CHAPTER FOUR: Phasing Out
From 1970 to 1974, ARADCOM continued to diminish in size. Hope for the future of the command rested in the SAFEGUARD ABM system under construction at Grand Forks, ND, and plans for the next generation of SAMs, in this case SAM-D. But ARADCOM would not exist long enough to field either of these new systems.
Although the Soviets increased and modernized their
strategic ballistic missiles, they experienced a leveling off,
if not a slight downward trend, in numbers of strategic bomber
aircraft. Bomber forces had been totally eclipsed by Soviet land-based
and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
Within the United States, the war in Vietnam still
held center stage. Once the "Vietnamization Program"
had been completed and the majority of U.S. forces had been pulled
out, the nation began to reduce the size of the military. The
force reduction would indirectly affect critical decisions impacting
ARADCOM. Strategic Arms Limitations Talks and the ABM Treaty would
also be factors.
ARADCOM fought a losing battle for its existence
during the first four years of this decade. Once the decision
was made to close the command, over much protest and counter-arguments,
ARADCOM carried out this mission as professionally as it had the
mission of defending the United States in the preceding 23 years.
The early '70s saw a tenacious drive by the Soviet
Union to continue deployment of its major strategic missile systems;
produce an increasing number of nuclear-powered missile launching
submarines; continue testing of a prototype variable-geometry,
swept-wing intercontinental bomber; improve the re-entry vehicles
of existing intercontinental ballistic missile Systems; and retire
fewer of its aging long-range bomber aircraft from the inventory
than had been expected.
At the end of 1971 the Soviets had an estimated 1,424
ICBM launchers in service at ICBM complexes: 294 for the large
SS-9 missile, 860 for the smaller SS-11, 61 for the solid propellant
SS-13 and 209 for the older and more vulnerable SS-7 and SS-8
Systems. These five missiles were deployed at a total of 24 regular
An example of the Soviet increase in ballistic missiles
was the 1970 deployment of 80 more of their largest ICBM, the
SS-9, bringing the total number of these multiple warhead missiles
to more than 300. The Soviets also added 200 smaller SS-lls (for
a total of almost 1,000), all of them refitted for multiple warheads
and penetration aids and/or decoys, and ten more solid propellant
SS-13s were deployed the same year. The Soviet ICBM force consisted
of five operational Systems and totaled about 1,500 operational
launchers at the end of 1972. Some 90 percent were believed to
be located in hardened silos.
The Soviet's LRA forces retired 15 of their Badger
aircraft while adding five twin turbojet Blinders for a total
strength of 910 aircraft: 85 Bisons, 110 Bears, 535 Badgers and
180 Blinders. LRA reflected a decrease of only 30 aircraft in
1971. The LRA had 195 heavy bombers and tankers based at five
airfields in the Soviet Union. These aircraft - the Tu-95 Bear
and the M-type Bison - were the only bombers with a primary mission
of intercontinental attack.
Bear aircraft posed the most serious threat to North
America because of the size of the force, air-to-surface missile
configuration and the range of the aircraft. There were 110 of
the four-engine turboprop aircraft, and they formed the largest
element of the heavy bomber force. They could cover virtually
any important target on two-way missions. About 50 of the 85 four-jet
Bisons would require Arctic staging and in-flight refueling for
extensive coverage of North America on two-way missions. The LRA
also maintained 685 Tu-16 Badger and Tu-22 Blinder bombers based
throughout the Soviet Union. These aircraft had a limited capability
for intercontinental attack, although some could be used on one-way
missions in an all-out nuclear assault against North America.
The number of Y-class (Yankee-class) nuclear-powered
ballistic missile launching submarines more than doubled in 1970
with the addition of nine more. This meant that 272 SS-N-6 ballistic
missiles were available along with 102 of the older 55-NAs and
Production of the 16-tube Yankee ballistic missile
submarine continued in 1971. These submarines were being constructed
at an average rate of nine per year. With the SS-N-6 missile,
the Yankee submarines on-station off the east and west coasts
of the United States could strike most targets in the country.
