with FB-111s.

The Fairchild Trophy, which for many years had been awarded solely on the basis of bombing, was awarded to the B-52 wing and its assigned KC-135 air refueling squadron that had the highest combined points in the areas of bombing and navigation. It went to the 93d Bomb Wing, a B-52F unit of the Second Air Force.

The Saunders Trophy, previously given for air refueling and navigation, was given to the tanker crew with the most points for the navigation mission. Second Air Force's 11th Air Refueling Squadron was the recipient.

The Bombing Trophy, given for the best bomber crew in the area of bombing only, was awarded to one of the FB-111 crews of the 340th Bomb Group, also a Second Air Force unit.

The Navigation Trophy, denoting the best bomber or tanker crew in navigation, was won by the 5th Bomb Wing, a B-52H unit of the Fifteenth Air Force.


Mathis Trophy

Mathis Trophy Awarded for First Time - The 5th Bomb Wing also won the Mathis Trophy, awarded to the bomber crew with the best score in the combined areas of bombing and navigation. Established by Headquarters SAC and given for the first time in the 1970 competition, this new trophy was named for First Lieutenant Jack W. Mathis, a World War II B-17 bombardier, who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his bravery over Vegesack, Germany, on 18 March 1943. At the time of this action, Lieutenant Mathis was serving with the 303d Bomb Group of Eighth Air Force.

RAF Bombing Competition - In May 1970, four B-52 aircraft and crews from the 2d, 310th, 320th, and 379th Bomb Wings participated in the Royal Air Force Strike Command Bombing and Navigation Competition. These wings were selected to represent SAC on the basis of their standings in the 1969 SAC Bombing Competition. They were the two top B-52H and the two top B-52G wings in this meet.

Flying out of RAF Station Marham, a SAC team composed of crews and aircraft from the 319th, 320th, and 379th Bomb Wings won the Blue Steel Trophy, an inter-air force award for the best combined score in bombing and navigation.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 44
Other Agencies – 41

Force Modernization - On 12 January the Minuteman Force Modernization Program was continued at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, when Flight H of the 741 st Strategic Missile Squadron (91st Strategic Missile Wing) was turned over to the contractor to be modified.

In this phase of Force Modernization, Minuteman I "B" series missiles were replaced with Minuteman III "G" series missiles. As in the earlier conversion programs, the launch facilities, ground support systems, and the launch control facilities required modification in order to accommodate the Minuteman III.

Minuteman III employed an improved third stage booster, carried more penetration aids to counter antiballistic missile defense systems, and could carry the Mark 12 Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) with three nuclear warheads.

First Minuteman III Accepted by SAC - On 19 June, SAC accepted the first flight of 10 Minuteman III missiles at Minot. These missiles were assigned to the 741st Strategic Missile Squadron.

On 30 December, the 741st Strategic Missile Squadron was fully equipped with 50 Minuteman IIIs. In the meantime, the second squadron of the 91st Strategic Missile Wing had entered the Force Modernization Program.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Third Competition - The Third Missile Combat Competition was held from 28 April to 5 May at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Three Titan II and six Minuteman wings competed, with each wing being represented by two missile combat crews and one maintenance team. Each combat crew participated in three individual exercises in a missile procedures trainer, and each maintenance team participated in four exercises.

The 44th Strategic Missile Wing, a Minuteman unit from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, had the highest combined score in operations and maintenance and was awarded the Blanchard Trophy as well as the award for the Best Minuteman Wing. The 390th Strategic Missile Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, won the award for the Best Titan Wing.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 70, as of 30 June 1970)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $401,594,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $14,124,148,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,676,454,000, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.

1971

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
161,075 (23,043 officers, 118,300 airmen, 19,732 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,126 (412 B-52, 66 FB-111, 648 EC/KC-135).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
990 Minuteman, 58 Titan II, 3^0 Hound Dog, and 430 Quail.

Missile Units

Active Bases
28 CONUS; two overseas, including bases in Guam and Labrador.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Bruce K. Holloway, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Glen W. Martin, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Timothy J. Dacey, Jr., Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

No significant changes

OPERATIONS


Munitions maintenance in SEA

Southeast Asia Operations - On 18 June, SAC B-52s began their seventh year of conventional bombing in the Southeast Asia conflict. Throughout the year, the B-52s were used both in close bombing support of forces engaged in combat and in destroying roads and supply lines leading southward from North Vietnam along the Demilitarized Zone and the Laotian border. SAC's KC-135 tanker crews continued to distinguish themselves by providing in-flight refueling for all types of tactical fighters engaged in the conflict. The KC-135s played an important airlift role by carrying men and equipment to and from Southeast Asia.

Delivery of Last FB-111 - On 30 June, SAC received its last FB-111 (Serial Number 68-291), which was assigned to the 340th Bomb Group, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas.

By early September, the 340th had transferred its FB-111s to the two operational wings - the 509th at Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, and the 380th at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York. Upon transfer of these aircraft, the 340th's 4007th Combat Crew Training Squadron, which had been responsible for training FB-111 crews, ceased operations at Carswell and moved to Plattsburgh. Effective 31 December, the 340th Bomb Group was inactivated.

B-52 Phaseout Continued - In 1971, SAC retired all "C" and several "F" model B-52s to the storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. SAC's last B-52C, Serial Number 53-402, which had been assigned to the 22d Bomb Wing, March Air Force Base, California, was retired on 29 September. The 93d Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California, continued to operate B-52Fs.

Disposition of Last C-47 - On 7 July, SAC's last C-47 was transferred to the USS Alabama Monument Commission. This aircraft, a VC-47D (Serial Number 44-76326), had been assigned to the 97th Bomb Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas. Since its organization on 21 March 1946, SAC had continuously used C-47s, or "Gooney Birds" as they were affectionately called, for support and administrative purposes.

SR-71 Record Flight and the Tenth Mackay Trophy - On 26 April, an SR-71 aircraft of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, made a record-breaking 15,000-mile nonstop flight in ten and one-half hours, attaining speeds at times in excess of Mach 3 and at altitudes of over 80,000 feet. The flight, which began and ended at Beale, was made possible by several in-flight refuelings by KC-135s. For this outstanding flight, the two-man crew of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas B. Estes, aircraft commander, and Major Dewain C. Vick, reconnaissance systems officer, was named recipient of the Mackay Trophy and the Harmon International Trophy for 1971.

P. T. Cullen Award - The P. T. Cullen Award, given annually to the unit that contributed most to the SAC photographic and signal reconnaissance mission, was awarded to the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for 1971.

Omaha Trophy Established - In March 1971, on the occasion of SAC's 25th anniversary, some citizens of Omaha, Nebraska, acting through the SAC Consultation Committee, donated the Omaha Trophy to the Strategic Air Command. It was to be presented annually to the outstanding wing in SAC. The trophy was first presented to the 93d Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California, on 20 July 1971 for its outstanding record in 1970 (see First Omaha Trophy Winner under 1970).

Omaha Trophy for 1971 - Awarded to the 379th Bomb Wing, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan.

Eighteenth Competition - The 1971 Bombing Competition was held from 12 through 17 December at McCoy Air Force Base, Florida. SAC participants included one aircraft and crew from each of 54 units: 22 B-52, 30 KC-135, and two FB-111. Three RAF crews and their Vulcan aircraft also participated. All major awards went to Second Air Force units. These awards and their recipients were as follows:

Fairchild Trophy, for the bomb wing and collocated tanker squadron with the best combined score in bombing and navigation, awarded to the 449th Bomb Wing, a B—52H unit.

Mathis Trophy, awarded to the best bomber crew in the combined areas of bombing and navigation, 17th Bomb Wing, a B-52H unit.

Saunders Trophy, awarded to the best tanker crew, 11th Air Refueling Squadron.

Bombing Trophy, awarded to the best bomber crew in the area of bombing, 17th Bomb Wing.

Navigation Trophy, awarded to the best bomber or tanker crew in navigation, 93d Bomb Wing, a B-52F unit.


Blue Steel Trophy won by SAC's 410th Bomb Wing in 1971.

RAF Bombing Competition — From 17 to 24 April, SAC again participated in the Royal Air Force Strike Command's Bombing and Navigation Competition. SAC participants included one aircraft and crew from four B-52 units (2d, 320th, 379th, and 410th Bomb Wings), one KC—135 unit (11th Air Refueling Squadron), and one RC-135 unit (55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing). The 340th Bomb Group and the 509th Bomb Wing each sent one FB-111 and crew to participate in a demonstration capacity. The 410th Bomb Wing, a B-52H unit, won the Blue Steel Trophy, an inter-air force award that was given this year to the crew with the best combined score in bombing and navigation.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 43
Other Agencies – 41

Force Modernization - SAC's Minuteman Force Modernization Program continued throughout 1971. On 13 December, SAC accepted the last flight (Flight 0 of the 742d Strategic Missile Squadron) of Minuteman III "G" series missiles at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. With acceptance of this flight, the 91st Strategic Missile Wing became the first wing to be equipped with the new MIRV-carrying missile.

The 321st Strategic Missile Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, became the second wing to enter the Minuteman III Force Modernization Program. Its first Minuteman III "G" series missile was postured on 24 December. In another phase of Force Modernization, Minuteman II "F" series missiles were replacing Minuteman I "B" series missiles in the 44th Strategic Missile Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.

First Minuteman III Operational Launch - On 24 March, a missile crew of the 91st Strategic Missile Wing conducted the first operational test of Minuteman III by successfully launching a missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Fourth Competition - The 1971 Missile Combat Competition was held from 20 to 28 April at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Competitors included two combat crews and one maintenance team from each of the nine strategic missile wings. The 351st Strategic Missile Wing, a Minuteman unit from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, had the highest combined score in operations and maintenance and was awarded the Blanchard Trophy as well as the Best Minuteman Wing Award. The 308th Strategic Missile Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, was named Best Titan Wing.


Minuteman III launch at Vandenberg AFB

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 71, as of 30 June 1971)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $441,698,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $15,181,610,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,717,122,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


B-52s in Southeast Asia


Drogue configured KC-135

1972

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
162,701 (24,040 officers, 119,777 airmen, 18,884 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,105 (402 B-52, 60 FB-111, 643 EC/KC-135).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
955 Minuteman, 57 Titan II, 338 Hound Dog, 417 Quail, and 227 SRAM.

Missile Units

Active Bases
30 CONUS; two overseas, including bases in Guam and Labrador.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP


Gen John C. Meyer
(Large JPG)

General Meyer Assumed Command

General Bruce K. Holloway, Commander in Chief, retired 1 May.

General John C. Meyer, Commander in Chief, effective 1 May.

Lieutenant General Glen W. Martin, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Timothy J. Dacey, Jr., Chief of Staff, retired 1 June.

Major General Warren D. Johnson, Chief of Staff, effective 1 June.

ORGANIZATION

In order to control effectively the additional B-52 and KC-135 aircraft and crews deployed to counteract the North Vietnamese offensive of early 1972, SAC created several new Eighth Air Force units. Completed on 1 July 1972, this organizational expansion included activating provisional units (air divisions, air refueling squadrons, bomb squadrons, and consolidated maintenance wings) at seven Western Pacific and Southeast Asia bases.

OPERATIONS

Southeast Asia Operations - By early April, the North Vietnamese had launched a strong three-pronged attack against the South Vietnamese, striking specifically at Quang Tri, Kontum, and An Loc. As the offensive intensified, SAC sent additional B-52s and KC-135s to several Western Pacific and Southeast Asia bases. Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, which had not supported the B-52 bombing mission since late 1970, rejoined U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand, as a B-52 launch base. U-Tapao and Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, continued to support KC-135s engaged in refueling B-52s and tactical aircraft. By mid-year, as the demand for tactical aircraft support grew, tankers were also operating out of Clark Air Base, Philippines, and the three Thailand bases of Don Muang, Korat, and Takhli. Although successful in the early months, the North Vietnamese offensive was soon repelled as B-52s bombed incessantly enemy troop positions and supply concentrations in all three areas of the attack.

Linebacker II - The 11-Day War - In mid-December, after the North Vietnamese had terminated peace negotiations in Paris, President Nixon ordered the bombing of military targets in the Hanoi and Haiphong areas of North Vietnam in an effort to bring the North Vietnamese back to the peace table. Nicknamed Linebacker II and covering an 11-day period from 18 through 29 December - there was a 24-hour pause in the bombing on Christmas - the B-52s flew over 700 sorties against 24 target complexes, including railyards, shipyards, communications facilities, power plants, railway bridges, MiG aircraft bases, air defense radars, and missile sites. Altogether, U.S. bombers, including tactical and Navy aircraft as well as B-52s, dropped 20,370 tons of bombs in this 11-day attack, with the B-52s accounting for over 15,000 tons.

In this attack on Haiphong and Hanoi, the B-52s encountered what has been described as one of the most heavily defended areas of the world, characterized by heavy concentrations of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), MiG fighter aircraft, and antiaircraft emplacements. The antiaircraft and MiG fighters did not pose a formidable threat to the penetrating B-52s, but the SAMs did. In this 11-day war, over 1,000 of these missiles were fired at the B-52s. Fifteen B-52s were shot down by SAMs. Of the 92 crew members aboard these bombers, 26 were recovered by rescue teams, 33 bailed out over North Vietnam and were captured, 29 were listed as missing, and four perished in a bomber that crash landed. By 28 December, the North Vietnamese air defenses had been practically neutralized, and on the last two days of Linebacker II, the B-52s were able to fly over Hanoi and Haiphong without suffering any damage. On 30 December, North Vietnam announced that it was ready to resume peace negotiations. The B-52s had achieved their objective.


B-52s at Andersen AFB - December 1972


Kinh No Rail Spur


Hanoi Fab Plant


Kinh No RR Yard

While the bombing against North Vietnam was carried out by B-52s and tactical and Navy aircraft, the campaign would surely have been less effective, more costly, and appreciably prolonged without KC-135 tankers. From 18 through 29 December, the SAC tankers flew more than 1,300 sorties and provided in-flight refueling for B-52s as well as tactical fighters such as F-4s, A-7s, and F-105s.


Adm Moorer, CJCS, accepts 1972 Collier Trophy for 7 AF, 8 AF and TF 77 in Linebacker II

The Collier Trophy - The Collier Trophy, presented annually by the National Aeronautic Association for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, was awarded jointly to the Eighth Air Force, the Pacific Air Force's Seventh Air Force, and the Navy's Task Force 77 for their combined efforts in the 11-day air campaign against North Vietnam.


SRAM on B-52 pylon at Loring AFB, Maine

Delivery of First SRAM - On 4 March, the first operational Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM) was delivered to a SAC unit - the 42d Bomb Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine.

Officially designated the AGM-69A, the SRAM measured 14 feet in length and 18 inches in diameter and weighed approximately 2,230 pounds. Powered by a solid-propellant rocket motor and armed with a nuclear warhead, it could be launched from a bomber prior to reaching the target and thereby increase the bomber's ability to attack heavily defended targets. Each B-52G and H model aircraft could carry up to 20 of these missiles on wing pylons and on a rotary launcher in the bomb bay, while the FB-111 could carry as many as six missiles, two internally and four externally on wing pylons. All B-52 G and H units and two FB-111 wings were to be equipped with the new missile.

First Launch of SRAM by SAC Combat Crew - On 15 June, a B-52G crew of the 42d Bomb Wing successfully launched the first operational SRAM over the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

P. T. Cullen Award - The 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, was selected as the unit that contributed most to the SAC photographic and signal intelligence mission in 1972. For this significant accomplishment, it received the P. T. Cullen Award.

