William E. Smith Interview, 25 August 2001(b)

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I was very fortunate, and as a matter of fact I became very close friends to one of the Sergeants on the [Standardization] team. He was an African-American, he had bragged, well, says "I was so good when I came out here, that I nearly maxed the test," because they gave you an oral test and a written test. He says, "I nearly maxed it. I think I got a 98." So my goal was to... he was a nice person but he was always bragging, and he would come out and throw little bombs everywhere and you'd have to find them, and he had guns hidden on the people, so my goal was to out do him.

He set the standard. So in fact, it was at Oscar I remember he came out and they tested us. I maxed everything. I maxed the written test, and I think it was a 150-question test. And I maxed the oral test. Now all the people were starting to come around, they were saying, "well, when is he going to stop?" because he kept throwing questions: [snaps fingers] "what happens if you do that?" He says, "OK, the whole thing is over. You maxed it, but I've got to get you on something!" And in fact he finally asked me a question that I wasn't sure of. He said, "I finally got you! You couldn't be so perfect as to know everything." And 'you've only been here just this many years.' So anyway we had a great time with that.

And then I got on the Stanboard team after while. They pulled me out of there... they said "Well, you know so much you shouldn't be out here, you should be testing people." So I was on the Stanboard team after a bit, but it was all in good fun and I tried to be very contentious as I am in my every duty that I have, and the people who worked for me I tried to make sure that they were contentious as well. When we were on duty, we were on duty.

TT:Explain your duties as a Flight Security Controller.
WS:Day-to-day operations, we spent three days out in the field, and three days off. And it amounted to less than three days off because by the time we returned to the base, if it was a helicopter flight, it was pretty quick getting back, but then we had to file reports, especially if you were the supervisor you had to file reports, make sure all your people got there safely and all the people from the whole section. Then you would spend your two-and-a-half days—you'd come back out into the field, and it was my responsibility to check in at the FSC's office there. We were responsible for making sure that all the codes and books that we had—the coded material had to be destroyed after use.
TT:Every day?
WSImmediately upon use. We had certain codes in books that other people out on the site would have. Since I wouldn't be able to see that person directly, when he wanted to, or she, well he at the time, wanted to get in I would have to identify them. And so I'd go through a certain procedure to find out, number one, who it was, and then that person would have to be on the same page with me and I could identify him by number and when I identified him by number, immediately I'd have to destroy that page right then. And so we'd go through this check and balance procedure.

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