In 1971 the Yankee inventory increased by eight units, bringing
the total to 25 operational units. Another 15 were in various
stages of construction, fitting out and sea trials.
The year 1971 saw the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System become operational after one crew-training mission.
This system was evidently designed to attack the
United States via the South Polar route.
At the end of 1972, China's military forces still
could not operate strategically against North America in any meaning-fill
sense. By the mid-1970s, however, the Chinese could deploy a variety
of ballistic missile systems, including a few ICBMs, capable of
reaching targets anywhere in North America. The first Chinese
ICBM with significant capability against North American targets
could reach operational capability as early as 1974, but a year
later seemed more likely. Up to 30 first-generation ICBMs could
be operational by mid-1976.
Various mutually reinforcing influences combined
in 1970 to form a climate of indifference and even hostility to
requirements of the defense establishment. Although the cost of
military operations in Southeast Asia was chiefly blamed for mounting
taxes and an inflated economy, defense spending in general continued
to be attacked by pressure groups clamoring for greater federal
support of favored domestic programs and by representatives of
the so-called "peace movement," who looked upon all
military requirements with suspicion. The disillusion engendered
by isolated but widely reported atrocities and corruption involving
American military personnel in Asia and by congressional criticism
of cost overruns in the development of weapon systems was a contributing
influence. Also, the euphoria produced by the prospect of an agreement
with the Soviet Union on arms limitation stood in the way of SAFEGUARD's
development and deployment.
On the other hand, a slightly more favorable Senate
attitude concerning SAFEGUARD deployment was evidently tied to
the hope of success in arms limitation talks with the Soviet Union.
Approval of a limited expansion of the system, it was argued,
might be an effective inducement to negotiate. The generally recognized
alternatives to success in these talks were expanded strategic
offensive as well as defensive systems.
In 1971, public distaste for the war in Vietnam continued,
and with it a mood of discontent and disillusion that weakened
support of the military establishment and fostered a quasi-isolationism.
This mood was reflected in, and possibly also fed by, the sporadic
attacks of Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., and others on cost overruns
in weapon-system development.
American participation in the ground war in Vietnam
was winding down. On April 7, 1971, the President announced that
the United States would withdraw 100,000 troops from Southeast
Asia before December. "American involvement in this war,"
he said, "is coming to an end.
In this climate, and in a period of widespread concern
over rising prices and wages, pressure to reduce military budgets
was strong. At the same time, arms talks with the Soviet Union
were continuing with general expectation of agreement. Under these
circumstances, ARADCOM could hope for little more in the immediate
future than to maintain its mid-1971 NIKE HERCULES strength with
little prospect of an early expansion of SAFEGUARD deployment.
The presidential election occupied much attention during 1972. Despite the outcome (Nixon's 521 electoral votes to McGovern's 17), it became increasingly difficult to determine what the national opinion was on any given issue.
The headlines of the New York Times, December
31,1972, edition: "Nixon orders a Halt in Bombing of North
Above 20th Parallel," and "Peace Talks Will Resume Jan.
8," reflected the imminent end of the United States' involvement
in Vietnam. The accompanying implications for "drawdown"
resounded throughout the nation's military establishment. During
1972, ARADCOM succeeded in remaining relatively untouched by efforts
to reduce the active Army. It attributed its success to the nation's
realization of the importance of "keeping our guard up,"
and hoped that the traditional attitude toward streamlining and
reducing the size of the military would not be repeated. The treaty
limiting ABM systems signed by President Nixon and Secretary General
Brezhnev on May 26, 1972, affected many ARADCOM plans. It meant
that SAFEGUARD, which had gradually decreased from the deployment
as first envisioned, would stabilize with the one site under construction
in Grand Forks, ND, and an accompanying open option for a possible
During the early 1970s, successive secretaries of
defense, especially Melvin Laird, attempted to secure President
Nixon's 1968 campaign pledge of "peace with honor."