Omaha Trophy - The 307th Strategic Wing, U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand, was selected as SAC's outstanding wing for 1972 and received the Omaha Trophy.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Due to the heavy B-52 support of bombing operations in Southeast Asia, General Meyer canceled the 1972 SAC Bombing and Navigation Competition.

RAF Bombing Competition - For the Royal Air Force Strike Command Bombing and Navigation Competition, conducted from 14 through 20 May, SAC entered four B-52 bombers and crews representing the 2d, 17th, 28th, and 449th Bomb Wings. The 28th Bomb Wing, a B-52G unit, won the Blue Steel Trophy, which was given to the crew with the highest score in bombing and navigation.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 21
Other Agencies – 44

Force Modernization - SAC's Minuteman Force Modernization Program, replacing older model missiles with new ones, continued at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, and Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, throughout 1972. At Grand Forks, the 321st Strategic Missile Wing was converting from Minuteman II "F" series missiles to Minuteman III "G" series missiles, while at Ellsworth, the 44th Strategic Missile Wing was replacing its Minuteman I "B" series missiles with Minuteman II "F" series missiles.

Command Data Buffer - In November, the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, entered the Force Modernization Program when it started removing its Minuteman I "B" series missiles and making the sites ready for the new MIRV-carrying Minuteman III "G" series missiles. As part of the 90th's conversion program, a new retargeting system was to be installed. Called Command Data Buffer, the new system would enable crews in launch control centers to retarget rapidly through electrical means the Minuteman III missiles. It would replace a time-consuming procedure that required maintenance personnel to insert physically a new target tape into each missile.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Fifth Competition - The Year of the Titan - SAC's Fifth Missile Competition was held at Vandenberg Air Force Base from 6 through 14 April. In order to broaden participation and further increase interest in the meet, each wing sent four crews instead of two as in previous years. For the first time since the competition began in 1967, a Titan unit, the 381st Strategic Missile Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, had the highest combined score in operations and maintenance and won the Blanchard Trophy. The 381st was also named the Best Titan Wing, while the 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, won the Best Minuteman Wing award.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 72, as of 30 June 1972)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $468,972,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $15,324,145,260, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $1,946,362,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.

1973

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
163,754 (23,686 officers, 121,060 airmen, 19,008 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,163 (422 B-52, 71 FB-111, 670 EC/KC-135), includes SAC aircraft undergoing maintenance and modification work at Air Force Logistics Command facilities. Heretofore, these aircraft were not considered as being assigned to SAC .

Aircraft Units

Missiles
970 Minuteman, 57 Titan II, 329 Hound Dog, 417 Quail, and 651 SRAM.

Missile Units

Active Bases
30 CONUS and one in Guam.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General John C. Meyer, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Glen W. Martin, Vice Commander in Chief; retired 1 October.

Lieutenant General James M. Keck, Vice Commander in Chief, effective 1 October.

Major General Warren D. Johnson, Chief of Staff, reassigned 23 April.

Major General George H. McKee, Chief of Staff, effective 24 April; reassigned 13 September.

Major General James R. Allen, Chief of Staff, effective 17 September.

ORGANIZATION

Numbered Air Force and Air Division Realignments - By 1 July, the Second and Fifteenth Air Forces had completed a major unit realignment program. This program entailed giving the air division diversified missions with a variety of weapon systems rather than allowing them to specialize in one weapon system. It also included placing some ICBM units - one Minuteman and two Titan wings -under the Second Air Force rather than having all missile units concentrated in the Fifteenth Air Force as had been the case since the numbered air force realignment of early 1970. The numbered air force realignment was effected in a series of reassignment actions extending from 15 February through 1 July.

Reorganization of Minuteman Security Police Functions - Effective 1 October, Headquarters SAC reorganized security police functions at the six Minuteman missile bases. The reorganization was designed to promote better management of the diversified law enforcement and security functions for both the base and the vast network of missile complexes. It involved activating a security police group and a missile security squadron at each installation. The security police groups were assigned to the strategic missile wings and attached to the combat support group for operational control and administrative and logistic support. The existing security police squadrons as well as the newly-activated missile security squadrons were assigned to the security police groups.

OPERATIONS

Southeast Asia Operations - Following the B-52 Linebacker II bombing of targets in North Vietnam during December 1972, North Vietnam resumed the stalled Paris peace negotiations on 8 January. While the talks continued, B-52s pounded logistics targets in North Vietnam south of the 20th Parallel. The B-52 bombing over North Vietnam ended on 15 January, and on 27 January, an agreement ending the war in Vietnam was signed in Paris. On that same day, B-52s flew their final mission of the war over targets in South Vietnam. Bombing of targets in Laos continued with a halt scheduled for 22 February as part of a peace agreement reached by the Laotian government. Because of enemy cease-fire violations, however, B-52s struck again on 23 February at the request of the Laotian government. Similar violations brought the bombers back briefly on 15, 16, and 17 April. Following the February halt to bombing Laos, the B-52s struck only targets in Cambodia. Rebel Cambodians and North Vietnamese/Viet Cong forces advancing on Phnom Penh were repeatedly bombed by B-52s. Logistics targets located throughout Cambodia were also hit heavily in an effort to stem the enemy's drive. The bombers also struck gun positions and troop emplacements along road and river supply routes to enable needed supplies to reach the defenders of Phnora Penh.


B-52D - Last bombing in Southeast Asia

The End of SAC Bombing in Southeast Asia — On 15 August, when all U.S. bombing of targets in Cambodia ceased, SAC B-52s terminated over eight years of conventional bombing operations in Southeast Asia.

Termination of Tanker Support - SAC tanker support of combat operations in Southeast Asia also ended in mid-August. In slightly more than nine years, SAC KC-135s flew 194,687 sorties, conducted 813,878 in-flight refuelings, and transferred 8,963,700,000 pounds (1.4 billion gallons) of fuel.

Benjamin D. Foulois Memorial Trophy (Daedalian Trophy) - The 1973 Benjamin D, Foulois Memorial Trophy, also known as the Daedalian Trophy, was awarded to SAC as the major air command with the most effective aircraft accident prevention program.

P. T. Cullen Award - The P. T. Cullen Award, presented annually to the strategic reconnaissance unit contributing most to the SAC photographic and signal intelligence effort, was won by the 6th Strategic Wing, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

Omaha Trophy - In recognition of being the outstanding wing in SAC for 1973, the 17th Bomb Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, received the Omaha Trophy.

BOMBING COMPETITION

In the spring of 1973, preliminary plans were made to renew the SAC Bombing and Navigation Competition. It was to be held at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. In early June, however, Major General George H. McKee, SAC Chief of Staff, announced that the competition would not be held. Once again, as in 1972, operational commitments in Southeast Asia had forced cancellation of the meet.

RAF Bombing Competition - In the 1973 Royal Air Force Strike Command Bombing and Navigation Competition, held from 29 April through 5 May, SAC's entries were from the 5th, 17th, 319th, and 410th Bomb Wing. In the competition for the Blue Steel Trophy, awarded to the top crew in the meet, the SAC wings placed second, seventh, eighth, and ninth. For SAC, it was the poorest showing since the 1967 meet.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 13
Other Agencies – 31


Minuteman Force Modernization Program at F, E, Warren AFB

Force Modernization Program - The Force Modernization Program continued throughout 1973 in the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. On 20 June, SAC accepted the first flight (Flight P of the 400th Strategic Missile Squadron) of Minuteman III missiles, and on 21 November, the entire squadron became operational when the last flight (Flight S) was accepted. In the meantime, the second squadron of the 90th Wing had entered the Force Modernization Program.

SCAD Canceled; ALCM Initiated - On 30 June 1973, Deputy Secretary of Defense William P. Clements, Jr., canceled the Subsonic Cruise Armed Decoy (SCAD), a potential replacement for the Quail, which had been in full-scale development since July 1970, and encouraged the Navy to produce a cruise missile. On 20 July, Dr. Malcolm R. Currie, the Director of Defense and Engineering, directed USAF to develop a long range Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) based on SCAD technology.

MISSILE COMPETITION

The 1973 SAC Missile Competition, the sixth one to be held, once again brought together the command's best missile talent to compete for major awards. Six Minuteman wings and three Titan wings each entered four combat crews and a composite maintenance team. The main competition took place during the period from 26 April to 4 May at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. However, since Vandenberg no longer had Minuteman I launch facilities in operation, a portion of the competition was held at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, from 9 through 13 April. This action was taken to accommodate the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, which was still operating Minuteman Is.

After a close race on the last day of the competition, the 90th Strategic Missile Wing swept into the lead and won the Blanchard Trophy, the award given to the best wing in the combined areas of operations and maintenance. The 90th also won the best Minuteman Wing award, while the 381st Strategic Missile Wing, the 1972 winner of the Blanchard Trophy, won the Best Titan Wing award.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 73, as of 30 June 1973)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $509,873,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $16,088,315,000, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $2,194,824,000, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, military family housing, troop subsistence, and procurement of equipment.


Missile Wing Commanders draw numbers from the Blanchard Trophy to determine the sequence of participation in the Missile Competition

1974

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
152,321 (22,873 officers, 109,778 airmen, 19,670 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,165 (422 B-52, 72 FB-111, 671 EC/KC-135).

Aircraft Units

Missiles
999 Minuteman, 57 Titan II, 327 Hound Dog, 415 Quail, and 1,149 SRAM.

Missile Units

Active Bases
28 CONUS and one in Guam.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP


Gen Russell E. Dougherty (Large JPG)

General Dougherty Assumed Command

General John C. Meyer, Commander in Chief; retired 1 August.

General Russell E. Dougherty, Commander in Chief, effective 1 August.

Lieutenant General James M. Keck, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General James R. Allen, Chief of Staff; reassigned 10 January.

Major General Martin G. Colladay, Chief of Staff, effective 17 February.

ORGANIZATION

No significant changes.

OPERATIONS

Maritime Collateral Missions Reemphasized - During the involvement of SAC's B-52 assets in Southeast Asia from 1965 through 1973) participation in maritime activities dwindled. In 1974 SAC resumed aerial mining and sea search activities. On 18 June a B-52D participated in the Navy's Atlantic Fleet Service Mine Test and on 9 October two B-52Hs flew a sea-search mission against a U.S. Navy flotilla off Puerto Rico.


SR-71 landing in England after record flight, New York to London, 1 September 1974

SR-71 Record Flights - In September, an SR-71 aircraft of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, made two world record speed flights. On 1 September, the aircraft flew from New York to London in one hour, 54 minutes, and 56 seconds, averaging 1,806.96 miles per hour. The old record, set by a United Kingdom Phantom F-4K in 1969, was four hours, 46 minutes, and 57.6 seconds. The SR-71 crew was composed of Major James B. Sullivan, pilot, and Major Noel F. Widdifield, reconnaissance systems officer.

On 13 September, the same SR-71 aircraft with a different crew, Captain Harold B. Adams, pilot, and Major William C. Machorek, Jr., reconnaissance systems officer, established a world speed record in a flight from London to Los Angeles. This flight took three hours, 47 minutes, and 39 seconds at an average speed of 1,435.59 miles per hour.

P. T. Cullen Award - The P. T. Cullen Award, presented each year to the reconnaissance unit that contributed most to the overall SAC photographic and signal intelligence effort, was won by the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California.

Omaha Trophy - Awarded to the 68th Bomb Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, in recognition of its outstanding performance throughout 1974.


B-1A on first flight, 23 December 1974

First B-1 Flight - The B-1 bomber, which was being developed by Rockwell International Corporation, was flight tested in late 1974. On 23 December, Charles C. Bock, Rockwell's chief test pilot, flew the new aircraft for the first time, taking off from the B-1 assembly facility at Palradale, California, and landing almost one and one-half hours later at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Nineteenth Competition, TAC Participated for First Time - Having been canceled since 1971 in deference to operational commitments in Southeast Asia, the SAC Bombing Competition was renewed in 1974. Conducted from 10 through 16 November, the 1974 meet was the first one ever held at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and the first one in which the Tactical Air Command participated. SAC participants included 20 B-52 wings, two FB-111 wings and 27 air refueling squadrons, with each participant entering one aircraft and crew. Tactical Air Command entered two F-111s and the Royal Air Force sent four Vulcan bombers. The major unit awards and their recipients were as follows:

Fairchild Trophy, for the bomb wing and assigned tanker unit with the best combined score in bomber and tanker activity, 380th Bomb Wing, FB-111/KC-135.

Mathis Trophy, best bomber crew in bombing and celestial navigation, RAF, Vulcan.

Saunders Trophy, best tanker crew, 911th Air Refueling Squadron of the 68th Bomb Wing.

Bombing Trophy, best bomber unit in high and low bombing, 380th Bomb Wing, FB-111.

Navigation Trophy, best unit in navigation (FB-111s and F-111s did not compete), RAF, Vulcan.

Munitions Loading Competition Resumed - When the Bombing Competition resumed in 1974 after a two-year hiatus, the SAC Munitions Loading Competition was also revived. Held at the same time as the Bombing Competition (10-16 November), the Munitions Loading Competition was held at Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas, instead of Barksdale. The 93d Munitions Maintenance Squadron of the 93d Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California, won the SAC Trophy for the Best Munitions Loading Crew.


William J. Crumm Linebacker Memorial Trophy


Major General William J. Crumm

William J. Crumrn Linebacker Memorial Trophy Awarded for First Time - William J. Crumm Linebacker Memorial Trophy, best B-52 crew in high bombing, 92d Bomb Wing. This trophy was named in honor of Major General William J. Crumm, former Commander of the 3d Air Division, who was killed while on a combat mission in a 1967 B-52 crash in the South China Sea. Donated to SAC by Boeing Aerospace Company, the trophy was first presented in the 1971 meet in memory of the B-52 crew members killed in action during Linebacker II, the December 1972 bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong, North Vietnam.

MISSILES

Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 14
Other Agencies – 35

Force Modernization Program - The Force Modernization Program continued throughout 1974 in the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. On 3 September, the last Minuteman I was taken off alert, and by the end of December 1974, only two flights of the 320th Strategic Missile Squadron remained to be converted to Minuteman III.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Conducted at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, from 25 April through 3 May, the 1974 Missile Competition was an exacting and hard-fought contest. The 321st Strategic Missile Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, competing under the slogan "Eat 'Em Up," came from eighth place on 26 April to first place on the final day to win the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy as the best missile wing in SAC. The 321st also won the award for Best Minuteman Wing, while the 390th Strategic Missile Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, a close second for the Blanchard Trophy, won the award for the Best Titan II Wing.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 74, as of 30 June 1974)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $534,010,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $17,715,494,760, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $2,338,711,000, includes O&M listed above, military pay, family housing, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL).


Checking guidance system on Minuteman II

1975

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
140,735 (21,788 officers, 98,890 airmen, 20,057 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,145 (420 B-52, 69 FB-111, 653 EC/KC-135, 3 E-4), Air Reserve Forces, 17 KC-135s.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
1,010 Minuteman, 57 Titan II, 308 Hound Dog, 355 Quail, and 1,451 SRAM.

Missile Units

Active Bases
28 CONUS and one in Guam.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Russell E. Dougherty, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General James M. Keck, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Martin G. Colladay, Chief of Staff; reassigned 27 May.

Major General Andrew B. Anderson, Jr., Chief of Staff, effective 27 May.

