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Nuclear Weapons 101: How to launch a weapon of mass destruction
Yahoo! News ^ | 8 hours ago Power Players | By Martha Raddatz, Richard Coolidge & Jordyn Phelps

Posted on 03/26/2014 1:02:27 PM PDT by F15Eagle

As President Obama and world leaders conclude the Nuclear Safety Summit in Europe, “On the Radar” travels to the frozen plains of Nebraska and Wyoming to meet the men and women in charge of the US nuclear missile arsenal.

“Our mission is to provide the president with an option to launch nuclear weapons,” Capt. Mark Wullshleger explained during a tour of a 20th Air Force underground missile bunker. “If he wants to utilize us, we're always here, and we're always on alert.”

We traveled underground to a Missile Alert Facility, a capsule secured behind blast doors and five-foot thick concrete walls. Eight times a month, officers like Wullshleger “pull alert,” going 60 feet underground for a 24-hour shift at the launch controls for the world’s most powerful weapons of mass destruction.

“Pulling alert, it's a different animal,” Wullshleger said. “Going underground for 24 hours at a time without seeing daylight is kind of an experience.”

Launching a nuclear weapon isn’t as simple as flicking a switch. In fact, it takes four switches. But the warhead is always at the ready.

“If we were ever to get direction from the president of the United States to actually employ our mission and actually launch our missiles, there are certain procedures that we take that insure that those are authorized, valid commands from the president,” he said.

They are run through intense training and testing. But it’s all for a mission they hope never to complete.

“I definitely think about the ‘what ifs’ when I’m on alert,” Lt. Rachel Lovelady said. “I hope that it never has to happen.”

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: buyammo; buyfood; digbombshelter; nuclear; pray
What with the Undocumented Kenyan in proximity to The Football, we have liberal Martha Raddatz to allay our fears.

If you can't read my sarcasm in there, you haven't been paying attention.

1 posted on 03/26/2014 1:02:27 PM PDT by F15Eagle
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To: F15Eagle
“Going underground for 24 hours at a time without seeing daylight is kind of an experience.”

Clearly this guy isn't submariner material...

2 posted on 03/26/2014 1:04:44 PM PDT by null and void ( Everything evil in the world may not be Islamic but everything Islamic is evil.)
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To: F15Eagle

You, sir, are politically incorrect.


3 posted on 03/26/2014 1:05:07 PM PDT by exnavy (Fish or cut bait ...Got ammo, Godspeed!)
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To: exnavy

Why, thank you. :)


4 posted on 03/26/2014 1:05:35 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: F15Eagle

8^)


5 posted on 03/26/2014 1:09:02 PM PDT by exnavy (Fish or cut bait ...Got ammo, Godspeed!)
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To: null and void

Yeah, 3 to 6 months on a boomer, he’d be a little more ... contained.


6 posted on 03/26/2014 1:09:29 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: F15Eagle

Disable the transponder mid-flight and steal an airplane flying out of Malaysia?


7 posted on 03/26/2014 1:14:45 PM PDT by ziravan (Choose Sides.)
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To: F15Eagle

Raddatz is an idiot, but this is the LCF simulator facility at F.E. Warren AFB at Cheyenne WY. I’ve toured it and received a much more realistic demonstration of the complete process (missing were alarms, voice communications, dim lights and other lights flashing that would have made filming impossible, and the blast doors were sealed with HVAC pumping just as in the actual LCF). And even though we knew full well it was a training simulator, when they turned the keys it still scared the sh!t out of me.

Raddatz would have to try hard to ask more insipidly stupid questions. Which must be why she was chosen to moderate a Presidential Debate.


8 posted on 03/26/2014 1:18:02 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: bigbob

I have no idea for sure, but you’ve been there, so perhaps you are correct.

She claims she was in Nebraska at the end. Maybe the silo door shot.

But I would hope they were in the simulator as you said and not in a live facility.


9 posted on 03/26/2014 1:20:13 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: F15Eagle

Is she about 70 years old?

Because those officers look like they are about 16.


10 posted on 03/26/2014 1:22:42 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: null and void
Clearly this guy isn't submariner material...

Back in the mid 80's I was on Alert when we had a tour come down to the capsule. The tour consisted of US and foreign military officers who were attending the National War College and one of the US officers was a Navy Captain.

