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Report: Aging equipment, faulty phones at missile command [they use floppy disks....]
The Hill ^

Posted on 04/27/2014 5:20:47 PM PDT by Sub-Driver

Report: Aging equipment, faulty phones at missile command

By Kyle Balluck - 04/27/14 08:00 PM EDT

Crews at a U.S. nuclear missile control center must deal with aging equipment and faulty telephones, according to a report on “60 Minutes.”

Correspondent Lesley Stahl visited the underground ICBM complex surrounding F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo., where she found missileers have trouble hearing what is being said on their phones. Computers there are so “ancient” they use floppy disks, according to the report, broadcast Sunday night.

Former missileers contacted the program about problems with analog phone lines.

“They’re awful,” one said. “You can’t hear the other person on the other end of the line. Sometimes you can’t dial out, which makes it very difficult if you’re trying to do your job.”

While the underground control centers are equipped with other, highly secure systems that would receive launch orders, “60 Minutes” reported, crews use their phones for many day-to-day tasks involving the maintenance and security of the weapons.

Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, who took command of the missile corps in December, told Stahl the Air Force was “looking at upgrading” the phones “in the next few years.”

Weinstein also said that cyber engineers analyzed the computer system a few years ago and concluded it was “extremely safe and extremely secure” from computer hackers, in part because it is so old and not connected to the Internet.

According to the report, the Air Force allowed the tour to counter bad press from drug and cheating scandals in North Dakota and Montana missile facilities.

Weinstein said he is addressing recent troubles and working to improve morale.

“We use these weapons every single day protecting our nation,” Weinstein said. “Deterrence has a value. It has a value for our nation; it has a value for our allies.”


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: kenyanbornmuzzie; usnuclear
Hello, can you hear me....?
1 posted on 04/27/2014 5:20:47 PM PDT by Sub-Driver
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To: Sub-Driver
Floppy disks???

What are they doing with floppy disks?

If Obama knew of this, he'd be outraged...
That they have computers.

2 posted on 04/27/2014 5:23:30 PM PDT by mountn man (The Pleasure You Get From Life Is Equal To The Attitude You Put Into It)
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To: Sub-Driver
Aging equipment, faulty phones at missile command

Yeah, really outdated.


3 posted on 04/27/2014 5:23:35 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: ElkGroveDan

OHH how cute Mission Command I play that I was in jr high school in 1982 LOL!


4 posted on 04/27/2014 5:27:12 PM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
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To: Sub-Driver

Tin foil hat time.

Any time CBS shows up, there is usually a hidden reason.

Are they laying the ground work for an ‘accidental’ launch due to faulty equipment ?


5 posted on 04/27/2014 5:27:17 PM PDT by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: Sub-Driver

Let’s just say everthing was in working order and up to date. Does anyone really think the current CiC would authorize their use, even if the situation demanded it?


6 posted on 04/27/2014 5:29:39 PM PDT by edpc (Wilby 2016)
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To: Sub-Driver
Pardon me for reposting my reply to an earlier post about this:
7 posted on 04/27/2014 5:30:15 PM PDT by upchuck (Support ABLE, the Anybody But Lindsey Effort. Yes, we are the ABLE!!)
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To: ElkGroveDan

Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, who took command of the missile corps in December, told Stahl the Air Force was “looking at upgrading” the phones “in the next few years.”

If the phones NEED upgrading, then upgrade them. While you’re at it, please make sure that the Bomb Threat Telephone Checklists are placed in building that actually have phones. I had a good chuckle at that one.

Weinstein also said that cyber engineers analyzed the computer system a few years ago and concluded it was “extremely safe and extremely secure” from computer hackers, in part because it is so old and not connected to the Internet.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve handled several pieces of aircraft test equipment that used 3.5 floppies and drives. I know it’s older than 2000-late, but it works fine.


8 posted on 04/27/2014 5:32:53 PM PDT by Antihero101607
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To: Sub-Driver

9 posted on 04/27/2014 5:33:19 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: mountn man

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floppy_disk


10 posted on 04/27/2014 5:35:34 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

At least it wasn’t a cassette tape drive.