Thus he developed and strongly supported "Vietnamization,"
a program intended to expand, equip and train South Vietnam's
forces and assign to them an ever-increasing combat role, at the
same time steadily reducing the number of U.S. combat troops.
Laird also had a significant impact on the fate of ARADCOM. In 1973 a major change was made in air defense policy. He vocalized this change in philosophy when he stated that it was currently beyond the technological capability of the United States to meaningfully limit damage of urban areas by a well coordinated nuclear attack.
The beginning of the end started in March 1973, when the secretary of defense issued a series of planning and
programming guidance memorandums. For the next five
months, these memorandums were discussed, debated and contested
by JCS, the services, CONAD/NORAD and ARADCOM, but to no avail.
In August the secretary of defense issued a program decision memorandum
(PDM) that redefined the strategic air defense mission, eliminated
the requirement for a defense against strategic bomber attacks,
and concentrated on missions of warning of an impending bomber
attack and airspace control. It directed a major reduction in
air defense interceptors and the retirement of all existing CONUS
Program I, strategic force air defense SAMs. The PDM specified
that 35 of ARADCOM's 48 NIKE HERCULES batteries, less the 31st
ADA Brigade in Florida, be phased out by the end of FY75, with
the remaining 13 batteries inactivated by the end of FY76. This
decision was also contested, but fell on deaf ears.
ARADCOM entered the 1970s with the same three-fold
mission it had retained over the years. ARADCOM provided the Commander-in-Chief,
North American Air Defense Command, with combat-ready air defense
forces; support for SAFEGUARD, with deployment planning and advanced
ballistic missile defense planning; and ADA units to the Commanding
General, United States Continental Army Command, for employment
in ground defense, civil disaster and other emergency missions.
Each year of the 1970s saw ARADCOM reduce the number
of firing units and associated headquarters. Cuts that started
in 1964 continued to the final ones in 1974.
A first cut of 22 fire units, taken in 1964, had
removed the NIKE HERCULES defenses of SAC bomber bases and Thule
Air Base in Greenland. This action had been justified by the belief
that these bases were more susceptible to attack by ICBM than
to bombing attack. Subsequent cuts, however, had been undertaken
almost purely as economical measures for which system analysts
of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) had provided a
The major premises of that rationale were an assumption
that the threat of Soviet bomber attack had decreased sharply,
a conviction that the current air defense force was costly and
ineffective, a belief that air defense of urban areas would be
eliminated by initial ICBM attack, and faith in the concept of
perimeter defense by USAF airborne warning and control systems
(AWACS) and F-I 06 aircraft. To these there had been added in
the FY70 Draft Presidential Memorandum the contention that any
NIKE HERCULES units that might survive an ICBM attack would be
ineffective in countering a follow-on, low-altitude bombing attack
in which electronic countermeasures (ECM) were employed.
ARADCOM held that most factual evidence supported contrary views. In spite of intelligence projections of
declining Soviet bomber strength, the size of the
threat had remained constant; ARADCOM forces, in fact, offered
protection to a significant portion of the population and economic
base at relatively small cost; destruction of a significant number
of NIKE HERCULES units would be possible only if sufficient ICBMs
were available to target each unit; a perimeter defense, technically
premature at present (1973), would inevitably be porous and require
to be backed by defense in depth; and test results showed that,
far from being ineffective, NIKE HERCULES units provided a highly
effective defense in the face of fairly heavy ECM and limited
early warning. More-over, to eliminate the air defense of cities
because of their vulnerability to missile attack would be to offer
an attacker the option of employing bombers against little or
These and other arguments notwithstanding, the reality
of the 1970s was that ARADCOM would be reduced to zero fire units
by 1974. The first cuts were the defenses in Cincinnati-Dayton
and Niagara Falls. The following year, 1971, the Minneapolis-St.
Paul, Cleveland and Milwaukee defenses were eliminated, along
with one of the three remaining regions. The next reduction took
place in 1973, with several brigade, group and battalion headquarters
either being consolidated or eliminated.