First Navigator to Command Flying Unit - On 16 February, Brigadier General Eugene D. Scott became the first navigator in the history of USAF to command an operational flying unit when he assumed command of the 47th Air Division, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Only pilots were authorized to command flying units prior to 18 December 1974, when President Gerald R. Ford signed a law removing Congressional restrictions on command.

ORGANIZATION

Movement of Headquarters Eighth Air Force - Inactivation of Headquarters Second Air Force - Effective 1 January 1975, Headquarters Eighth Air Force moved without personnel and equipment from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, where it absorbed the functions and personnel of Headquarters Second Air Force, which was inactivated. Headquarters Eighth Air Force had been located at Andersen since 1 April 1970, when it moved there from Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, in order to direct SAC combat operations in Southeast Asia. At the time of this action, Headquarters USAF planned to relocate Headquarters Eighth Air Force to Barksdale and to inactivate Headquarters Second Air Force as soon as SAC operations in Southeast Asia had subsided. Retention of Eighth Air Force in SAC and inactivation of Second Air Force was done in order to perpetuate the Eighth's colorful lineage, specifically its World War II combat history. Second Air Force had no World War II combat experience.

Activation of Headquarters 3d Air Division - Concurrent with the foregoing actions, Headquarters 3d Air Division, which had been inactivated at Andersen on 1 April 1970, was activated at that base and absorbed the personnel and functions of Headquarters Eighth Air Force.


KC-135 transferred to Air National Guard at Little Rock AFB, 7 November

Transfer of KC-135s to Air Reserve Forces - In July 1974, Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger directed SAC to transfer 128 KC-135 tankers to the Air Reserve Forces in order to equip 16 eight UE units. Three units of the Air Force Reserve and 13 units of the Air National Guard would be involved in this program, which would extend over a four-year period. In the event of wartime mobilization, SAC would gain control of these squadrons.

First Aircraft Transferred - The transfer of aircraft actually began on 18 April 1975, when the 301st Air Refueling Squadron, Rickenbacker Air Force Base, Ohio, transferred the first KC-135, Serial Number 57-1507, to the 160th Air Refueling Group, also located at Rickenbacker. The 160th began operating on an eight UE basis on 1 July 1975. The second unit, the 157th Air Refueling Group, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, entered the program on 1 October. Thus, by the end of December, a 16 UE element had been withdrawn from SAC to support these two units. While these actions were taking place, SAC had inactivated two 15 UE air refueling squadrons: the 922d at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on 30 September as part of the phaseout of SAC activities at that base, and the 301st at Rickenbacker on 31 December as part of the Air Reserve Forces program. Redistribution of the 14 UE element remaining after these squadrons were inactivated was scattered among several units. This action, along with other aircraft authorization realignments, created eight different categories of squadrons, each with a distinct UE.


E-4A Airborne Command Post

1st ACCS Transferred to SAC - First E-4s Assigned - Effective 1 November 1975, Headquarters USAF transferred the 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron (ACCS) located at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, from command jurisdiction of Headquarters Command to SAC. Concurrent with this action, SAC acquired a new type aircraft, the E-4, a modified Boeing 747. The 1st ACCS had three E-4s, outfitted with EC-135 type communications equipment, to serve as the National Emergency Airborne Command Post. A fourth E-4 was at the Boeing plant in Seattle, Washington, where it was being outfitted with advanced type communications equipment.

PACCS Reorganization - In a separate action to consolidate resources, SAC reorganized its Post Attack Command Control System (PACCS). Effective 31 December, the 3d Airborne Command and Control Squadron was inactivated at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana, after its functions had been assumed by the 70th Air Refueling Squadron at Grissom and the 2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

Last SRAM Delivered to SAC - On 20 August, the last of 1500 SRAMs was delivered to SAC's 320th Bomb Wing at Mather Air Force Base, California.

OPERATIONS

Operation New Life - During the final evacuations from Cambodia and Vietnam, SAC flew tanker and reconnaissance sorties in support of the American withdrawal. Accompanying the final Americans were thousands of refugees fleeing the Communist takeover of their homeland. From 23 April to 16 August, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, became a temporary haven for the refugees. Practically everyone on Andersen assisted in Operation New Life, which processed about 110,000 refugees on their way to the U.S. and other countries.


The General Carl "Tooey" Spaatz Trophy


General Carl A. Spaatz

Spaatz Trophy Awarded for First Time - In appreciation of the outstanding support given its fighters over the years by SAC tankers, the Tactical Air Command donated a new trophy to SAC on 4 September 1975. It was named "The General Carl 'Tooey' Spaatz Award" in memory of the first USAF Chief of Staff and a pioneer in the development of in-flight refueling.

SAC, in turn, decided to award the trophy on an annual rotating basis to its best air refueling unit. On 4 October, the trophy was presented for the first time to the 11th Air Refueling Squadron, Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, for Fiscal Year 1975. It was later awarded to the 22d Air Refueling Squadron, March Air Force Base, California, for July-December 1975.

First SAC Refueling of B-1 - On 21 April, SAC conducted its first in-flight refueling of the B-1, the bomber being developed by Rockwell International Corporation. The crew, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Fred C. Hartstein, came from the 1st Combat Evaluation Group, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, while the KC-135 tanker was furnished by the 22d Air Refueling Squadron, March Air Force Base, California. Previously, on 10 April, an Air Force Systems Command KC-135 and crew had conducted the first in-flight refueling of the new bomber.

First SAC Pilot Flew B-1 - On 19 September, Major George W. Larson, who was assigned to the 4200th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Edwards Air Force Base, California, became the first SAC pilot to fly the B-1. Accompanied by Charles C. Bock and Richard Abram3 of Rockwell International Corporation, Major Larson handled the aircraft controls for approximately one-third of the six and one-half hour flight.

Omaha Trophy - The 379th Bomb Wing, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan, judged to be the outstanding wing in SAC for 1975, received the trophy.

P. T. Cullen Award - The P. T. Cullen Award, presented annually to the reconnaissance unit contributing most to the overall SAC photographic and signal intelligence effort, was won by the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Operation High Noon - Instead of holding a bombing competition in 1975, General Dougherty decided to conduct an exercise to test the command's ability to carry out contingency operations with minimum preparation. Nicknamed Operation High Noon, and held from 30 September through 2 October, this exercise included four Vulcan bombers of the Royal Air Force and six F-111s of the Tactical Air Command. SAC participants, limited to units in the CONUS, included two crews and aircraft from 21 bomb wings and 26 air refueling squadrons. Operation High Noon was conducted along the lines of a competition with several awards being given. The 92d Bomb Wing, a B-52G/KC-135 unit at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, won the Outstanding SAC Unit Award based on overall performance in bombing and air refueling.

Munitions Loading Competition Includes Security Police - The Munitions Loading Competition was held at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, during 7 through 15 October. Security police units participated for the first time. The 93d Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California, won the Best Munitions Unit in SAC and Best Munitions Loading Award. The Crew Chief award went to the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth, and the Loading Inspection Award was won by the 380th Bomb Wing, Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York. The first Security Police Team Award went to the 42d Bomb Wing at Loring Air Force Base, Maine.

MISSILES

Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 14
Other Agencies – 33

Force Modernization Program Completed - The Force Modernization Program, a nine year effort to replace all Minuteman Is with either Minuteman IIs or Minuteman IIIs was completed in 1975. The program within the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, was completed on 26 January, about three weeks ahead of schedule. On that date, the Boeing Aerospace Company, the contractor responsible for remodeling the launch facilities, turned over to SAC the last flight of ten Minuteman III missiles (Flight Juliet of the 320th Strategic Missile Squadron). A related program involved replacing 50 Minuteman II missiles of the 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, with a like number of Minuteman IIIs. This conversion began on 20 January, with Ogden Air Logistics Center handling the missile swap on an individual site basis, and was completed on 11 July when the 50th site of the 564th Strategic Missile Squadron was returned to SAC. This action brought the SAC Minuteman force up to a 450-Minuteman II/550-Minuteman III configuration.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Eighth Competition - Security Police Participated for First Time - As with previous meets, the 1975 SAC Missile Competition was held at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, from 24 April through 2 May. In addition to entering combat crews and maintenance teams, each wing sent a new entry, a security police team. These security police teams competed in exercises to evaluate their reaction to normal and emergency situations endemic to their bases, written tests, and ability with the M-16 rifle.


Sgt J.A. Williamson and Sgt H.R. Petruske


A1C J.A. Sousley

Women Participated for First Time - The 1975 competition was also particularly significant in that women participated for the first time. Sergeant Jo A. Williamson served on the 321st Strategic Missile Wing's electronics laboratory maintenance team, while Airman First Class Jeannie A. Sousley was a member of the 308th Strategic Missile Wing's reentry vehicle maintenance team.

The 381st Strategic Missile Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, compiling the highest score in operations, maintenance, and security police exercises, received the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy. In duplicating its 1972 performance, the 381st became the first Titan II unit to win the top award for the second time. The 381st also won awards for Best Titan Wing and Best Missile Operations. Other major unit awards and their recipients were: Best Minuteman Wing, 44th Strategic Missile Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota; Best Missile Maintenance, 308th Strategic Missile Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas; and Best Missile Security Police, 321st Strategic Missile Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 75, as of 30 June 1975)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $582,050,000, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $18,234,032,783, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $2,558,099,158, includes O&M listed above, military pay, family housing, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL).


Engine Maintenance - Members of the 416th Field Maintenance Squadron at Griffiss AFB, NY, perform maintenance on a turbojet engine.

1976

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
127,599 (19,662 officers, 91,722 airmen, 16,175 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,102 (419 B-52, 68 FB-111, 612 EC/KC-135, 3 E-4), Air Reserve Forces - 59 KC-135s.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
1,094 Minuteman, 58 Titan II, 288 Hound Dog, 355 Quail, and 1,431 SRAM.

Beginning this year, Minuteman strength includes missiles in depot modification and not possessed by SAC.

Missile Units

Active Bases
26 CONUS and one in Guam.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Russell E. Dougherty, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General James M. Keck, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Andrew B. Anderson, Jr., Chief of Staff; reassigned 1 July 1976.

Major General Edgar S. Harris, Jr., Chief of Staff, effective 1 August 1976.

ORGANIZATION


Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld at Offutt AFB

SAC's 30th Anniversary - On 21 March, the Strategic Air Command observed its 30th anniversary. In connection with this event, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld visited Headquarters SAC on 19 March. Following this visit, Secretary Rumsfeld flew aboard a B-52H from Offutt to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, where he toured Minuteman II missile facilities prior to returning to Washington, D.C.

Reorganization Under Tri-Deputy Concept - Effective 1 July, SAC reorganized its wing/base structure under the tri-deputy concept. In accordance with this Headquarters USAF-directed reorganization, a Deputy Commander for Resources was created and placed under the wing commander on a coequal status with the existing Deputy Commander for Operations and Deputy Commander for Maintenance. The newly-organized Deputy Commander for Resources received the functions of Comptroller, Procurement, Supply and Transportation from the combat support group, thereby enabling the base commander to become more deeply involved in people programs. Concurrently, the Supply and Transportation Squadrons were transferred from the combat support group to the wing.

Realignment of Communications Function - In furtherance of the Headquarters USAF policy of creating a single manager for all Air Force communications, the Air Force Communications Service (AFCS) assumed command and management responsibility for all SAC communications systems and functions. SAC retained operational control over its communications. The arrangement was facilitated by the creation of Headquarters Strategic Communications Area (SACCA), an Air Force Communications Service unit at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The Commander of SACCA also served as the Director of Communications-Electronics of Headquarters SAC's Deputy Chief of Staff/Operations. Within the command, SAC's communications groups and squadrons were transferred to the Air Force Communications Service.

OPERATIONS

SR-71 Record Flights - In July, three crews of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, set seven speed and altitude records with SR-71 aircraft. On 27 July, Major Adolphus H. Bledsoe, Jr., pilot, and Major John T. Fuller, reconnaissance systems officer, flew an SR-71 at a speed of 2,092.29 miles per hour over a 1,000 kilometer (621.4 mile) course in the vicinity of Edwards Air Force Base, California. In this flight, they set three closed circuit records: (1) world absolute speed; (2) world jet speed with 1,000 kilogram (2,200 pound) payload; and (3) world jet speed without payload.

The record breaking flights continued on 28 July with four additional records being established. Captain Eldon W. Joersz, pilot, and Major George T. Morgan, reconnaissance systems officer, flying their SR-71 at a speed of 2,193.64 miles per hour, set two records: world absolute and jet speed over a 15/25 kilometer straight course. Finally, Captain Robert C. Helt, pilot, and Major Lang A. Elliot, reconnaissance systems officer, flew their SR-71 to a height of 85,069 feet over the test range at Edwards and established both world absolute and jet records for altitude in horizontal flight.

B-1 Development - On 2 December, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, after consulting with President Gerald H. Ford, authorized the Air Force to proceed with production of the B-1 bomber. In September, however, Congress had restricted funding of the B-1 to $87 million per month through February 1977. This action, in effect, left the B-1 production decision up to Jimmy Carter, who would become President on 20 January 1977.


ALCM launched from a B-52, March 1976

Air Launched Cruise Missile Tested - On 5 March, the Air Launched Cruise Missile, which was being developed by Boeing for use by SAC, was successfully launched from a B-52G of the Air Force Systems Command at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Popularly referred to as the ALCM, the 14-foot missile was designed to carry a nuclear warhead into enemy defenses.

Last SAC Aircraft Left Southeast Asia - In February 1964 a U-2 was the first SAC aircraft deployed to Southeast Asia. On 22 March 1976 a U-2 departing U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand, became the last SAC aircraft to leave Southeast Asia.

SAC Participation in Red Flag - On 29 November 1975 Tactical Air Command unveiled a complex of simulated enemy facilities on the Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Desert Test Ranges to provide realistic combat training. The exercises conducted at Nellis were known as Red Flag. SAC was invited to participate in the April 1976 exercise, Red Flag IV. Beginning with a cell of three 7th Bomb Wing B-52Ds on 12 April, SAC flew numerous B-52 and FB-111 sorties in 1976. The SAC crews received valuable training in bombing and defensive tactics, search and rescue, and escape and evasion.

Spaatz Trophy - Awarded to the 41st Air Refueling Squadron, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York, as the best air refueling unit in SAC for 1976.

P. T. Cullen Award - The 306th Strategic Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, having been selected as the reconnaissance unit contributing most to the photographic and signal intelligence efforts of SAC, received the award for 1976.

Omaha Trophy - Awarded to the 449th Bomb Wing, Kincheloe Air Force Base, Michigan, in recognition of being the outstanding wing in SAC for 1976.

Transfer of Drones to TAC - On 1 July, the SAC drone reconnaissance program, which had been concentrated in the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, was transferred to the Tactical Air Command. The drones, built by Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical Divison of Teledyne, Inc., were actually small unmanned, remotely piloted, jet powered vehicles that were launched from DC-130 aircraft. After completing their reconnaissance missions, they were retrieved in mid-air by CH-3 helicopters. All SAC drone assets, including several models of AQM-34 remotely piloted vehicles, six DC-130 launch aircraft, and seven CH-3 recovery helicopters were involved in the transfer.