Man, that was the livin’ end, back in the day. So hi-tech.

Sequential access FTW!


11 posted on 04/27/2014 5:37:49 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: Sub-Driver

Great! So to “fix” it, they’ll put our weapons control on the internet.


12 posted on 04/27/2014 5:39:21 PM PDT by ryan71 (The Partisans)
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To: ryan71

I’m sure that NORAD will get right on the problem and set up a Google Cloud Platform account.


13 posted on 04/27/2014 5:50:35 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Sub-Driver
Just saw that on 60 Minutes.My first reaction...”ten bucks says that the Soviets’ and the Chinese missile silos don't look like that”.
14 posted on 04/27/2014 5:50:58 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
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To: ryan71
Great! So to “fix” it, they’ll put our weapons control on the internet.

Yeah, The UN should have a majority vote before we can authorize any nuclear strikes. Online, of course. It'll be quick.

The crushing disaster, I mean.

15 posted on 04/27/2014 5:52:31 PM PDT by Rinnwald
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To: Sub-Driver

Maybe DC goons can sell some of that land the BLM owns out west - you know that land that’s bigger than France, England and Spain together... Then they can take the money, pay off the debt and buy some new computers for these guys.

Well, unless the purpose of the DC goons is to destroy the United States...


16 posted on 04/27/2014 6:17:48 PM PDT by GOPJ (Democrats are waging war on the middle class...)
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To: Sub-Driver
Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, who took command of the missile corps in December, told Stahl the Air Force was “looking at upgrading” the phones “in the next few years.”

Why will it take "the next few years" to upgrade something as basic as the phone system? It's not like we're talking about some exotic new technology that would need to be developed.

17 posted on 04/27/2014 6:22:54 PM PDT by GreenHornet
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To: Sub-Driver

18 posted on 04/27/2014 6:28:54 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Sub-Driver

Faulty phone lines is bad. Analog phones and old, non-internet-compatible computers is probably good, for security.


19 posted on 04/27/2014 6:32:02 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know...)
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To: GreenHornet
I strongly support the military. From a certain ideological standpoint, I wouldn't mind if the DOD budget were increased (IF other budgets are decreased).
DOD is just like everywhere else in government -- there is waste, fraud, and abuse. It's foolish to pretend there isn't any. I don't say that DOD is worse than other depts; I suspect it's typical.

But the bottomline -- and something which Conservatives should use in the broad fight against Big Government -- is that government mismanages money to an alarming degree. The levels of waste, fraud and abuse are staggering. The DOD budget is hundreds of billions of dollars, and has been that high for decades -- and they use floppy disks and analog phone lines!!

WHERE'D THE MONEY GO????????

Friends, cronies and people who could "do favors" got the money. Much of the federal budget is just intended for bribery and jobs programs.

Health and Human Services? Education? Agriculture? Energy? All the rest? I say the federal budget should be cut in half as a first step. Then, we can see how much more it can be cut. And not over 10 years. I'd cut it in half over 2 years. Take the axe and start swinging. Everywhere.

20 posted on 04/27/2014 6:38:50 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Sub-Driver

Much of the hardware is old as it is more hardened against EMP then modern microprocessor systems.
Yet another 60 min hit piece.


21 posted on 04/27/2014 6:39:02 PM PDT by Zathras
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To: Sub-Driver

Much of the hardware is old as it is more hardened against EMP then modern microprocessor systems.
Yet another 60 min hit piece.


22 posted on 04/27/2014 6:39:03 PM PDT by Zathras
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To: Zathras
Excuse me, but that smacks of a "I meant to do that!" defense.

The hardware isn't old as a ploy to be hardended. It's old because they didn't spend money to replace it. To tout the value against EMP is a rationale and a labored justification.

It's not something they did on purpose. You can have very modern equipment which is hardened. But they didn't go out and buy that stuff. They stayed with ancient stuff and now grasp for the "bright side" of that decision.