The 1973 PDM sounded the death knell for ARADCOM.
It called for the phase-out of 35 NIKE batteries in FY75 and the
remaining 13 by the end of FY76. Despite further objections voiced
by JCS, CINCNORAD, DA and ARADCOM, a subsequent deputy secretary
of defense program budget decision (PBD) provided for accelerated
inactivation of the firing batteries.
ARADCOM's operational forces were reduced by 17 firing
batteries and four command and control centers on March 1, 1974,
followed by another reduction of 17 batteries and two command
centers on April 1. On May 1, an additional 14 batteries assumed
a released status, along with two corresponding command and control
centers. All 1st and 6th Region units were relieved of their CONUS
air defense mission by respective NORAD/CONAD region commanders
to prepare for inactivation. As of May 1, ARADCOM's operational
air defense forces consisted of four NIKE HERCULES batteries and
four HAWK batteries in the Miami-Homestead Defense, four HAWK
batteries in the Key West Defense, and a corresponding command
and control center in each defended area.
Another part of this equation was the National Guard
forces supporting ARADCOM. State adjutant generals were informed
that no replacement of inactivated (NIKE) units was planned in
the revised force structure. States were authorized to reassign
ADA technicians, to the fullest extent possible, to positions
within their retained force structures. Provisions were made to
relocate ADA technicians in existing vacancies of other states.
Personnel assistance teams were provided by National Guard Bureau
(NGB) to aid in placement of technicians. All employee entitlements
were assured, to include wage protection, severance pay and relocation
The ARADCOM commander sought DA's assistance for
approximately 300 technicians who could not be placed in other
units. He also recommended that extraordinary measures be taken
for the retention and promotion of ARNG officers and warrant officers.
Although reductions in force and the eventual inactivation of the command dominated the decade, other relevant programs and events continued. ARADCOM continued to plan for SAM-D as a follow-on to NIKE HERCULES. Although DA approved a programmed deployment of 48 SAM-D fire units within the continental United States, the secretary of defense and the assistant secretary of the army for research and development deferred the deployment.
Another advance system, the ANITSQ-73 Missile Minder
command and control system, underwent testing at the Miami-Homestead
Defense. The Missile Minder was under development to replace the
Missile Monitor for the field Army, but was not destined to be
integrated into ARADCOM.
The last vestige of an operational capability by
ARADCOM was relinquished upon the transfer of the 31st ADA Brigade
to United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). This occurred
on October 1, 1974, as directed and planned by the Army chief
of staff. Under this concept, operational command of the remaining
CONUS ADA forces was retained in CONAD.
The parallel mission responsibility of ARADCOM to
develop and deploy a ballistic missile defense system for CONUS
was continued until the functions were assumed by the Ballistic
Missile Defense Program Manager on September 3, 1974.
This September 3 handoff from ARADCOM to the program
manager preceded, by 13 months, the date that the SAFEGUARD complex
in North Dakota became operational. This complex, called the Mickelsen
Complex after ARADCOM 's third commanding general, Lt. Gen. Stanley
R. Mickelsen, was located 100 miles northwest of Grand Forks.
Its reason for being was to defend 150 Minuteman missiles located
nearby and to provide a "light" defense of the upper-Midwest
of the continent against ballistic missile attack.
Donald Baucom gives a succinct description of the Mickelsen complex in his book, The Origins of SDI:
In a number of ways, the Mickelsen facility was a
technological marvel. The 80-foot-tall truncated pyramid that
housed the antennas for the MSR dominated the flat landscape around
the town of Nekoma. The structure's four-foot-thick concrete walls
were sloped at a 35-degree angle to provide hardening against
the effects of nuclear blast. Each sloping surface of the pyramid
held a radar antenna that was 13 feet in diameter and contained
five thousand phased-array elements.