Meyer Trophy

John C. Meyer Trophy Awarded for First Time - The Meyer Trophy, best F/FB-111 unit in low altitude bombing, 509th Bomb Wing, FB-111. This trophy was named for General John C. Meyer, former Commander in Chief of SAC, who died on 2 December 1975.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Twentieth Competition - As revised, the 1976 SAC Bombing Competition was conducted along different lines than previous meets. It was divided into three phases. The first phase, held in July and August, was an in-unit competition with participants including all mission-ready bomber and tanker crews except B-52 crews of the 43d Strategic Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and KC-135 crews of the 376th Strategic Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan. The top three bomber and/or tanker crews plus one "wild card" crew from each unit then progressed to the semifinal round that was held from 27 through 30 September. The Royal Air Force also entered four Vulcan crews and aircraft in the semifinal phase. In the final round, held on 4 and 5 October, each unit entered its two top crews. Throughout this competition, SAC units operated out of their home bases, while the Royal Air Force contingent staged out of Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Barksdale also served as the competition headquarters where all competitors met at the end of the meet to receive awards. The major awards, based upon the finalists' scores in the semifinal and final phase, and their recipients were:

Fairchild Trophy, best combined score in bomber and tanker activity, 380th Bomb Wing, FB-111/KC-135.
Mathis Trophy, highest total points in high and low bombing, 7th Bomb Wing, B-52 (the 380th Bomb Wing actually compiled the most points, but it was ineligible for this trophy since it received the Fairchild Trophy).
Saunders Trophy, best tanker unit, 92d Bomb Wing, KC-135.
Crumm Trophy, unit compiling most points in high altitude bombing, 7th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Bombing Trophy, crew with highest total points in high and low bombing, 7th Bomb Wing, B-52.


Camrose and Blue Steel Trophies

RAF Bombing Competition - In the 1976 RAF Bombing Competition, held from 5 to 14 April at RAF Station Marham, United Kingdom, SAC participants included one crew and aircraft from four B-52G units (2d, 92d, 97th, and 320th Bomb Wings). The 320th Bomb Wing made a most impressive showing. It won the Blue Steel Trophy, which was awarded to the crew with the highest combined score in bombing and navigation, and the Camrose Trophy, given to the crew with the best score in bombing. This marked the first time for a SAC unit to win the Camrose Trophy.

Barrentine Trophy Created - For the first time the SAC Munitions Loading Competition was held at the same location as the previous year - Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Ellsworth became the permanent home for this competition for the next decade. SAC established the Chief Master Sergeant Wilbur R. Barrentine Memorial Munitions Loading Trophy for the wing with the best munitions competition team in SAC. In the competition held from 27 September through 6 October, the 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, was the first winner of the Barrentine Trophy. The presentation of the trophy was made at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana during the Bombing Competition awards ceremonies on 6 and 7 October. The other major awards were given as follows:

Best Munitions Load Crew - 7th Bomb Wing.
Best Security Police Team - 97th Bomb Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas.
Best Crew Chief - 379th Bomb Wing, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan.
Best Combined Load Crew - 379th Bomb Wing.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 15
Other Agencies – 26

New Titan II Guidance System - A replacement for the Titan II ICBM's Inertial Guidance System (IGS), the Universal Space Guidance System (USGS) had proven its reliability guiding the flight of the Titan IIIC space booster. On 27 June 1976, a Titan II ICBM equipped with a USGS was successfully flight tested at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Ninth Competition - Increased Participation Continued - Following the precedent established in the 1975 meet, in which security police teams were added as participants, the 1976 SAC Missile Competition was further expanded to include communications, engineering, and vehicle support teams. As in the past, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, was the site of the meet, held from 20 through 30 April. The 341st Strategic Missile Wing, a Minuteman Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, took the bulk of the major awards, including the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy for the highest combined score in all exercises, Best Minuteman Wing, Best Missile Operations, Best Missile Maintenance, Best Missile Communications, and Best Missile Civil Engineering. The 381st Strategic Missile Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, was judged the Best Titan Wing, while the 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, won the Best Vehicle Support Team and the Best Security Police Team award went to the 321st Strategic Missile Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 76, as of 30 June 1976)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $670,545,354, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $18,262,117,573, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $2,541,093,542, includes O&M listed above, military pay, family housing, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL).

New Fiscal Year Procedure Began - In accordance with the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974 (PL 93-44), a new fiscal year running from 1 October through 30 September was established to replace the fiscal year that began on 1 July and ended on 30 June. To bridge the gap between the two fiscal years, the act provided for the three month transitional period (1 July through 30 September 1976) called FY 7T.

(FY 7T, as of 30 September 1976)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $171,254,080, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay and minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $18,262,117,573, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $612,906,264, includes O&M listed above, military pay, family housing, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL).


SAC Commanders - September 1976 (l. to r.) Lt Gen B. M. Shotts, 15AF;
Lt Gen J. M. Keck, VCINCSAC; Gen R. E. Dougherty, CINCSAC; Lt Gen R. M. Hoban, 8AF

1977

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
123,042 (13,726 officers, 89,440 airmen, 14,876 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
1,110 (417 B-52, 66 FB-111, 574 EC/KC-135, 3 E-4), Air Reserve Forces - 93 KC-135.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
1,162 Minuteman, 57 Titan II, 249 Hound Dog, 354 Quail, and 1,415 SRAM. The Minuteman assigned inventory included missiles in modification at the depot that were not possessed by SAC.

Missile Units

Active Bases
25 CONUS and one in Guam.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Ellis Assumed Command


Gen Richard H. Ellis

General Russell E. Dougherty, Commander in Chief; retired 1 August 1977.

General Richard H. Ellis, Commander in Chief, effective 1 August 1977.

Lieutenant General James M. Keck, Vice Commander in Chief; retired 1 July 1977.

Lieutenant General James E. Hill, Vice Commander in Chief, effective 1 July 1977; reassigned 6 December 1977.

Major General Edgar S. Harris, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief, effective 6 December 1977.

Major General Edgar S. Harris, Jr., Chief of Staff; reassigned 6 December 1977.

6 December - 31 December, Chief of Staff position vacant.

ORGANIZATION

Reorganization of Minuteman Security Police Functions - Effective 1 October, Headquarters SAC reorganized Security Police functions at the six Minuteman bases. This reorganization was designed to improve efficiency by dividing the existing squadrons into smaller and more manageable units. It was accomplished by activating eight new missile security squadrons - one each at four installations and two each at two installations which supported the largest Minuteman wings.

OPERATIONS

President Carter Flew on E-4A - On 11 February, President Jimmy Carter flew on an E-4A National Emergency Airborne Command Post (NEACP) aircraft of the 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, to Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. This marked the first time a U.S. President flew aboard the E-4A.

President Carter Stopped Action on Selecting a New Tanker - On 19 February, President Carter stopped action to select an Advanced Tanker/Cargo Aircraft (ATCA), which was being considered for use by the Strategic Air Command.

President Carter Dropped the B-1 in Favor of the Cruise Missile - On 30 June, President Jimmy Carter announced on a nationwide television address that the B-1 bomber would not be produced. He stated:

This has been one of the most difficult decisions that I have made since I've been in office. Within the last few months I've done my best to assess all the factors involved in production of the B-1 bomber. My decision is that we should not continue with deployment of the B-1 and I am directing that we discontinue plans for production of this weapons system. The Secretary of Defense agrees that this a preferable decision. . . . The existing testing and development now under way on the B-1 should continue to provide us with the needed technical base in the unlikely event that more cost effective alternative systems should run into difficulty. ... In the meantime, we should begin development of cruise missiles using air launched platforms such as our B-52s, modernized as necessary.

Secretary of Defense Harold Brown Explained the Decision to Cancel the B-1 - On 1 July, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown at a Pentagon Press Conference stated:

My recommendation to the President, and his decision not to proceed with production of the B-1, were based on the conclusion that aircraft carrying modern cruise missiles will better assure the effectiveness of the bomber component of U.S. strategic power in the 1980s. Both the B-1 and the cruise missile offer high assurance of survivability and penetration. But the President and I are convinced that the cruise missile will provide more certainty for our defense.

Advanced Tanker/Cargo Aircraft Development - In July, after consulting with President Carter, the Secretary of Defense approved acquisition of a small force of between 12 and 20 Advanced Tanker Cargo Aircraft instead of 91 as approved by President Ford in January. On 19 December, the Secretary of Defense selected McDonnell-Douglas to provide 20 DC-10 type aircraft for ATCA.

P. T. Cullen Award - Awarded to the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, as the unit that contributed most to SAC's photographic and signal intelligence efforts in 1977.

Omaha Trophy - The 42d Bomb Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, was selected as the outstanding wing of SAC for 1977.

Spaatz Trophy - For 1977, the 306th Strategic Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, was selected as the unit best displaying the air refueling mission of the Strategic Air Command.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Twenty-first Competition - The 1977 competition resembled the one held in 1976. For SAC units, the competition was divided into three phases, with the first phase an in-unit competition being conducted from 1 June through 31 August. Four bomber crews and two tanker crews from each unit competed in the second phase held from 13 through 16 September. From this phase, 18 bomb wings (the 93d Bombardment Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California, and the 43d Strategic Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, did not participate) and 24 tanker units (909th Air Refueling Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, did not compete) entered two crews each in the final meet, conducted from 21 through 23 September. Competing with the SAC bomber crews were two Royal Air Force Vulcan crews and two Tactical Air Command F-111 crews.

Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Participation - Competing against the SAC tankers for the first time were four Air National Guard KC-135 crews (two from the 141st Air Refueling Wing and two from the 157th Air Refueling Group) and two Air Force Reserve KC-135 crews of the 452d Air Refueling Wing.

Upon conclusion of the competition, the following awards were presented as indicated:

Fairchild Trophy, best combined score in bomber and tanker activity, 380th Bomb Wing, FB-111/KC-135.
Mathis Trophy, best bomber unit in combined high and low-level bombing, 509th Bomb Wing, FB-111.
Saunders Trophy, best tanker unit, 384th Air Refueling Wing, KC-135.
Crumm Trophy, B-52/Vulcan unit compiling most points in high altitude bombing and electronic countermeasures activity, 7th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Meyer Trophy, F/FB-111 unit compiling most points in low altitude bombing electronic countermeasures activity, 509th Bomb Wing, FB-111.
Navigation Trophy, tanker unit compiling most points in celestial navigation, 380th Bomb Wing, KC-135.
Bombing Trophy, crew accumulating most points in high and low bombing, 380th Bomb Wing, FB-111.


The Doolittle Trophy

The Doolittle Trophy Presented for First Time - Donated to SAC by Rockwell International Corporation (successor to North American Aviation), this trophy was named in honor of Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle, leader of the U.S. Army Air Forces' low-level bombing raid over Tokyo on 18 April 1942 and former commander of the Eighth Air Force. The trophy was awarded to numbered air force whose B-52 unit compiled the best overall results in low-level bombing during the competition. With its 379th Bomb Wing achieving this distinction, the Eighth Air Force was first recipient of the Doolittle Trophy.

RAF Bombing Competition - In sharp contrast to their performance in the 1976 RAF Bombing Competition, SAC crews did not fare well in the 1977 meet. Four bomb wings (5th, 319th, 410th, and 449th) represented SAC with each sending one B-52H aircraft and crew to RAF Station Marham for the 9 through 17 May competition. In this particular meet, the ground equipment associated with the radar bomb scoring sites malfunctioned and it was necessary to tabulate scoring by using vertical bombing photography from the aircraft. The B-52H bombers were not adequately equipped to conduct this type of photography and they failed to retain either the Blue Steel Trophy or the Camrose Trophy. The 449th Bomb Wing came in second for the former award, while a SAC team composed of crews from the 5th, 410th, and 449th Bomb Wings placed fifth in the Camrose Trophy competition.

Munitions Loading Competition - The annual SAC Munitions Loading Competition was held at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, from 13 through 20 September. The winner of the Barrentine Trophy for the best Munitions Competition Team was the 93d Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California. The other major award winners were:

Best Security Police Team - 379th Bomb Wing, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan.
Best Munitions Load Crew - 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas.
Best Crew Chief - 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
Best Combined Load Crew - 319th Bomb Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 12
Other Agencies – 20

Minuteman Crew Reduction - Between 1 October 1977 and 31 March 1978 SAC reduced the authorized Minuteman crew force by approximately 600, saving an estimated $14 million annually. To achieve this reduction, SAC shortened the Minuteman alert tour from 36 to 24 hours, permitting one crew member to sleep while inside the Launch Control Center (LCC). Circuitry modifications to the LCC's Launch Enable Control Group Panel eliminated the remote possibility of an unauthorized launch by a single crew member.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Tenth Competition - Held from 27 April to 6 May at Vandenberg Air Force Ba3e, California, the 1977 competition was held along the same lines as the 1976 meet. The 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, captured the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy, having compiled the highest combined score for all exercises as well as trophies for Best Minuteman Wing, Best Missile Operations, and Best Missile Civil Engineering. Other major awards and their recipients were: Best Titan Wing, 390th Strategic Missile Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Best Missile Maintenance, 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana; Best Missile Security Police, 91st Strategic Missile Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota; Best Missile Communications, 44th Strategic Missile Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota; and Best Missile Vehicle Operator, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 77, as of 30 September 1977)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $658,204,983, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $17,804,995,267, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $2,412,063,735, includes O&M listed above, military pay, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants.

Military Family Housing - $64,226,232, includes O&M expenses (Military Family Housing Defense Appropriation) in support of housing units.


B-1As at Edwards AFB



1978

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
122,500 (18,177 officers, 90,625 airmen, 13,698 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
952 (344 B-52, 66 FB-111, 539 EC/KC-135, 3 E-4), Air Reserve Forces - 128 KC-135.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
1,180 Minuteman, 57 Titan II, 1,408 SRAM.

Missile Units

Active Bases
25 CONUS and one in Guam.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Richard H. Ellis, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Edgar S. Harris, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief (promoted to lieutenant general effective 2 February); reassigned 28 June.

Lieutenant General Lloyd B. Leavitt, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief, effective 28 June (promoted to lieutenant general effective 22 August).

Major General Lloyd B. Leavitt, Jr., Chief of Staff, effective 9 January, filling vacancy that had existed since 6 December 1977; reassigned to Vice Commander in Chief effective 28 June.

Major General Earl G. Peck, Chief of Staff, effective 28 June.

ORGANIZATION

Headquarters 7th Air Division Activated in Germany - Effective 1 July, Headquarters 7th Air Division was activated at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. This action improved command and control of SAC's growing tanker, bomber and reconnaissance activities in Europe and strengthened liaison with U.S. and allied commands in the area. Concurrent with this action, the 306th Strategic Wing was assigned to 7th Air Division, moved without personnel and equipment, from Ramstein to RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom, and activated the 922d Strategic Squadron at Hellenikon Air Base, Greece. On 1 August, the 34th Strategic Squadron was activated at Zaragoza Air Base, Spain. The Hellenikon and Zaragoza squadrons, which replaced detachments of the 306th Strategic Wing, were assigned to the 306th. As a final action in the 1978 expansion of SAC activities in the European area, Headquarters SAC activated the 11th Strategic Group at RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, on 15 November and assigned it to the 7th Air Division.

OPERATIONS

Retirement of B-52 Bombers and Hound Dog and Quail Missiles - During 1978, SAC disposed of 68 older B-52 "D" and "F" model bombers, with approximately 60 being sent to the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona and the remainder being redistributed for various training and display purposes. All AGM-28 Hound Dog and ADM-20 Quail missiles were also retired.