23 posted on 04/27/2014 6:56:16 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: ryan71
it was “extremely safe and extremely secure” from computer hackers, in part because it is so old and not connected to the Internet

The ultimate firewall.

24 posted on 04/27/2014 7:16:31 PM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: FatherofFive

Well I guess we will all find out around may 11.


25 posted on 04/27/2014 7:44:25 PM PDT by Deathtomarxists
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To: Sub-Driver
A typical 60 minutes hit piece designed to get raging grannies and code pink all wadded up.

When I was working them (Minuteman III) the weapon system controller had drum memories and computer punch cards.

What works works. As the story said the systems are extremely secure. They can't be hacked.

There is no command interconnectivity outside of a missile squadron except for communications. Communications cannot launch a missile. The LCCs have multiple communications systems and the phone lines are the lowest order system for command and control.

26 posted on 04/27/2014 7:58:54 PM PDT by pfflier
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To: Sub-Driver

Mandrake, there is a reason I only drink pure grain alcohol...


27 posted on 04/27/2014 8:18:27 PM PDT by logitech (It is time.)
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To: Sub-Driver

This begs the question: what’s the level of technology in Russia’s missile system?


28 posted on 04/27/2014 8:31:46 PM PDT by Ranger Warrior
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To: mountn man

Yes, floppy disks, the 5.25 inch ones we used with the Apple II and original IBM PC. The equipment is all 1970-80 stuff with dials and mechanical switches. The only good in it is it will survive a tremendous EMP wave as long as the blast creating the EMP doesn’t vaporize the silo.


29 posted on 04/27/2014 8:56:06 PM PDT by RicocheT (Where neither their property nor their honor is touched, most men live content, Niccolo Machiavelli)
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To: RicocheT

>The only good in it is it will survive a tremendous EMP wave

what makes you think that?


30 posted on 04/27/2014 10:23:35 PM PDT by RitchieAprile
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To: Sub-Driver

Any Navy guys here? The old ships used mechanical computers, the ultimate shielding from emp. As an IT guy with many certifications I value old technology. If you have a small, simple job to do there is no reason to upgrade the hardware unless you need to upgrade the reliability. If the task requires “X” capability there is no need to provide “ABC” capability as well.


31 posted on 04/28/2014 3:07:06 AM PDT by vanilla swirl (searching for something meaningful to say)
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To: Sub-Driver

Having worked on the older systems I can say that they have one advantage over the new stuff. They are a lot less likelier to be buggy. And what bugs there are are mostly likely known and work-arounds for those bugs are well known and documented.

On the other hand... Having worked for the Air-Force as a contractor I can say that they won’t put a dollar more into maintenance than they have to. And although they do tend to eventually have modernization efforts they are really ham-stringing themselves by the MASSIVE piles of paperwork to do a project.

As an example before I retired; a one-line change to a program’s code cost a cool half-million bucks and six months of time. Ten minutes of real work and six months of documenting it and meeting after meeting to talk about it.


32 posted on 04/28/2014 3:27:16 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: Sub-Driver

When I left the missile force entirely in 1992 there was no place in an ICBM launch capsule to insert a floppy disk nor a cassette. If there is now it was added when the systems were upgraded with the REACT modifications in the mid 90s.

The actual telephone handset was used for several different reasons and communications systems. The “Dial Line” was a typical old-style telephone and when the crew member pushed the button to connect the handset to the dial line he then had to dial using an old rotary dialer. All other com systems used with that handset were initiated by pressing a button, including HF and UHF radios.


33 posted on 04/28/2014 4:51:26 AM PDT by OldMissileer
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To: logitech

Heh heh heh


34 posted on 04/28/2014 6:15:24 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (No $#@t there I was...)
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To: Professional Engineer

Ha!

Sometimes I feel like a character in a Vonnegut novel where stupid people rule the world and force the slaves to be engineers and doctors.


35 posted on 04/28/2014 7:37:46 PM PDT by logitech (It is time.)
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