The four faces of the MSR allowed it to search for
targets coming from all directions, and it could acquire these
targets at a range of 300 miles. The MSR worked in conjunction
with a PAR near Cavalier, North Dakota, 25 miles northeast of
the missile Site. This was also a phased-array radar, but it was
designed to search in only one direction - toward the north. In
the event of a Soviet attack, the PAR would detect incoming missiles
at a range of I 800 miles, about the time the warheads were passing
over the North Pole. Detection at this range would allow only
six minutes to plan the battle against the approaching reentry
vehicles. Computers associated with the PAR would determine the
trajectory of incoming missiles and pass the information to the
MSR for control of the defensive missiles that would attack the
Two types of missiles were employed in the SAFEGUARD
system. The high-altitude SPARTAN missile was built by McDonnell
Douglas. It was a three-stage, solid-propellant rocket armed with
a nuclear warhead that killed warheads by blast and X-rays that
were lethal to warheads several miles away. SPARTAN was 55 feet
long. The second missile, SPRINT, was a marvel of aeronautics
and space technology. Built by Martin Marietta, it was designed
to operate at hypersonic speeds in the earth's atmosphere; at
its top speed, the missile's skin became hotter than the interior
of its rocket motor and glowed incandescently. If one somehow
could have trained an acetylene torch on the nose of the missile
at this speed, the hot gases of the torch would have cooled the
nose. The electronic components of the SPRINT were designed to
withstand accelerations of 100 times gravity. The missile was
27 feet long, consisted of two stages, and used solid fuel. Like
SPARTAN, SPRINT carried a nuclear warhead.
Together these missiles provided a "layered"
defense. SPARTAN was designed to attack the incoming "threat
cloud" of warheads, boosters and decoys while it was still
above the atmosphere. SPRINT would then attack surviving warheads
after they had penetrated the atmosphere where the resistance
and friction of the air would separate the warheads from decoys
and booster debris.
Like all good soldiers, ARADCOM's commanders and
staffs fought for what they thought was needed-- a credible defense
of the United States from attack by air. But once the decision
was made to inactivate the command, they followed orders and accomplished
the mission ahead of schedule. The entire command, less the three
Florida battalions and the SAFEGUARD complex, stood down.
The three remaining Army air defense battalions deployed for the defense of CONUS would last for several more years, to the end of the I 970s, before inactivation. But the Mickelsen SAFEGUARD complex operations would be measured in months, not years. As the Origins of SDI reads:
SAFEGUARD's "technical sweetness" was overshadowed
by its limitations. With only one hundred missiles, the system
could provide only limited protection to the ICBMs near Grand
Forks and supply some measure of protection to the central United
States against an accidental launch or a light ICBM attack. Moreover,
SAFEGUARD was not the optimum system for the point defense of
hard targets. It started out as the SENTINEL project, which was
supposed to provide nationwide protection against a light ICBM
attack. When President Nixon shifted the emphasis of the program
to defending ICBM fields, the United States wound up using an
area defense system for a point defense mission. The area defense
concept involved the use of the large, powerful long-range radar
systems that were hallmarks of the Mickelsen complex. In addition
to being subject to blackout caused by the detonation of nuclear
warheads, these radar systems could be attacked directly. Once
they were destroyed, the SPAR-TAN and SPRINT missiles were electronically
blind and therefore useless.
In the fall of 1975, the same limitations that hampered
SAFEGUARD led to the inactivation of the Mickelsen SAFEGUARD complex.
On Oct. 2, 1975, one day after SAFEGUARD became operational, the
House voted to inactivate the system. DoD studies made available
to the House Committee on Appropriations in September had shown
that Soviet missiles with multiple warheads would be able to overwhelm
The vulnerability of SAFEGUARD's radar systems was
also a factor in the committee's decision. DoD itself drove the
final nail in SAFEGUARD's coffin. During proceedings of the House,
it was discovered that DoD had been planning for two years to
inactivate the North Dakota site on July 1, 1976.