Red Flag/Maple Flag - By the end of 1978 all SAC B-52 and FB-111 wings were participating in Tactical Air Command's Red Flag Exercises on the Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, ranges. Indeed, the concept was so successful that it was expanded to include the use of Canadian ranges near Cold Lake. The first SAC B-52 sorties on the Canadian ranges, nicknamed Maple Flag, occurred on 27 April 1978.

P. T. Cullen Award - Presented to the 6th Strategic Wing, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, in recognition of its contribution to SAC's photo and signal intelligence mission.

Omaha Trophy - Awarded to the 319th Bomb Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, as the outstanding wing in SAC for 1978.

Spaatz Trophy - Changed from a calendar year to a fiscal year award. The 912th Air Refueling Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, received the award for the January-September 1978 period in recognition of being the top air refueling unit in SAC.

Transfer of Last KC-135 to Air Reserve Forces - On 16 September, SAC completed the Department of Defense-directed program to transfer 128 KC-135s to the Air Reserve Forces. On this date, the 128th tanker (KC-135A, Serial Number 57-1438) was transferred from the 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, to the 931st Air Refueling Group, an Air Force Reserve unit at Grissora Air Force Base, Indiana.

Benjamin D. Foulois Memorial Trophy - Awarded to SAC as the command with the most effective aircraft accident prevention program in 1978.


Captain Sandra M. Scott

First Female Officers Performed Aircraft Alert Duty - On 23 March, Captain Sandra M. Scott became the first female pilot to perform alert duty in SAC. Captain Scott was assigned to the 904th Air Refueling Squadron, a KC-135 unit at Mather Air Force Base, California. On 27 April, two KC-135 crew members shared the distinction of being the first female navigators to perform SAC alert duties: Captain Elizabeth A. Koch, 22d Air Refueling Squadron, March Air Force Base, California, and First Lieutenant Ramona L. S. Roybal, 916th Air Refueling Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, California.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Twenty-second Competition - 30th Anniversary - In the 30 years since its beginning, the SAC Bombing Competition (officially called the SAC Bombing and Navigation Competition) had changed appreciably. For many years, the competitors gathered at one or two bases from which all missions were flown; but more recently, participants operated from their home bases and gathered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, for the awards ceremony. Barksdale was a logical site for the competition headquarters since it was the home of the 1st Combat Evaluation Group, the competition's official scoring unit. Barksdale also normally supported the Royal Air Force Vulcan bombers when they participated. There also had been other significant changes over the years, namely in the number of trophies given and in the shift from individual crew to unit awards. The Fairchild Trophy, first awarded in 1951, remained the top award in 1978, but nine additional major trophies were presented in recognition of unit and crew performances. In the final phase, held on 18 and 19 October, SAC participants included one aircraft and crew from 18 B-52/FB-111 wings (the 43d Strategic Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and the 93d Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California, did not compete) and 25 KC-135 tanker units (909th Air Refueling Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, did not compete, and on those bases where two air refueling squadrons were located, only one squadron was represented). Also competing were one Royal Air Force Vulcan crew, two Tactical Air Command F—111 crews, eight Air National Guard KC-135 crews, and two Air Force Reserve KC-135 crews. From 23 through 25 October, a competition symposium was held at Barksdale and attended by all crews participating in the final phase. Major awards presented at the symposium were as follows:

Fairchild Trophy, SAC wing compiling most points in bomber and tanker activity, 380th Bomb Wing, FB-111/KC-135.
Mathis Trophy, top bomber unit in combined high- and low-level bombing, 509th Bomb Wing, FB-111.
Saunders Trophy, top tanker unit, 28th Bomb Wing, KC-135.
Crumm Trophy, B-52/Vulcan unit compiling most points in high altitude bombing, 28th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Meyer Trophy, top F/FB-111 in low-level bombing and electronic countermeasures activity, 380th Bomb Wing, FB-111.
Doolittle Trophy, numbered air force whose B-52 units achieved highest combined average score for low-level bombing, Eighth Air Force.
Navigation Trophy, tanker unit compiling most points in navigation, 924th Air Refueling Squadron, KC-135.
Bombing Trophy, bomber crew with most points in high and low bombing, 509th Bomb Wing, FB-111.


The Gen Russell E. Dougherty Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM) Trophy

The General Russell E. Dougherty Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM) Awarded for First Time - Donated by the Boeing Company, this trophy was named for General Russell E. Dougherty, former commander in chief of SAC, and was given to the B-52/FB-111 unit with the best score in simulated SRAM launching. The 319th Bomb Wing, a B-52 unit, was the first winner of this trophy.


The Major James F. Bartsch Electronic Warfare Trophy

The Major James F. Bartsch Electronic Warfare Trophy Awarded for First Time - This new trophy was donated by the Association of Old Crows, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the advancement of electronic warfare in defense of the free world. It was named for Major James F. Bartsch, a 410th Bomb Wing electronic warfare officer, who was killed in a B-52 accident on 2 April 1977. Designated for presentation to the B-52 unit compiling the most points in electronic countermeasures activity, the first recipient was the 92d Bomb Wing.

Munitions Loading Competition - This year's Munitions Loading Competition was held at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, from 15 through 22 August. The 43d Strategic Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, won the Barrentine Trophy for the Best Munitions Competition Team. The other major award winners were:

Best Security Police Team - 44th Strategic Missile Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.
Best Munitions Load Crew - 43d Strategic Wing.
Best Crew Chief - 416th Bomb Wing, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York.
Best Combined Load Crew - 43d Strategic Wing.

RAF Bombing Competition - Three SAC B-52G units (the 2d, 92d, and 279th Bomb Wings) participated in the Royal Air Force Strike Command Bombing Competition held at RAF Station, Marham, United Kingdom, from 26 June through 3 July. No major trophies were won by the SAC units.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 10
Other Agencies – 22

Titan II Mishap - McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas - On 24 August 1978, nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer leaking from a Stage I booster disabled Launch Complex 533-7, assigned to the 381st Strategic Missile Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. The escaped oxidizer also severely damaged the ICBM housed within the complex and caused two fatalities. During the mishap, SAC temporarily evacuated civilians residing nearby.

Minuteman Motor Maintenance - To eliminate several age related anomalies afflicting Minuteman ICBM motors, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Utah, in July 1978 began the phased depot maintenance of Minuteman motors. During the first portion of phased maintenance, Aerojet Corporation, the program's contractor, reconditioned Minuteman II, Stage II motors at an estimated cost of $200 million. At a later date, Aerojet would receive other Minuteman motors for reconditioning, giving priority to the oldest.


First females on Titan II alert – A1C Tina M. Ponzer


First females on Titan II alert – 1st Lt Patricia M. Fornes

Women on Titan II Crews - On 18 August 1978, Airman First Class Tina M. Ponzer, assigned to the 381st Strategic Missile Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, became the first female enlisted person to perform Titan II alert. On 16 September, First Lieutenant Patricia M. Fornes was the first female officer to pull Titan II alert, also with the 381st Wing.

Universal Space Guidance System (USGS) Installations - In February 1978, the first operational Universal Space Guidance System was installed at Launch Complex 373-6, assigned to the 308th Strategic Missile Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Installation of operational USGS sets at Little Rock began at the end of March. In late 1978, SAC was also installing the USGS at the 390th Strategic Missile Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Eleventh Competition - Participation Reduced - Held from 28 April through 4 May, the 1978 competition differed appreciably from the one held in 1977. While the entire 1977 competition had been held at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, Titan II maintenance evaluations in 1978 were conducted at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, because Vandenberg's last Titan II launch facility had been closed. Then, due to budgetary constraints, vehicle operator teams were dropped from the event and the number of combat crews representing each wing was reduced from four to two. Trailing all other competitors at the end of the first day, the 91st Strategic Missile Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, made a remarkable recovery and won the competition, amassing 2,783 points out of a possible 3,000. In addition to winning the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy, the 91st Wing won top awards for the Best Minuteman Wing and Best Missile Operations. The 381st Strategic Missile Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, received trophies for the Best Titan Wing, Best Missile Maintenance Team, and Best Missile Security Police Team. The 308th Strategic Missile Wing, a Titan II unit at Little Rock Air Force Base, won the Best Missile Communications Team Trophy, and the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, a Minuteman unit at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, won the Best Missile Civil Engineering Team Award.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 78, as of 30 September 1978)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $645,985,086, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $17,522,065,313, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $2,397,381,283, includes O&M listed above, military pay, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants.

Military Family Housing - $82,416,277, includes O&M expenses (Military Family Housing Defense Appropriation) in support of housing units.

1979

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
118,967 (18,451 officers, 86,315 airmen, 14,201 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
952 (343 B-52, 65 FB-111, 541 EC/KC-135, 3 E-4), Air Reserve Forces - 128 KC-135.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
1,170 Minuteman, 57 Titan II, 1,396 SRAM, 10 Thor Boosters.

Missile Units

Active Bases
25 CONUS and three overseas, including bases in Guam and Greenland.

Active Stations/Sites
Three CONUS and two overseas.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Richard H. Ellis, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Lloyd R. Leavitt, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Earl G. Peck, Chief of Staff.

ORGANIZATION

SAC and the Aerospace Defense Command Reorganization - After several years of planning, Headquarters USAF directed that the Aerospace Defense Command (ADCOM) be reorganized and that management of its resources be divided among Tactical Air Command, Air Force Communications Service, and Strategic Air Command. Under the reorganization, SAC acquired resource management responsibilities for ADCOM's space surveillance and missile warning systems. The North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) retained operational control over these systems. SAC began assuming its new responsibilities on 1 October when it acquired Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and several units located there. The transfer actions were completed on 1 December, at which time SAC received the space surveillance and missile warning system units and several installations and small sites throughout the United States and at various oversea locations. In addition to Peterson, SAC acquired Thule and Sondrestrom Air Bases in Greenland and Clear Air Force Station in Alaska. Basically, the forces that SAC inherited could be divided into five functional categories: intercontinental ballistic missile warning, submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warning, space surveillance sensor, communications, and support. Included among the assets transferred were the modified Thor missiles that ADCOM's 10th Aerospace Defense Squadron used to launch satellites for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Prior to the transfer, the 10th was inactivated and its Thor missiles, personnel, and functions were absorbed by SAC's 394th ICBM Test Maintenance Squadron, also located at Vandenberg. On-orbit command and control of the DMSP satellites were already under SAC's 4000th Aerospace Applications Group, located at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

OPERATIONS

First B-52 Contingency Deployment to an Oversea Forward Operating Base - Although B-52s flew in contingency exercises in support of Korea in March 1977 and in support of NATO in Europe in September 1978, these missions were done from permanent bases in U.S. territory. The first post-Southeast Asia B-52 contingency deployment to an oversea forward operating base occurred in May 1979. Three B-52Ds from the 96th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, deployed to RAF Upper Heyford, United Kingdom, from 9 to 23 May to participate in Exercises Flintlock and Dawn Patrol.


GLOBAL SHIELD 1979 – B-52Ds dispersed to civilian airfield Amarillo, Texas


GLOBAL SHIELD 1979 – The alert klaxon sounds, Seymour Johnson AFB


GLOBAL SHIELD 1979 – FB-111As approach KC-135A for refueling

Global Shield 79 - From 8 to 16 July SAC exercised for the first time every phase of its role in the Single Integrated Operational Plan short of nuclear warfare. Featuring full participation by the command's active forces and SAC-gained Air Force Reserve Units, this exercise was one of the most comprehensive in SAC history. It featured hundreds of bombers, tankers, and missiles generated to alert, the aircraft dispersing to preselected bases supported by ground teams and flying sorties over radar bomb-scoring sites.

Although adverse weather conditions hindered the operation, including Hurricane Bob which menaced exercise bases in Louisiana and Mississippi, Global Shield 79 received the praise of General Richard H. Ellis, SAC Commander in Chief. The CINCSAC called the exercise "well planned" and "an extremely valuable training experience for the aircrews, missile crews, and support personnel who participated in it."

P. T. Cullen Award - The 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, received this award in recognition of its contributions to the photographic and signal intelligence efforts of the Strategic Air Command.

Omaha Trophy - Designated as the outstanding wing in SAC, the 91st Strategic Missile Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, became the first missile wing to win the Omaha Trophy.

Spaatz Trophy - Awarded to the 307th Air Refueling Group, Travis Air Force Base, California, for being the best air refueling unit in SAC for Fiscal Year 1979.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Twenty-third Competition, Three Major Trophies Won by Non-SAC Units - The 1979 Bombing Competition was conducted on the three-phase basis that had been instituted in 1976. SAC participants included all CONUS-based units except those involved in combat crew training at Castle Air Force Base, California. Royal Air Force and the Tactical Air Command units competed in the bombing exercises, while the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve participated with KC-135s. With tabulations completed on the final missions of 19 November, SAC units were found to be in second place for the first time in three major contests. A Tactical Air Command unit won two of these events, while an Air National Guard unit captured the third award. Trophies were presented as follows on the evening of 29 November at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana:

Fairchild Trophy, highest percentage of possible points in bomber and tanker missions, 509th Bomb Wing, FB-111.
Doolittle Trophy, numbered air force whose B-52 units achieved highest percentage of possible points in low-level bombing and SRAM activity, Eighth Air Force.
Mathis Trophy, top unit in high and low bombing, Tactical Air Command's 27th Tactical Fighter Wing.
Meyer Trophy, top F/FB-111 unit compiling most points in low-level bombing and electronic countermeasures activity, 27th Tactical Fighter Wing.
Dougherty Trophy, FB-111 or B-52 unit compiling most points for simulated SRAM launches, 379th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Saunders Trophy, top tanker unit in competition, 380th Bomb Wing, KC-135.
Crumm Trophy, B-52/Vulcan unit with best high altitude bombing results, 28th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Bartsch Trophy, B-52 Unit compiling the most points in electronic countermeasure activity, 92d Bomb Wing.
Bombing Trophy, bomber crew compiling most points in high and low bombing, 380th Bomb Wing/FB-111.
Navigation Trophy, tanker unit compiling most points in navigation, 157th Air Refueling Group.

RAF Bombing Competition - In the 1979 RAF Bombing Competition, held from 20 through 28 June at RAF Station Marham, United Kingdom, SAC entered three B-52H aircraft and crews representing the 28th, 319th, and 410th Bomb Wings. While these wings had performed well in the 1978 SAC Bombing Competition (their selection for the RAF meet was based upon this performance) they were unsuccessful in winning either of the two trophies (Blue Steel and Camrose) for which they were eligible to compete.

Munitions Loading Competition - Again held at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, the Munitions Loading Competition took place between 10 and 19 September. The Barrentine Trophy for the Best Munitions Competition Team went to the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, South Dakota. The other major award winners were:

Best Security Police Team - 97th Bomb Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas.
Best Munitions Load Crew - 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
Best Crew Chief - 92d Bomb Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.
Best Combined Load Crew - 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 11
Other Agencies – 16

Full Scale Engineering Development for Missile-X - On 12 June 1979, President Carter approved full scale engineering development for Missile-X, intended to be the mainstay of the U.S. ICBM fleet in the late twentieth century. On 7 September, President Carter announced selection of horizontal shelter basing for the new missile.

Refurbishment of Titan II Launch Complex at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas - On 13 March, General Lew Allen, Jr., USAF Chief of Staff, approved project PACER DOWN, the restoration of Titan II Launch Complex 533-7 that was damaged in 1978. This launch complex and the ICBM which it contained were severely corroded through exposure to nitrogen tetroxide and its chemical derivatives. Restoration of the launch complex would cost an estimated $13 to $14 million, that of the ICBM, $5 million.

