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

‹‹ Interview Index
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24

WS: On many occasions we would be taking off at the same time the Capsule Crew members were taking off. That was pretty much coordinated by—especially by helicopter. Most of the time when we weren't using helicopters, we would have our own transportation. I think most of the time when we changed the whole crew we tried to be out there about 8:00 in the morning, between 8:00 and 10:00 I think the change had took place. And we were all changing about the same time. On some occasions, I remember flying with the Capsule Crew members, and other occasions we didn't, because with six people in a chopper that's about all you're gonna get with our gear—took out a whole bag of cold weather clothing and other types of required gear we were supposed to have.
JK: Right you'd have a briefing at base?
WS: Have a briefing at base. We would be required to be on the chopper pad by a certain time, transportation out to the aircraft, take off and then bring the other crew back. Normally I would be home probably about 11:00 unless there were major reports, things that had to be done. It was a laborious process getting everybody in and out and checked in and all the equipment; all the weapons checked in, and everybody home before you had to leave the office [chuckles].
TT: How often did the alarms go off ?
WS: Inner alarms would go off on occasion—that was rare. When both sections went off at the same time that was relatively rare the years that I was there. But it did happen, and when it happened, there were certain procedures we had to go through. In many cases we found there was a maintenance flaw, there was something going on electronically that we couldn't fix. Well, guess what? When that happened, we had to have a Camper Team there until Maintenance would come out and set the alarms up. They'd have to sit out there until those sites were back to par. And you'd have to have two people on site at all times just for the two-man policy.
TT: Hey here's another question just so we ask it, so we don't forget, but, in the documents we read, there's a case where the outer perimeter alarm went off...
WS: OK, the front gates were not alarmed. The gate you could open, go on site, pull down on the fence, you could take the fence entirely down unless you made enough vibration for those sensors the radar detect... radar, they were not alarmed. So, many times, I would get on the site when I was doing little tests for my troops. I'd open the gate, get on site, close the gate and go do things on the site to set up like little bombs, "this is a bomb," that they were supposed to find as they were getting there, and, of course we used to check the entire outer perimeter first and then we'd go to the inner part, and that way, if you had something wrong outside, now we stop; it's a different procedure where we notify people something's wrong, there's this bomb over here, this kind of thing and we would back off and do other kinds of procedures.
TT: Is it possible that anybody else would have keys to that facility other than you?
WS: Oh, it's obviously possible but highly unlikely because they were all accounted for, we had stringent accounting procedures.
JK: You saw that in the documents there were a couple of incidents of this in the past where AP's had kept keys.

‹‹ Previous Page Next Page ››