The House voted against SAFEGUARD, and the Senate
voted several times on different proposals. Finally, in November
1975, the Senate passed a bill that would allow operation and
testing of the site's perimeter acquisition radar but would close
down the remainder of SAFEGUARD.
In February 1976, the Army began carrying out the directions of Congress. Specifically, site technicians stopped the radiation of power from the missile site radar and began removing warheads and missiles from their launching cells. Furthermore, the Army started transferring personnel to other locations and began to dispose of excess property.
The $5 billion complex, operational for only five
months, was now in caretaker status.
Some relevant conclusions can be drawn from the 24
years of ARADCOM experience, and several years that preceded it.
In keeping with the overall organization of this study, the conclusions
fall under the major headings of the threat, nation, military
1. Soviet and Chinese offensive capabilities, either
real, potential or imaginary, drove deployment of U.S. defensive
Several examples of real threats were Soviet bombers
with intercontinental range, especially the Tu-4 Bull in 1950
and the Bisons, Badgers and Bears of the mid-1950s. The deployment
of a massive air defense network, CONAD, and later, NORAD, was
the U.S. response.
Potential threats took the form of anticipated scientific
and technological breakthroughs by the enemy. The United States
saw that if it possessed a military capability that the Soviets
did not, it would only be a matter of time until the Soviets developed
it. The United States also envisioned the Soviets developing ballistic
missiles. The atomic bomb, jet-powered bombers and ballistic missiles
were all within the potential capability of the Soviets to produce.
Left to speculation was the probable date these Systems would
emerge. This was usually underestimated.
Military analysts often exaggerated the size and
capability of the threat. The United States normally tended to
overestimate Soviet capabilities, once the technology was openly
displayed, and imagined the Soviets possessed capabilities they
did not have. The "Bomber Gap" and "Missile Gap"
are prime examples.
2. The Soviet Union strategically outmaneuvered the
United States by de-emphasizing strategic bombers and concentrating
on ballistic missiles. In the late 1950s, knowing that it would
take many years and billions of rubles to match America's strategic
bomber might, the Soviets placed their emphasis on ballistic missiles
3. Massive numbers of strategic nuclear weapons ultimately
countered the Army's role in continental air defense.
4. The United States had a tendency to underestimate
the Soviets' potential for advancement. It would be shocked over
a Soviet scientific breakthrough, then immediately overreact and
overestimate the Soviet capability. The United States underestimated
the dates when the Soviets would be able to detonate a nuclear
device, build a jet bomber and launch a ballistic missile. When
these events occurred, American confidence was shaken. The 1949
atomic detonation, the 1955 Bison bomber show and the 1957 Sputnik
orbit added to a false perception that the United States was losing
the technology battle.
5. The armed forces need to understand the importance
of Congress as representatives of the people in supporting programs.
A combination of events in the early 1950s sold the American people
on the idea of defending their country from attack by air. The
Korean War, American scientists publicizing the need for air defense
and a national strategy that discussed nuclear and conventional
strategy were key factors that led to a decision to deploy a defensive
A reversal in public support took place in the following
decades because of the fear generated by the manufacture of thousands
of nuclear weapons, the Vietnam War, antiwar and antimilitary
movements, and the resultant national debate over the deployment
Congressional involvement in every facet of military
matters, and the political consequences thereof, left many in
ARADCOM with the firm belief that "politics were pervasive
from the start to finish of ARADCOM.
6. Cooperation among the different services is essential.
When they cooperated, the armed forces accomplished many feats,
a most noteworthy one being the vast air defense network under
But when they fought and became recalcitrant, the
opposite was true. The inability to resolve Army air defense weapons
control issues is an example.
7. The military services must share technology and
plans early-on to avoid incompatibility. The Air Force's SAGE
inability to directly interface with the Army's Missile Master
is an example of not sharing.
