Paul’s Thing


Hi! I'm Paul. This is my blog. It is the best blog.

February 2018
« Jan    

Air-Minded Index



Reading Now

My Book Reviews


Paulgram Newsletter

powered by TinyLetter

My DKos Diaries


Paul on Twitter

twitter logo

Paul on YouTube

youtube logo

Paul on Flickr


Paul on Instagram




Paul on Pinterest



© 2004-2018 Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

Air-Minded: Cold War Nightmare Reawakened

Note: the photos from the original post (April 15, 2011) succumbed to web rot. I have replaced them, and have added the post to the Air-Minded category.

Thursday, as part of my Pima Air Museum volunteer training, I took a tour of the affiliated Titan Missile Museum south of Tucson. I’ve now audited each of the guided tours offered by the air museum and have to decide which ones I’m interested in leading. The next steps will include extensive reading, a test, live practice, and certification. I hope to have all that done by the end of May.

When I arrived at the Titan Missile Museum yesterday, I was just in time to tag along with a class of high schoolers from nearby Vail. I mention this because you will see a lot of students, and some teachers, in these two photos.

4-14-11_1 copy 4-14-11_3 copy

USAF pilots of my era universally dreaded the possibility of a missile launch officer assignment. In the post-Vietnam drawdown, there weren’t enough airplanes to fly. Many of us were swallowed up by the Strategic Air Command to man missile silos. Captains and majors wearing both pilot wings and pocket rockets were a common sight. When you saw one of those benighted figures you’d turn around three times with your fingers crossed behind your back to ward off the curse.

Descending down into the launch control facility yesterday, I felt that old fear creeping up my spine. After all these years, SAC still gives me the willies. I’m afraid I’ll wake up to find myself 30 years younger, down in a hole in the ground, listening to endless alphanumeric radio transmissions from Omaha, thinking of the blue skies above.

4-14-11_4 copy 4-14-11_5 copy

They can call it STRATCOM all they want … it’s still SAC, and it still sucks. This will not be one of the tours I volunteer for, though I admire the folks who do, because they do a great job (they certainly reawakened my Cold War memories).

And no, I really don’t want to hear how close we ever came to launching those missiles. I think I know anyway, and I think it’s “pretty damn close.”

© 2018, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.


Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




CommentLuv badge