Global Shield ICBM Launch - On 10 July 1979, SAC launched two Minuteman III ICBMs from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, during exercise Global Shield, a comprehensive exercise of SAC's nuclear forces. One of these Global Shield missions, Glory Trip 40GM, was the last Phase I Minuteman III flight test.

Titan II Guidance System - In early December 1979, SAC completed installation of the Titan II Universal Space Guidance System (USGS) at the 381st Strategic Missile Wing and the 390th Strategic Missile Wing, completing deployment of the USGS throughout the Titan II fleet.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Twelfth Competition - The 390th Strategic Missile Wing, a Titan II unit at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, compiled the highest score for all exercises in this competition, which was held from 27 April through 3 May at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (Titan II maintenance evaluation was at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas), and won the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy. The 390th also received trophies for the Best Titan Wing and the Best Missile Communications Team. Other winners of major awards were: 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, Best Minuteman Wing and Best Missile Maintenance Team; 321st Strategic Missile Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, Best Missile Operations; 91st Strategic Missile Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Best Missile Security Police Team; and 44th Strategic Missile Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, Best Missile Civil Engineering Team.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 79, as of 30 September 1979)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $675,948,829, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $17,558,164,331, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $2,468,209,405, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants.

Military Family Housing - $92,734,903, includes O&M expenses (Military Family Housing Defense Appropriation) in support of housing units.

1980

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
118,193 (18,575 officers, 85,401 airmen, 14,217 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
954 (343 B-52, 63 FB-111, 544 EC/KC-135, 4 E-4), Air Reserve Forces - 128 KC-135.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
1,167 Minuteman, 56 Titan II, 1,383 SRAM, and 10 Thor Boosters.

Missile Units

Active Bases
25 CONUS and three overseas, including bases in Guam and Greenland.

Active Stations/Sites
Three CONUS and two overseas.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Richard H. Ellis, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Lloyd R. Leavitt, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Earl G. Peck, Chief of Staff; reassigned 1 August.

Major General Andrew Pringle, Jr., Chief of Staff, effective 1 August.

ORGANIZATION

Organization of Consolidated Contingency Steering Group - On 6 August, Headquarters SAC's newly-formed Consolidated Contingency Steering Group (CCSG) held its first meeting. Formed in July and August at the direction of Lieutenant General Lloyd R. Leavitt, Jr., the CCSG was responsible for planning and coordinating SAC's conventional aircraft operations. The CCSG was composed of contingency experts from all major Headquarters SAC staff agencies and operated under the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS) for Operations Plans. In addition to the DCS/Operations Plans, the prime contributors to the group were DCS/Operations, DCS/Logistics, and DCS/Intelligence. With exception of the DCS/Intelligence, the contingency experts of the main contributors were collocated in Corridor 3-C of the Headquarters SAC Administration Building, an area which was soon called affectionately "Contingency Country."

Joint Strategic Connectivity Staff Established - Twenty years after the JSTPS was formed at Headquarters SAC, a second specialized JCS agency was created at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The Joint Strategic Connectivity Staff (JSCS) was established on 1 July 1980. As in the JSTPS, CINCSAC was the director while a Navy admiral was vice director. Rear Admiral Paul A. Tomb assumed this position in September 1980 when the agency became operational. The JSCS was directed to analyze and recommend improvements to strategic command and control and communications systems linking the national command authorities, the commanders of nuclear forces, and the nuclear forces.

OPERATIONS


Maj J. H. Durham and crew display 410 BW flag after round-the-world flight, 14 March 1980.

Round-the-World Flight, 12-14 March 1980 and the Eleventh Mackay Trophy - In March 1980, two B-52Hs of the 410th Bomb Wing, K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan, made a nonstop, round-the-globe flight in 42 and one-half hours. It was the third such operation in SAC history, the others taking place in February 1949 and January 1957 and involving a B-50A and three B-52Bs, respectively.

The two seven-man crews involved in the third flight, commanded by Majors William H. Thurston and John M. Durham, flew to Headquarters SAC, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, a week before the mission for a briefing on a myriad of logistical, diplomatic, and meteorological problems. Thanks to the thorough preparation of the crews and the work of SAC support personnel and U.S. and foreign officials around the world, the flight proceeded smoothly along a 19,353 nautical-mile course across Canada, the North Atlantic, several European countries, the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Strait of Malacca, the South China Sea, and the north Pacific, before ending at its starting point, K. I. Sawyer. In contrast to the earlier round-the-world missions, this flight included reconnaissance/surveillance activities which had become increasingly important to SAC, in conjunction with U.S. naval forces in the Indian Ocean. Aerial refuelings over eastern Canada, the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Indian ocean, and the western Pacific made the operation possible; each aircraft received almost 600,000 pounds of fuel from SAC KC-135 tankers. After the flight, General Richard H. Ellis, SAC Commander in Chief, praised the crew for demonstrating the command's "ability to rapidly project U.S. military power the flight, General Richard H. Ellis, SAC Commander in Chief, praised the crew for demonstrating the command's "ability to rapidly project U.S. military power to any point in the world in a matter of hours." At a ceremony at Headquarters SAC on 15 May, General Lew Allen, Jr., USAF Chief of Staff, presented Majors Thurston and Durham with Distinguished Flying Crosses and their crewmen with Air Medals. He also selected the crews to receive the Mackay Trophy, awarded annually for the most meritorious flight by an Air Force member or organization.

Creation of Strategic Projection Force - In early 1980, the Joint Chiefs of Staff developed the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), composed of various elements of U.S. military forces, that could respond immediately with conventional weapons to crisis situations. SAC's contribution to the RDJTF was the Strategic Projection Force (SPF) formed primarily from B-52H and KC-135 aircraft of the 57th Air Division which had its headquarters at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. In addition to the bombers and tankers of the 5th Bomb Wing, also located at Minot, and the 319th Bomb Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, the Strategic Projection Force consisted of SR-71, U-2, and RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft and EC-135 and E-3A command, control and communications aircraft. SAC's 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, supplied the EC-135s, the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, furnished the U-2s and SR-71s, and the Tactical Air Command provided the E-3A aircraft.

Strategic Projection Force Tested - From 22 through 25 September, SAC successfully tested the Strategic Projection Force in an exercise called Busy Prairie. Fourteen B-52H bombers of the 5th Bomb Wing deployed from Minot to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, which served as a simulated forward operating base. They were augmented at Whiteman by EC-135, RC-135, U-2, KC-135 and C-5 aircraft (Military Airlift Command transports used to airlift cargo). From Whiteman, the B-52s conducted simulated combat operations over a training range in central Nevada to demonstrate the crews' ability to penetrate enemy territory and bomb targets. The 319th Bomb Wing's B-52 bombers operating out of their home base, Grand Forks, participated in the flying portion of the exercise as did SR-71s operating out of Beale.

Global Shield 80 - This no-notice command exercise, which was first held in 1979, gave the entire combat force experience in Single Integrated Operational Plan warfare under simulated conditions. Conducted between 20 and 29 June, the operation, which involved the use of 44 bases and the services of almost 100,000 command personnel, featured 437 aircraft flying 1,035 sorties for a total of 5,506 flying hours.

P. T. Cullen Award - The 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, received this award for contributing most to the photographic and signal intelligence efforts of SAC.

Omaha Trophy - Awarded to the outstanding wing in SAC, the recipient for 1980 was the 410th Bomb Wing, K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan.

Spaatz Trophy - The outstanding air refueling unit for Fiscal Year 1980 was the 452d Air Refueling Group, an Air Force Reserve unit at March Air Force Base, California. This marked the first time for a unit of Air Reserve Forces to receive the Spaatz Trophy.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Twenty-fourth Competition, First Royal Australian Air Force Participation - For its 1980 Bombing Competition, conducted similarly to the four previous meets, SAC expanded its guest list to include the Royal Australian Air Force, which entered two F-111C crews in the final two phases. The Royal Air Force participated with four Vulcan crews while the Tactical Air Command entered two F-111 crews. The Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve competed with two and four KC-135 crews, respectively. SAC, as usual excluded its oversea B-52 and KC-135 units as well as the 93d Bomb Wing, the B-52 combat crew training unit at Castle Air Force Base, California.

Major trophies presented during the 20 November awards ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, were as follows:

Fairchild Trophy, bomber and tanker unit compiling highest percentage of points in the bomber and tanker mission, 320th Bomb Wing, B-52/KC-135.
Doolittle Trophy, numbered air force whose B-52 units achieved highest percentage of points in low-level bombing, release time control, and SRAM activity, Eighth Air Force.
Mathis Trophy, unit with most points for high and low bombing and time control, 319th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Dougherty Trophy, B-52 unit compiling most points in simulated SRAM launches, 320th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Saunders Trophy, top tanker unit, 384th Air Refueling Wing, KC-135.
Meyer Trophy, top F/FB-111 unit compiling most points in low-level bombing, low time control, and low electronic countermeasures, 509th Bomb Wing.
Crumm Trophy, B-52/Vulcan unit with best high altitude bombing, 7th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Bartsch Trophy, B-52 unit compiling highest points in electronic countermeasure activity, 42d Bomb Wing.
Navigation Trophy, top tanker unit in navigation, 305th Air Refueling Wing, KC-135.


The Gen Curtis E. LeMay Trophy

The General Curtis E. LeMay Bombing Trophy Awarded for First Time - Donated by Norden Systems, Inc., the trophy was named for General Curtis E. LeMay, former commander in chief of SAC, and was designated for presentation to the bomber crew compiling the most points in high and low-level bombing. It replaced the Bombing Trophy. As with other major trophies, the LeMay Trophy would be retained for one year by the winning unit and then presented to the next winning unit. Norden Systems also donated a number of smaller bombing trophy replicas for individual recognition program. A 380th Bomb Wing FB-111 crew was the first to receive the trophy.

RAF Bombing Competition - Unsuccessful in its 1979 bid to win major trophies with B-52H aircraft, SAC sent four B-52G aircraft and crews to the 1980 RAF Bombing Competition, which was again held at RAF Station Marham in the United Kingdom from 21 to 29 July. Once again the SAC representatives (68th, 97th, 320th, and 379th) failed to bring home either the Blue Steel or Camrose Trophy.

Munitions Loading Competition - The SAC Munitions Loading Competition was held at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, from 8 through 17 September. The Barrentine Trophy for the Best Munitions Competition Team was won by the 97th Bomb Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas. The other major awards were:

Best Security Police Team - 97th Bomb Wing.
Best Munitions Load Crew - 509th Bomb Wing, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire.
Best Crew Chief - 416th Bomb Wing, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York.
Best Combined Load Crew - 509th Bomb Wing, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 9
Other Agencies – 18

Titan II Launch Complex Restoration at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas - In early March 1980, engineers at Martin-Marietta Denver reported that they could restore the Titan II ICBM damaged in the August 1978 propellant spillage mishap to operational service by February 1982. After receiving permission from the House Armed Services Committee to exceed a $2.8 million limit, Headquarters SAC, on 5 September 1980, awarded a $4.17 million contract to the Mayfair Construction Company to restore McConnell Launch Complex 533-7-

Ogden-ALC Titan II Assessment - Completing a Congressionally mandated investigation in May 1980, Ogden-Air Logistics Center declared that Titan II equipment and procedures together with programmed modifications adequately protected public safety and national interests.

Titan II Mishap - Little Rock - Between 18-19 September 1980, a Titan II mishap at Launch Complex 374-7, 308th Strategic Missile Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, resulted in an explosion, obliterating the launch complex, its assigned ICBM, and killing one airman. Formed in the wake of this tragedy, a Titan II Executive Committee chaired by General Bennie L. Davis, Commander of the Air Force Training Command, certified the safety and effectiveness of the Titan II in December 1980.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Thirteenth Competition - Blanchard Perpetual Trophy Missing - Replacement Procured On 15 March 1980, less than six weeks before SAC's annual missile competition began, the 390th Strategic Missile Wing reported that the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy was missing. The trophy, which had been in the 390th's possession since the 1979 competition, was apparently stolen from a display case in the wing headquarters building at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, on either 14 or 15 March. Although an extensive search was made, the trophy could not be found. A replacement similar in design to the original was procured in time for presentation at the conclusion of the competition, which was held from 24 through 30 April,

As in the two previous meets, the Titan II maintenance evaluations were conducted at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, while the remainder of the competition was held at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. McConnell's 381st Strategic Missile Wing, having compiled the highest combined score for all exercises, received the new Blanchard Perpetual Trophy as well as the Best Titan II Wing award. This marked the third time for the 381st to win the top award. Another Titan II unit, the 308th Strategic Missile Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, won the Best Missile Operations and Best Missile Civil Engineering Team awards. The remainder of the major awards went to the following units: 90th Strategic Missile Wing, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, Best Minuteman Wing and Best Missile Security Police Team; 390th Strategic Missile Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Best Missile Maintenance Team; and 44th Strategic Missile Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, Best Missile Communications Team.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 80, as of 30 September 1980)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $959,868,990, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $19,338,006,491, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $3,317,954,920, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants.

Military Family Housing - $96,859,635, includes 0&M expenses (Military Family Housing Defense Appropriation) in support of housing units.


Busy Prairie I Camp at Whiteman AFB, September 1980.

1983

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
120,043 (17,767 officers, 89,267 airmen, 13,009 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
(262 B-52, 61 FB-111, 541 EC/KC-135, 20 KC-10, 4 E-4). Air Reserve Forces - 128 KC-135.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
1,149 Minuteman, 43 Titan II, 1,327 SRAM, and 736 ALCM.

Missile Units

Active Bases
24 CONUS and one overseas.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Bennie L. Davis, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General George D. Miller, Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Christopher S. Adams, Jr., Chief of Staff; retired effective 28 January.

Major General Monroe W. Hatch, Jr., Chief of Staff, effective 28 January.

ORGANIZATION

Joint Strategic Connectivity Staff Transferred - On 1 October the Joint Strategic Connectivity Staff (JSCS), an agency of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) located at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, since 1980, was disestablished. Its command control communications function and most of its manpower were transferred into the Command Control Communications System Directorate of the JCS.

SAC and the Space Command - Shortly after the Space Command was established on 1 September 1982, Headquarters USAF decided that the new command would be assigned the Missile Warning and Space Surveillance Systems that SAC acquired from the Air Defense Command in 1979. Accordingly, approximately 3,600 personnel, 31 units, and four Air Force installations were transferred from SAC to the Space Command on 1 April and 1 May.

OPERATIONS


Mackay Trophy Winners - For saving an F-4E Phantom fighter over the Atlantic on 5 September 1983, this crew from the 42 BMW received the Mackay Trophy.
Crew members (left to right): 1st Lt Karol R. Wojcikoski, navigator; Capt Robert J. Goodman, pilot; Capt Michael R. Clover, copilot; and SSgt Douglas D. Simmons, boom operator.