The capsule we were in was a "Deuce" capsule made by Sylvania and was about two and one half times the size of the remaining Boeing built capsules still on Alert.

The Navy Captain told me he could never stay down in one of our capsules and pull Alerts like we did.

11 posted on 03/26/2014 1:23:59 PM PDT by OldMissileer
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To: null and void

I forgot to say the Navy Captain was a submariner.


12 posted on 03/26/2014 1:24:51 PM PDT by OldMissileer
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To: F15Eagle; All

First...Get a plane...check...Flt 370???

Second...Load device into an empty, plane of cargo, passengers...check...

Third...Fuel it up...Check...

Forth...Take off, blend into ATC, put the burn on controllers to de-conflict IFF code discrepancies...check...

Fly near target...detonate device...check...

Game over...

Alternate plan...

“Next, we build a gopher.”


13 posted on 03/26/2014 1:27:05 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: OldMissileer

Go figure...


14 posted on 03/26/2014 1:27:23 PM PDT by null and void ( Everything evil in the world may not be Islamic but everything Islamic is evil.)
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To: OldMissileer

I was at Ellsworth in the early 80’s. Was definitely an experience being underground.


15 posted on 03/26/2014 1:29:38 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz ("Heck of a reset there, Hillary")
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To: F15Eagle
Launching a nuclear weapon isn’t as simple as flicking a switch. In fact, it takes four switches.

Here's two of the four switches.


16 posted on 03/26/2014 1:34:09 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: F15Eagle

The training facility is in Cheyenne. The missles flights are actually spread across three states: eastern WY, northern CO, and western NE.

It’s funny, I clicked to stop the video just as she signed off at the “I’m Martha...click” Now that I listened to the whole thing I see she screwed up once again - there is no Pine Bluffs Nebraska. It’s Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. And while it’s right on the stateline, the town lies entirely in Wyoming.

Just another example of the journalistic accuracy we now receive.

I did get into an actual Launch Control Facility one time back in the 70s when they used to allow landowners to come in once a year. That program ended soon thereafter, but it was neat to ride the elevator down 60 ft. Each LCF controls 10 missiles, which are located miles away, none are actually at the same site as she infers in the beginning, where she’s standing in front of an actual silo. No one got tours of those ;-)


17 posted on 03/26/2014 1:42:57 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Yo-Yo
Here's two of the four switches.

Nope. There is only a single Launch Switch there. The left one with the key slot is the Launch Switch and the right one is the Inhibit Switch.

The Inhibit Switch is used to cancel Enable or Launch commands sent erroneously or if a missile reports Enabled or Launch Commanded when it is not supposed to be.

In the picture the Inhibit Switch is set to the Code Used position. That is because when the panel is installed in the console the Inhibit Switched is tested to ensure it is sending the properly encoded Inhibit command to the missiles which is extremely important.

The second Launch Switch for the Crew commander is on another panel a few feet to the left.

18 posted on 03/26/2014 1:50:16 PM PDT by OldMissileer
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To: stevie_d_64

Basically that scenario makes me wonder if we aren’t being fed a whole lot of baloney directed to a remote area where things are hard to find.

Well, it’s probably one or the other. Weird.


19 posted on 03/26/2014 1:58:12 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: OldMissileer

How did they go about ‘aiming’ those things in the days before GPS? Sure they can be fired out of the ground and go up in the general direction, but what gave them their precision?


20 posted on 03/26/2014 2:02:35 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: windcliff; stylecouncilor
Lt. Rachel Lovelady

You can't make this stuff up.

21 posted on 03/26/2014 2:04:53 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: ziravan
Disable the transponder mid-flight and steal an airplane flying out of Malaysia?

Hey!
Aren't you paying attention?

They found some unknown flotsam and jetsam in the ocean and have come to the inescapable conclusion the airplane crashed.

22 posted on 03/26/2014 2:05:19 PM PDT by grobdriver (Where is Wilson Blair when you need him?)
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To: F15Eagle

STRATCOM?


23 posted on 03/26/2014 2:06:18 PM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.)
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To: KoRn

I can’t remember. Stars, perhaps, like the guidance on an SR-71?

Check out the W-88’s peeling off a boomer’s suborbital platform. They used to do a PAM (upgraded - Plume Avoidance Manuever) by turning the platform around before kicking off the warheads so their (spinning) warheads wouldn’t be wobbled by the gases.