8. Technical vision is key to eventual deployment.
Project NIKE resulted in NIKE AJAX eight years later, and Mickelsen's
NIKE ZEUS advocacy resulted in SAFEGUARD 18 years later. ARADCOM
also contributed to the development and fielding of improved and
more effective air defense equipment and techniques. By continuing
to strive for excellence, the electronic and ordnance industries
were continually kept on the "cutting edge "of technology.
This reflected itself into other equipments, techniques and endeavors
and materially benefited our nation. We must also give APADCOM
credit for educating a host of officers and enlisted men in not
only military matters, but also in technical capabilities and
techniques that benefited - and still benefit - the nation in
9. Planning and construction are essential for deployment. When soldiers are called upon to train on the positions they would fight from, and occupy those positions day and night, more than just open fields are required.
Fixed sites require permanent facilities that are
of reasonably good quality.
10. The old saying "they also serve, who only
watch and wait," appropriately applied to the thousands of
dedicated soldiers of APADCOM. They worked long hours and often
fought boredom, which was interspersed with times of great stress.
They suffered long separations from family and home, even though
they worked only a few miles away.
The primary reason for this work was my interest
in reading about the Army Air Defense Command, or ARADCOM. Having
served as an Army officer in the air defense field for 21 years,
I had often heard of the command, but could find little written
about it. After searching for sources of information on ARADCOM
and finding only a slender volume that covered the period from
1950~o 1955, I decided to take on the task of writing a single
volume on the command that would cover its entire period of duty,
1950 to 1974.
A secondary reason for this work was to add to the
history of Air Defense Artillery. Walking the battle-fields around
Remagen with my mentor and friend, Colonel E. Paul Semmens, and
reading The Hammer of Hell, his history of World War II-era
air defenders, inspired me to also dedicate some time for the
ADA branch's history.
The opportunity to do this work was provided by the
Army War College Fellowship Program. I spent 10 months in residence
at the Ohio State University's Mershon Center to research, study
and write Vigilant and Invincible.
I found the research and writing to be a particularly worthwhile endeavor. I learned a lot about my branch:
the people, systems and operations. I am indebted
to a great many people who helped in this effort. Nine former
members of ARADCOM who have since retired from active duty spent
many hours reviewing this work, providing comments and suggestions,
and participating in a two-day, round-table conference. They are
General Ken Curtis and Colonels Woody Sigley, John Goettl, Lon
Dickson, Frank Pryor, Charlie Bachtel, Lee Lewis, Chris Lorck
and, especially, C. Paul Semmens, E. Paul's father. Colonel Semmens
coordinated all of the efforts in Colorado Springs, and I owe
him a great debt of gratitude.
Another person who rendered much assistance was Dr.
Fred Milford of the Mershon Center. Fred spent many hours explaining
science and technology to me.
Many others helped through their labors in finding
materials and reviewing classified information. The person who
contributed the most was Wanda Raddiff of the U.S. Army Center
of Military History. She pointed me in the right direction and
made necessary documents available. Don Carter from the center
Dennis Vetock and Randy Rakers at the U.S. Army Military History Institute rendered much assistance in
research at their archives. Dr. Richard Sommers and
his staff also provided several documents.
At Fort Bliss, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Christianson
and Pat Rhodes, the ADA branch historians, Ron Peterson and Trinydad
Rosado of the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School Library,
and Tim O'Gorman and Terry Cornell of the ADA Museum were very
generous with their time and talents.
The people of the Mershon Center gave me a decent
environment to work in and provided necessary funding. Special
thanks to Dr. Joe Kruzel and Josie Cohagen.
By far, the most encouragement and understanding
for this project came from my family - Glenda, Emily and Abby.
Ironically, the end of the Cold War and the rapid
proliferation of ballistic and cruise missiles has given the story
of ARADCOM renewed relevancy. Congress has recently directed DoD
to field a national missile defense against limited strikes. This
mission, thanks to ARADCOM's pioneering work, presently is assigned
to the Army and Air Defense Artillery. We will resurrect the nation's
defense against weapons of mass destruction on building blocks
left us by ARADCOM's "Vigilant and Invincible" soldiers.