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

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Keys and codes type things, and it was a very intricate procedure. If something happened and we couldn't identify the person, my team would have to go out and make a visual identification or put them under arrest, depending on what would happen. And so I had to make sure all the material was there for those codes, because then I'd have to issue some of those codes to my team because when they went out and something happened, I'd have to make sure they were not under duress. They would have to communicate with me verbally as well as through this code system. And then I had codes for the Capsule Crew downstairs. I also was responsible for the door that went to— I don't know how many feet it was down below, but there was a huge door that had keys, and then, of course, a vault into their capsule area—two doors actually, one very large door and a smaller one that went into their capsule.
JK:So when a relief Missile Combat Crew would come on [they would] authenticate to you, sign in and you would give them access to the elevator... and as I understand it from talking to other people, the Capsule Crew on duty is the ones that could open that blast door down below and that they would have an exchange then.
WS:They would have the exchange the same way, they'd have to identify one another to make sure, so we had all this thing going on at the same time, and then I would have to communicate with the new crew and they would give me instructions as to what they wanted and how—generally there was not much of a problem between crews, but some crews didn't want certain things to happen. We would have to identify the cook every time he went down, we would have to identify the maintenance people any time they went down, so we were the keeper of the keys and the lifeline to that Capsule Crew. On a couple of occasions, when we had serious power outages, i.e. snow drifts where we couldn't get aircraft in to pick us up or things like that, we'd have to stay out there. I think the maximum we stayed one time was six days in a row, two tours.

It was really intricate because one crew member would have to come out, and it was a two-man policy, of course, while one of our officers would sit in the door making sure that the other crew member didn't touch anything or didn't try to launch anything and we had orders that we could use deadly force against that person if they were trying—course, it would be almost impossible to do but not impossible to do.

JK:They had the separated dual keys
WS:Separated and dual keys and all of those things, so we had to monitor and control that, while one crew member came out and just relaxed for... got the heck outta there for a... stir crazy for a while 'cause... supposedly, the rules were the maximum they could stay was 48 hours if we couldn't get anybody out there to relieve them, so they'd have to get out of there for a while just to be sane and so then the other crew member would have to come up and we'd have to watch. So we had all kinds of things we were responsible for: The security of that facility as well as the security of the ten missiles that we had in our field.
TT:And the procedures for monitoring the security for the missiles in the field?
WS:We had a panel, a board that would tell us the status of the security alarms, we had two level of alarms, one was the motion—
TT:And what were the alarm systems that you were monitoring?

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