Patrick D. McCaslin Interview, 25 February 2001

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INT:But you all have intercom systems?
PM:We have intercom systems, so that was relayed to the pilots. My memory is that that was relayed to the pilots, and that I heard the pilot ask the tower if the missile guys had been seeing strange things again, which I guess had happened in the past. I don't know. But they confirmed that. I'm not sure I heard that transmission, but I think how it happened is the AC told us, you know, said, "Hey, let's keep our eyes out. The tower wants us to." So I asked—Chuck Ritchey was my radar navigator sitting over here on the left, and Chuck was kind of dozing. And the navigator had the job of flight following the approaches anyway. You know, making sure we didn't get below a—it was just a redundancy for safety reasons. I had the approach plate, and I would follow the—
INT:Can we pause one second? I'm gonna switch the tape and then start on that again. Okay. [Switches tapes]. Could you kind of clarify the difference between the navigator and the radar navigator?
PM:The navigator was in charge of keeping track of the position of the aircraft all the time. He was in charge of the Hound Dog missiles, which were a missile at the time that was used by Strategic Air Command—similar to a Cruise missile—carried under the wing of the B-52. He was in charge of those. The radar navigator was in charge of acquiring the target and, you know, with the bombing system, and he was in charge of acquiring it and—with the help of the navigator, but he was in charge of actually aiming at the target and making sure the weapons release was correct and all that stuff.
INT:Who was responsible for lining up the KC-135's?
PM:We'd work on that together, but primarily the navigator. I was the one that was calling the pilot and my memory is that I'd do that. Maybe I was relaying that to the radar, but that's my memory. Now he had control of the radar, so if...if we switched modes from station keep to sector scan to full scan, he had to do that.
INT:Would you clarify those terms, please?
PM:Full scan was let's say—and he had control of the range, too. So let's say he had a 100-mile range. I don't know if we even had that anymore, but let's say he had a 100-mile range selected. The radar would look out 100 miles and would sweep, I think about every 3 seconds, full sc—you'd see the thing go all the way around, 360 degrees. Sector scan would be a back and forth scan like this of, I don't remember how big the sector was, 20-30 degrees maybe. And then station keep was where all the radar energy was

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