A Phantom Save and the Thirteenth Mackay Trophy - On 5 September 1983, Captain Robert J. Goodman and his KC-135 crew, which were assigned to the 42d Bomb Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, saved an F-4E Phantom fighter over the North Atlantic. While deploying to the European Tanker Task Force, Captain Goodman and his crew were participating in the in-flight refueling of a group of F-4Es on a Crested Cap I mission. One of the fighters lost power in one engine and was diverted to the nearest airfield, Gander International Airport, Newfoundland, Canada, approximately 500 miles away. Captain Goodman was directed to escort the crippled fighter across the near-freezing ocean to Gander. Shortly thereafter, the F-4E crew was forced to shut down one engine entirely and reduce power in the other, which caused the aircraft to drop altitude by nearly 20,000 feet and lose airspeed. With its centerline tank jettisoned, the F-4E almost ran out of fuel. Through four in-flight refueling hookups, all of which were interrupted by disconnects, the KC-135 was somehow or another able to refuel, tow, and escort the Phantom fighter toward Gander. At times, the flight became extremely perilous with the F-4E dropping to an altitude of 2,000 feet above the frigid ocean. Finally, the fighter was able to take on enough fuel and to gain sufficient engine thrust to maintain a safe flight altitude into Gander where it landed without mishap. For this most meritorious flight of the year in the Air Force, Captain Goodman and his crew received the Mackay Trophy. Other members of the KC-135 crew were: Captain Michael R. Clover, copilot, First Lieutenant Karol R. Wojcikoski, navigator; and Staff Sergeant Douglas D. Simmons, boom operator.


B-52s Retired - The aircraft that performed the majority of bombing missions in Southeast Asia, the B-52D was removed from operations on 1 October 1983.
B-52D 56-0676 assigned to the 43 SW was the last "D" model to be retired in that unit.

Last B-52Ds Retired - The B-52D, the aircraft that bore the brunt of the Arc Light bombing mission in Southeast Asia from 1966 through 1973, was removed from operations on 1 October. No doubt, due to their role in the Vietnam War, retired B-52Ds were in great demand for display purposes. A total of 24 B-52Ds were preserved for display during 1982 and 1983. On 4 October the 7th Bomb Wing's 55-0674 was the last B-52D to go to the storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. Seven B-52Ds remained at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, until their display facilities were ready. The very last B-52D (S/N 56-0687) left Carswell on 20 February 1984 for Orlando International Airport, Florida.

First B-52 Deployment to Spain - Although small groups of B-52s had been deployed to temporary forward operating bases in England for several years, the deployment of three B-52Gs from the 42d Bomb Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, to Moron Air Base for three weeks in October-November was the first such use of a Spanish base. Participating in NATO exercise "Eternal Triangle" (27-28 October) and "Crisex" (31 October-8 November) a joint U.S.-Spanish exercise, the B-52s took part in high and low altitude bombing, sea-search and ECM and fighter-intercept exercises. On 2 November, Spain's King Don Carlos observed a B-52 bombing exercise.


A KC-135 tanker from the 320 BMW refuels the B-1 during refueling trials off the California coast in 1983.

First B-1B Base Selected - On 31 January 1983, Secretary of the Air Force Verne Orr announced that Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, would be the home of the first B-1 squadron and the combat crew training school.

Urgent Fury - When more radical elements of the leftist government of Grenada staged a coup and killed the Prime Minister, the U.S. and other countries in the Caribbean decided to take action to prevent injury to the more than 1,100 U.S. citizens on the island and to preserve peace in the Caribbean. SAC KC-135 and KC-10 tankers operating from several CONUS bases, provided air refueling support to numerous types of USAF aircraft participating in the Grenada invasion from 22 October through 4 November.

Largest B-52 Aerial Mining Exercise - In the largest B-52 mining exercise of its kind to date, ten SAC B-52Ds and Gs from 43d Strategic Wing, and 2d and 19th Bomb Wings, dropped mines off the coast of South Korea on 7 March. The mining exercise, a part of Team Spirit 83, included U.S. Navy and Marine minelayers and fighters, SAC and Navy tankers and South Korean fighters.

Harpoon Anti-Shipping Missile Operational for B-52s - In addition to sea-search and aerial mining, SAC's collateral maritime mission included the interdiction of enemy sea power. After looking at other weapons SAC began to modify some B-52Gs in 1982 to carry the AGM-84 Harpoon. The first flight tests took place between 15 and 28 March 1983 on the Pacific Missile Test Range. A limited operational capability for the 42d Bomb Wing B-52Gs with Harpoon was achieved on 6 October.

Omaha Trophy - Awarded to the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, in recognition of being the outstanding wing in SAC.

P. T. Cullen Award - The 6th Strategic Wing, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, received this award in recognition of its contribution to SAC's photo and signal intelligence mission.

Spaatz Trophy - Awarded to the 42d Bomb Wing (42d and 407th Air Refueling Squadrons), Loring Air Force Base, Maine, for outstanding air refueling operations in Fiscal Year 1983 •

BOMBING COMPETITION

Twenty-seventh Competition - In the 1983 SAC Bombing and Navigation Competition, the SAC crews were joined by two F-111D entries from the Tactical Air Command as well as Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve KC-135 crews. The Royal Air Force missed the meet for the third consecutive year because its Tornado aircraft conversion was still under way. Major awards presented during the 10 November ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, were as follows:

Fairchild Trophy, best combined bomber and tanker scores, 509th Bomb Wing, FB-111/KC-135.
Doolittle Trophy, numbered air force whose units had the best combined scores in low-level bombing and SRAM accuracy, Fifteenth Air Force.
McDonnell-Douglas Trophy, numbered air force KC-10 team (each numbered air force team consisted of one active squadron and one reserve associate squadron crew), Fifteenth Air Force.
Mathis Trophy, unit with most points for high and low-level bombing and time control, 28th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Ryan Trophy, B-52 unit with most points in bombing, 28th Bomb Wing.
Meyer Trophy, F/FB-111 unit with best low-level bombing and electronic countermeasures, 509th Bomb Wing.
Dougherty Trophy, unit with most points in simulated SRAM launches, 379th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Crumm Trophy, B-52 unit compiling most point in high altitude bombing, 28th Bomb Wing.
Saunders Trophy, KC-135 unit with most points in all tanker operations, 190th Air Refueling Group (Air National Guard).
Bartsch Trophy, B-52 unit with most points in all electronic counter-measures activity, 410th Bomb Wing.
LeMay Trophy, B-52 or F/FB-111 crew compiling most points in high and low-level bombing and time control, 28th Bomb Wing, B-52.
Navigation Trophy, outstanding KC-135 unit in navigation, 452d Air Refueling Wing (Air Force Reserve).

Weapons Loading Competition - The SAC Combat Weapons Loading Competition was again held at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, from 20 through 27 September. The Barrentine Trophy for the Best Munitions Competition Team went to the 416th Bomb Wing, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York. The other major award winners were:

Best Security Police Team - 320th Bomb Wing, Mather Air Force Base, California.
Best Munitions Load Crew - 43d Strategic Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
Best Crew Chief - 42d Bomb Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine.
Best Combined Load Crew - 410th Bomb Wing, K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 9
Other Agencies – 19

Titan II Deactivation (Rivet Cap) - Work continued at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, on deactivating the Titan II weapon system. The program, nicknamed Rivet Cap, progressed to the final stage — site dismantlement. The first headworks of a launch site, 570-7, was successfully demolished by a contractor on 30 November. The first Titan II unit inactivation, that of the 571st Strategic Missile Squadron, occurred on 2 December. By the end of 1983, eight sites had been deactivated, raising the total to 12.

ICBM Modernization - As a result of the continuing public and Congressional debate on the need for a new ICBM and basing modes, President Reagan appointed a commission on strategic forces to review these questions. Known as the Scowcroft Commission after its chairman, retired Air Force Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, it recommended, on 6 April (1) development of a small single warhead ICBM; (2) deployment of 100 Peacekeepers in existing Minuteman silos; (3) further study of silo and shelter hardness and basing modes; and (4) continuation of other ongoing strategic programs (ABM, Trident, Bombers, ALCM, Command Control). The President accepted the findings on 19 April, followed by Congress on 24 and 25 May.

First Peacekeeper Flight Test - The first Peacekeeper test missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on 18 June. The multiple warheads arrived in the Kwajalein Target Area. Two more Peacekeeper tests were flown in 1983.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Sixteenth Competition - In the 1983 competition, held at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, from 29 April through 5 May, the three Titan II wings set the pace by capturing the first three spots in competing for the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy. This trophy, given to the wing with the highest combined score in the meet, went to the 381st Strategic Missile Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. In addition to winning this trophy, the 381st received recognition as the Best Titan II Wing, Best Missile and Engineering Team, Best Missile Crew, and Best Missile Operations. Other major awards and their recipients were:

Best Minuteman Wing - 321st Strategic Missile Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.
Best Missile Maintenance Team - 308th Strategic Missile Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.
Best Missile Security Police Team - 44th Strategic Missile Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.
Best Missile Communications Team - 390th Strategic Missile Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 83, as of 30 September 1983)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $1,104,172,129, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $22,025,147,157, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $4,232,596,562, includes O&M listed above, military pay, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL).

Military Family Housing - $84,968,517, includes O&M expenses (Military Family Housing Defense Appropriation) in support of housing units.


The Space Shuttle "Enterprise" piggybacked on a modified Boeing 747 made a refueling stop at McConnell AFB in May 1983. The 747 was refueled by a 384th AREFW.


Support to NATO - A RAF "Lightning" takes on fuel from a SAC KC-135 tanker from the 11th SG during NATO exercise JOINT VENTURE in 1983.
The tanker was fitted with a drogue to fit the Lightning's refueling probe.

1984

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
118,484 (17,165 officers, 88,458 airmen, 12,861 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
897 (262 B-52, 60 FB-111, 543 EC/KC-135, 28 KC-10, 4 E-4). Air Reserve Forces - 128 KC-135.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
1,140 Minuteman, 31 Titan II, 1,309 SRAM, and 1,209 ALCM.

Missile Units

Active Bases
24 CONUS and one overseas.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Bennie L. Davis, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General George D. Miller, Vice Commander in Chief; retired effective 31 August.

Lieutenant General William J. Campbell, Vice Commander in Chief effective 31 August.

Major General Monroe W. Hatch, Jr., Chief of Staff, reassigned effective 30 September.

Major General John A. Brashear, Chief of Staff, effective 30 September.

ORGANIZATION

Consolidation of Information Systems in One Agency - During 1982, Headquarters USAF addressed the issue of the growing overlapping of communications and data processing management agencies. On 1 June 1983 the Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Systems was created in the Air Staff. This new agency was responsible for communications, computer systems and office automation equipment. A similar consolidation was already under study by SAC. At that level the issue was complicated by SAC's relationship with Air Force Communications Command (AFCC). On 1 July the new arrangement went into effect. SAC's new Deputy Chief of Staff, Information Systems would also be the AFCC Strategic Information Systems Division Commander. At all levels of the command, SAC Data Processing and Office Automation Agencies were merged with AFCC Communications-Electronics Units.

OPERATIONS

Gallant Eagle 84 - During 4 through 12 September, SAC participated in Gallant Eagle 84, the largest military exercise in the United States since 1962. This U.S. Central Command Conventional Forces Exercise involved 44 SAC bombers, tankers, reconnaissance and command control aircraft. SAC, TAC, MAC and Army elements operated from a number of installations in the western U.S. including SAC's Vandenberg, March and Beale Air Force Bases in California and Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Also B-52Hs from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, deployed to Biggs Army Airfield, Texas. The B-52s flew 182 sorties while the KC-135s and KC-10s flew 309 sorties.

KC-10 Support of Antarctic Supply Drop - On 21 June a 22d Air Refueling Wing KC-10A, operating for the first time from Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand, provided three air refuelings to a Military Airlift Command C-141B enabling it to carry out the mid-winter air drop reprovisioning of the U.S. Antarctic bases at the South Pole and McMurdo Sound. A second flight to McMurdo Sound was accomplished on 23 June.

B-1B Rollout and First Flight - On 4 September the first B-1B (S/N 82-0001 ) was shown to the public in a rollout ceremony at Rockwell International's Palmdale, California, assembly plant. This aircraft made its first flight on 18 October. Both events were ahead of schedule.


SAC received the first re-engined KC-135R in June 1984 when this aircraft was delivered to the 384th AREFW at McConnell AFB.

SAC Receives First Reengined KC-135R - After the completion of a two-year operational test and evaluation program, the first KC-135R (S/N 61-0293) was transferred to SAC's 384th Air Refueling Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, by Boeing at the Wichita, Kansas, plant on 20 June. The aircraft was formally accepted by General Davis from the Aeronautical Systems Division Commander Lieutenant General Thomas H. McMullen in a ceremony on 2 July. The KC-135R with the new fuel-efficient CFM-56 engines had one and one-half times the fuel off-load capability of the KC-135A. It would also reduce maintenance costs, operate from shorter runways, and meet federal noise and emission standards. SAC's entire KC-135 tanker force would be reengined over the next few years.

Omaha Trophy - Awarded to the 380th Bomb Wing, Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, in recognition for being the outstanding wing in SAC.

Spaatz Trophy - Awarded to the 906th Air Refueling Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, for outstanding air refueling operations in Fiscal Year 1984.

P. T. Cullen Award - Given to the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for its contribution to the National Intelligence Collection efforts for SAC.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Twenty-eighth Competition - RAF Returns - In addition to SAC bombers and tankers, Air Reserve Forces tankers and TAC, USAFE and Australian (RAAF) F-111s, the RAF brought its new Tornado fighter/bombers to the 1984 SAC Bombing and Navigation Competition. The RAF appearance ended a three-year absence while converting from Vulcans to Tornados. The USAFE F-111s were first-time competitors for that command. Also involved were Air National Guard and RCAF interceptors. For the first time inert practice bombs were dropped on the Nellis Range during Phase One of the competition. All other scoring was electronic. At the beginning of the competition the Barksdale Air Force Base Auditorium was renamed Hoban Hall in honor of Lieutenant General Richard M. Hoban, a former Second and Eighth Air Force Commander, who was instrumental in refurbishing the building in 1974 as a permanent bombing competition headquarters. Major awards presented at the 31 October ceremony were:

Fairchild Trophy, best combined bomber and tanker scores in bombing and navigation, 380th Bomb Wing, Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York.
Saunders Trophy, best tanker unit, 380th Bomb Wing (310th and 380th Air Refueling Squadrons).
Mathis Trophy, best bombing unit, 416th Bomb Wing, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York.
Ryan Trophy, best B-52 units in high and low-level bombing, 416th Bomb Wing.
Dougherty Trophy, best SRAM results, 416th Bomb Wing.
Crumm Trophy, best B-52 unit in high altitude bombing, 379th Bomb Wing, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan.
Bartsch Trophy, best B-52 unit in electronic countermeasures activity, 320th Bomb Wing, Mather Air Force Base, California.
LeMay Trophy, best bomber crew in high and low-level bombing, RAF2, 617 Squadron, RAF Marham.
Meyer Trophy, F/FB-111 or Tornado unit achieving the highest damage expectancy rating, RAF2, 617 Squadron, RAF Marham.
Navigation Trophy, best KC-135 unit in celestial navigation, 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California.
Doolittle Trophy, numbered air force with best overall combined scores in low-level bombing and SRAM accuracy, Eighth Air Force.
McDonnell-Douglas Trophy, numbered air force with best KC-10 unit, Eighth Air Force.

During the Bombing Competition Symposium, the Memphis, Tennessee, Chamber of Commerce donated an award in honor of General Bennie L. Davis for the most improved unit in the competition versus last year's results. The award went to the 97th Bomb Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas.