24 posted on 03/26/2014 2:06:36 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: OldMissileer

Yep, and maybe you should explain to ‘em why the Commander and Deputy both wore sidearms.

And by the way, thank you for your service. It was always neat to exchange a few words with the missileeres in the coffee shops, etc back when I lived near Cheyenne. Always top professionals and courteous to us civilians.

They never made light of their duty but seemed like great folks. Like the one AP told us when I toured that LCF, “if you ever really need help, like there’s a bad car wreck or something nearby - just go to a silo and rattle on that fence. A crew of APs will be there within 7 minutes. Oh, and you might want to be “assuming the position” when they do!”


25 posted on 03/26/2014 2:07:26 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: F15Eagle; KoRn

Yes, ICBMs had stellar guidance added at some point during the Cold War, out of fear that the existing navigation systems might be mucked-up by over-the-pole tragectories (kinda difficult to test that theory without starting the whole shootin’ match for real). I suspect they still have that as a backup to GPS guidance.


26 posted on 03/26/2014 2:16:32 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Charles Martel

Thanks - I remember Ben Rich noting how an SR-71 in a facility accidentally “locked on” to a hole in the roof.


27 posted on 03/26/2014 2:20:16 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: OldMissileer

Thanks for a great post!


28 posted on 03/26/2014 2:26:27 PM PDT by Pagey (HELL is The 2nd Term of a POTUS who uses the terms “social justice” and “fair distribution".)
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To: OldMissileer

If the AF forgot to issue a pair of dikes, there is no way to launch, since the keys are “secured”!


29 posted on 03/26/2014 2:31:11 PM PDT by SgtHooper (If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.)
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To: F15Eagle

Even if the US were to be attacked with nuclear weapons from North Korea or Iran, Obama would be too busy surrendering to give launch codes.


30 posted on 03/26/2014 2:42:09 PM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: KoRn; OldMissileer

Likely inertial guidance - the launch point location is known down to a gnat’s eyebrows of accuracy and after that, it’s just math to get to any other known coordinate. Failing that, we’ll take it up in the yield...(old missileer should appreciate that old saying.)


31 posted on 03/26/2014 2:46:26 PM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: KoRn

How did they go about ‘aiming’ those things in the days before GPS? Sure they can be fired out of the ground and go up in the general direction, but what gave them their precision?


1. Gyroscope.
2. Clock.
3. Accelerometer.
4. Computer.

If it knows where it started, how long it’s been going how fast in what direction, it knows where it will end up. Basically, with each having just one (actually several) targets, there’s presumably a program that says: “Run the engines at this thrust for this duration while pointed in this direction, then coast for this duration, then go boom when the air pressure reaches this threshold.”


32 posted on 03/26/2014 3:40:36 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed ("Income Inequality?" Let's start with Washington DC vs. the rest of the nation!)
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To: stevie_d_64

Why not just use a boat? It’s easier.


33 posted on 03/26/2014 3:45:16 PM PDT by brooklin
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To: Atlas Sneezed; Charles Martel; F15Eagle; OldMissileer

Facinating stuff!

Thanks!!


34 posted on 03/26/2014 4:59:25 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: KoRn
http://deanspacedrive.org/?p=342
35 posted on 03/27/2014 5:26:30 AM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: brooklin

Sure...That’s been contemplated...

The thing with that is you have to get really close with a boat...Plus it is a surface blast...

An airburst (pretty much any altitude) is way more effective, both mentally and physically on any population...


36 posted on 03/27/2014 5:42:45 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: stevie_d_64

I think that if they had a chance of a surface blast, they’d take it. Easy low hanging fruit is also a good terror weapon. It doesn’t have to be the ultimate attack, it just has to happen.


37 posted on 03/27/2014 1:17:07 PM PDT by brooklin
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To: brooklin

You may be right...Either way, it is a lose/lose situation for the rest of the world...Wherever it occurs...

Countries will literally become unglued socially and economically almost instantly...And they will not even have to be hit...The dominos are already set in place, with the beginning already tile ready to be tipped over...

It really is a concern many have, not just me...


38 posted on 03/27/2014 1:25:57 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: stevie_d_64

You are right. It would completely change the world, and not in a good way.


39 posted on 03/27/2014 6:00:32 PM PDT by brooklin
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