Weapons Loading Competition - This year's Combat Weapons Loading Competition was held at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, from 5 through 12 September. The 28th Bomb Wing from Ellsworth won the Barrentine Trophy for the Best Munitions Competition Team. The other major award winners were:

Best Security Police Team - 44th Strategic Missile Wing, Ellsworth.
Best Munitions Load Crew - 93d Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California.
Best Crew Chief - 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth.
Best Combined Load Crew - 410th Bomb Wing, K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 8
Other Agencies – 15

Titan II Deactivation - The last Titan II site (570-5) of the 390th Strategic Missile Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, was removed from alert on 21 May. The missile left the site on 28 June. The remaining squadron, the 571st, and the wing were inactivated on 31 July. By that time work was already under way at the second Titan II wing, the 381 st at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. The first site (533-8) was removed from alert on 2 July. Three more were deactivated by the end of the year.

MISSILE.COMPETITION

Seventeenth Competition - Once again held at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, SAC's Missile Combat Competition took place between 3 and 10 May. Only eight wings participated this time as the 390th was getting ready to inactivate. The winner of the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy as the Best Missile Wing was the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. The 90th also won the Best Minuteman Wing, Best Missile Operations, Best Missile Maintenance Team and Best Missile communications Team Awards. The other major award winners were:

Best Titan II Wing - 308th Strategic Missile Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.
Best Missile Security Police Team - 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
Best Missile Civil Engineering Team - 91st Strategic Missile Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 84, as of 30 September 1984)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $943,376,274, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $23,675,204,301, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $3,147,563,869, includes 0&M listed above, military pay, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL).

Military Family Housing - $85,325,960, includes O&M expenses (Military Family Housing Defense Appropriation) in support of housing units.


STICKY STUFF - Two technicians at Hill AFB pour solid fuel mixture into a Minuteman Missile stage prior to shipping the missile section back to Malmstrom AFB to be assembled and deployed.


Internal mines loaded in bomb bay of a B-52G at Andersen AFB during exercise TEAM SPIRIT 84/MINEX operations in March 1984.


Seven Thunderbirds F-16 fighters are refueled by a KC-135 tanker from the 380th BMW following an aerial demonstration at an open house.


Not visitors from outer space but a shelter management team checking for contamination after a simulated nuclear detonation during an exercise at a SAC base.

1985

ASSIGNED RESOURCES
(As of December)

Personnel
118,976 (17,475 officers, 88,341 airmen, 13,160 civilians).

Tactical Aircraft
901 (2 B-1, 261 B-52, 60 FB-111, 535 EC/KC-135, 39 KC-10, 4 E-4). Air Reserve Forces - 128 KC-135.

Aircraft Units

Missiles
1,140 Minuteman, 21 Titan II, 1,309 SRAM, and 1,271 ALCM.

Missile Units

Active Bases
24 CONUS and one overseas.

COMMAND LEADERSHIP


General Larry D. Welch

General Welch Assumed Command


Eleventh CINCSAC - General Larry D. Welch flies his first "Looking Glass" mission shortly after assuming command on 1 August 1985.

General Bennie L. Davis, Commander in Chief, retired, effective 1 August.

General Larry D. Welch, Commander in Chief, effective 1 August.

Lieutenant General William J. Campbell, Vice Commander in Chief, retired, effective 26 July.

Lieutenant General Monroe W. Hatch, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief, effective 26 July

Major General John A. Brashear, Chief of Staff, retired, effective 29 October.

Major General Robert D. Beckel, Chief of Staff, effective 29 October.

ORGANIZATION

No significant changes.

OPERATIONS

Another In-Flight Emergency and the Fourteenth Mackay Trophy - On 21 January 1985, Lieutenant Colonel David E. Faught, a member of the 97th Bombardment Wing, saved the lives of eight KC-135 crewmerabers and prevented the loss of his tanker through a conspicuous act of courage during flight. In his capacity as evaluator pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Faught was instructing a pilot proficiency exercise and after having supervised four uneventful touch-and-go landings, was making the final approach for a full stop landing. Suddenly, there was trouble. The tanker's nose gear would not extend and- the aircraft, which had been in the air for approximately six hours, could not land at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas, its home base.

While the crew was making numerous unsuccessful attempts to lower the nose gear, other problems developed. Fuel became low and the weather got bad. Luckily, there was an EC-135 aircraft in the local traffic area and a refueling was finally conducted in the turbulent skies over Arkansas. Lieutenant Colonel Faught and his crew continued trying unsuccessfully to lower the nose gear, and about every 20 minutes another refueling was required. No more than 8,000 pounds of fuel could be onloaded at a time because of critical center of gravity limitations and the necessity to keep the aircraft in landing configuration.

Subsequently, a KC-10 tanker relieved the EC-135. After a while, the KC-10 began to run low on fuel and a strip alert tanker at Blytheville was called upon to refuel the KC-10, which in turn, refueled the KC-135. Finally, after being airborne for over 13 hours, and with darkness approaching, Lieutenant Colonel Faught decided to make a nose up landing at Blytheville. The landing was successful. All eight crewmembers were alive and the tanker suffered only minor damage. For his superior performance on this flight, Lieutenant Colonel Faught was named recipient of the 1985 Mackay Trophy.


First B-1 - A 96 Bomb Wing Security policeman guards the B-1B after acceptance ceremonies at Dyess AFB, Texas, on 29 June.

First B-1 Delivered — The first operational B-1B (S/N 83-0065) was accepted by SAC and the 96th Bomb Wing on its arrival at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, on 7 July. The airplane was flown from Edwards Air Force Base, California, to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, on 27 June with Secretary of the Air Force Verne Orr on board. General Davis was to fly it to Dyess on 29 June, the 30th anniversary of the SAC acceptance of the first B-52. Unfortunately, 83-0065 suffered engine damage from ingesting nuts and bolts from a faulty air conditioner. On 29 June General Davis went to Edwards to pick up the only other existing B-1B, S/N 82-0001, the fleet prototype. He then flew it to Dyess for the acceptance ceremonies.

E-4 Modification Program Completed - On 30 January the last of three E-4As modified to an E-4B configuration was returned to the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Added to the one E-4 built as an E-4B, SAC now had four improved E-4 National Emergency Command Post aircraft with nuclear effects shielding, advanced command and control electronics, a 1200 KVA generator (the largest power generator ever flown) and 13 external communications systems using 50 antennas to cover a broad frequency spectrum from super-high to very-low.

ALCM Test Flight in Canada - On 19 February a 319th Bomb Wing B-52 launched the first ALCM flight test missile over the Beaufort Sea north of Canada. The ALCM then flew south into Canada on a four and one-half hour flight down a 1,500 by 50 mile corridor from the MacKenzie River Delta along the east slope of the Rockies to Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and then east to the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range near Canadian Forces Base, Cold Lake, Alberta. The missile made a successful parachute-assisted landing in the target area.

Spaatz Trophy - Awarded to the 906th Air Refueling Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, for outstanding air refueling operations in Fiscal Year 1985. This was the first time that a unit had won two consecutive Spaatz Trophies.

Omaha Trophy - Awarded to the outstanding wing in SAC, the 1985 winner of this trophy was the 5th Bombardment Wing, Minot AFB, North Dakota.


Operations at SAC's northern bases continue despite periods of heavy snowfall as shown in this photograph of the KC-135 parking area at K. I, Saywer AFB.

P. T. Cullen Award - The 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale AFB, California, won the award for exemplary contributions to intelligence gathering efforts for SAC.

Headquarters SAC "PEACE IS OUR PROFESSION" Sign Removed - On 12 April, the "Peace is our Profession" sign that had been in front of the SAC Gate entrance to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, since 1958 was removed. All gate and directional signs at Offutt were replaced by standard Air Force signs at that time. The 1958 sign was given to the SAC Aerospace Museum, located at Offutt.

BOMBING COMPETITION

Twenty-ninth Competition - For only the second time since 1974 a B-52 unit won the SAC Bombing and Navigation Competition. For a number of years the FB-111s with more modern avionics equipment had a distinct advantage. With the B-52s receiving new avionics along with the ALCM, they were in a better competitive position. In addition to the SAC bomber and tanker units and Air Reserve Forces tanker units, TAC F-111s and RAF Tornados joined the competition. Major awards presented at the 14 November ceremony were:

Fairchild Trophy, best combined bomber and tanker scores in bombing and navigation, 97th Bomb Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas.
Saunders Trophy, best tanker unit, 452d Air Refueling Wing, March Air Force Base, California.
Mathis Trophy, best bombing unit, 97th Bomb Wing, Blytheville.
Ryan Trophy, best B-52 unit in high and low-level bombing, 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas.
Dougherty Trophy, best SRAM results, 319th Bomb Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.
Crumm Trophy, best B-52 unit in high altitude bombing, 416th Bomb Wing, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York.
Bartsch Trophy, best B-52 unit in electronic countermeasures activity, 7th Bomb Wing.
LeMay Trophy, best bomber crew in high and low-level bombing, RAF1, 27 Squadron, RAF Marham.
Meyer Trophy, F/B-111 or Tornado unit achieving the highest damage expectancy rating, RAF2, 27 Squadron, RAF Marham.
Navigation Trophy, best KC-135 unit in celestial navigation, 452d Air Refueling Wing.
Doolittle Trophy, numbered air force with best overall combined scores in low-level bombing and SRAM accuracy, Fifteenth Air Force.
McDonnell-Douglas Trophy, numbered air force with best KC-10, Eighth Air Force.
Davis Trophy, for the most improved unit since the last competition, 319th Bomb Wing.

Weapons Loading Competition - Once again the SAC Combat Weapons Loading Competition was held at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, in September (19th through 26th). The winner of the Barrentine Trophy for the Best Munitions Competition Team was the 509th Bomb Wing, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire. The 509th also won the Best Munitions Load Crew and Best Combined Load Crew Awards. The other major award winners were:

Best Security Police Team - 96th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

Best Crew Chief - 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

MISSILES

Missile Launches - Total missiles and space systems launched during the year from Vandenberg Air Force Base:

Launched by: SAC – 6
Other Agencies – 11

TAC GLCM Launched from Vandenberg - On 22 October 1985 Tactical Air Command launched its first missile from Vandenberg. This ground-launched cruise missile was the first of its kind flown from Vandenberg.

New Minuteman Modification Program Begun - For the first time since the completion of the Force Modernization Program in 1975, SAC's Minuteman fleet was to undergo a major upgrade and modification program. The Rivet Mile (Minuteman integrated life extension) program began at the 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, on 1 April when four launch facilities were transferred to Air Force Logistics Command for modification.

Titan II Deactivation - During 1985 seven more Titan II sites of the 381st Strategic Missile Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, were deactivated for a total of twelve. The 533d Strategic Missile Squadron was inactivated on 1 November. Titan II deactivation began at the third wing, the 308th Strategic Missile Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, in April at Site 374-8 which was already off alert for maintenance. Three more sites at Little Rock were deactivated by the end of the year.

Female Crews for Minuteman and Peacekeeper Authorized - In 1984 Headquarters USAF asked SAC to restudy the placement of women on Minuteman and Peacekeeper crews. This issue was originally addressed in the late 1970s when women were added to the Titan II crew force. At that time it was not desirable to have two-person mixed (male and female) crews in Minuteman. However, in August 1984 Headquarters USAF requested that SAC investigate the use of gender-specific Minuteman crews. An extensive SAC study resulted in a 4 February 1985 CINCSAC announcement instituting gender-specific (all-female) crews in Minuteman. A phased-approach (one wing at a time) was initiated. The first class of six female Titan II Launch Control Officers began Minuteman initial qualification training at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in October. They were scheduled for assignment to the 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, in January 1986.

MISSILE COMPETITION

Eighteenth Competition - On its 18th try, the 308th Strategic Missile Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, won its first Blanchard Perpetual Trophy in the SAC Missile Combat Competition. The 308th also won the Best Titan Wing, Best Missile Operations Team, Best Missile Maintenance Team, and Best Missile Civil Engineering Team Awards. The other major award winners at the competition held from 26 April through 2 May at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, were:

Best Minuteman Wing and Best Missile Security Police Team - 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.
Best Missile Information Systems Team - 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.

FINANCIAL STATUS
(FY 85, as of 30 September 1985)

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - $955,825,677, includes supplies, communications, civilian pay, minor equipment purchased.

Assets - $25,283,589,329, includes real property, inventories, equipment, and weapon systems.

Operating Expenses - $3,715,956,369, includes O&M listed above, military pay, troop subsistence, and aviation petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL).

Military Family Housing - $99,191,292, includes O&M expenses (Military Family Housing Defense Appropriation) in support of housing units.


Space Launch Complex-Six at Vandenberg AFB in January 1985 with the Space Shuttle "Enterprise" assembled on the pad after a successful demonstration of the site's capability to prepare the spacecraft for launch. This was the first full-scale rehearsal for the launch of the Shuttle "Discovery" into a polar orbit sometime in 1987.

1986 (Through 21 March)
THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR

COMMAND LEADERSHIP

General Larry D. Welch, Commander in Chief.

Lieutenant General Monroe W. Hatch, Jr., Vice Commander in Chief.

Major General Robert D. Beckel, Chief of Staff.


Twenty-five years of "Looking Glass" is celebrated with a cake-cutting ceremony with General Welch and Colonel Lawrence A. Mitchell, Commander of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, performing the honors.

25th Anniversary of Looking Glass – On 3 February 1986, the SAC Airborne Command Post, carried aboard EC-135 aircraft known affectionately as Looking Glass, completed 25 years of continuous duty (see 1961 entry). General Welch flew the official anniversary mission which landed at Offutt at 2:30 p.m. As had been the practice for the past 25 years, a replacement Looking Glass aircraft had been launched and in the air for several minutes before General Welch's aircraft landed.


General Welch receives the first piece of cake as SAC celebrates 40 years.

40th Anniversary of SAC – On 21 March, the Strategic Air Command observed its 40th Anniversary. In Headquarters SAC, the event was highlighted when General Welch presided over a cake-cutting ceremony in the SAC Cafeteria. This brief ceremony marked the beginning of a year-long observance of the anniversary under the theme "Forty and Forward," which was part of SAC's 40th Anniversary logo.

SAC Digital Network (SACDIN) Completes Test - SAC Digital Network (SACDIN) successfully completed its second Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) on 31 January. SACDIN would replace the 1960's vintage SAC Automated Command Control System (SACCS) Data Transmission Subsystem (DTS) to provide two-way direct and secure record data communications from CINCSAC to all SAC ground-based commanders charged with executing the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP). The Digital Network, which had been planned in the 1970s, had failed its first Initial Operational Test and Evaluation in August 1984. The system was scheduled to reach Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in September 1986 at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, and Whiteman AFB, Missouri. Final Operational Capability was projected to occur in January 1988.

IDHS-80 Achieved Full Operational Capability - On 26 January, the SAC Intelligence Data Handling System for the mid-1980s (IDHS-80) achieved full operational capability, successfully concluding a five year hardware and software procurement and development effort. To achieve this goal, computer support for several major intelligence functions was transitioned from two obsolete computers to IDHS-80. The supported areas included electronic intelligence exploitation and production, delegated production of basic military intelligence, target intelligence development and threat assessment. During the transition process every effort was made to maintain the appearance of user screen displays, while improving processing time. In fact, the average terminal response decreased from 34 seconds, under the previous system, to eight seconds for IDHS-80.

Peacekeeper Lawsuit Dismissed - On 20 February, the U.S. District Court in Lincoln, Nebraska, dismissed lawsuits against the placement of Peacekeeper missiles in Minuteman sites at Frances E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. The State of Colorado and several other individual plaintiffs have appealed the dismissal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. Oral arguments will be heard in three to four months, with a decision anticipated in Spring of 1987.