Nope, we stopped it in the Johnson administration following
an accident with live nukes on board an aircraft. ISTR that
it was the one where a B-58 was taking off at Bunker Hill AFB
in Indiana and went off the runway bursting into flames. We
still have the "Looking Glass" NABCP command in place 24/7
as I recall.
We've even taken a large number of the missiles off of combat
alert, at least in what I'm told by a cousin in ACC. Minot,
and other bases with Minuteman III's as well as the Peace
keeper missiles are the only ones in the inventory, and only
the Minuteman III's are at alert 24/7.
This does not include the boomer subs. I've been told that
they were halved in numbers, and the older Ohio class were
turned into spec-ops subs with SEAL teams and equipment.
The tubes were taken out and there's a crapload of space
left over in the are that they were held in.
Hope that this helps!
Not since '68. Chrome Dome was the code name for the airborne alert, and
usually a dozen Buffs were airborne at all times, loaded and ready to
strike. The Palomares mid-air between a Buff and a KC-135, and a crash of a
Buff at Thule ended airborne alert. Ground alert continued until late '91.
Looking Glass is no longer flying 24/7 either. The last one landed in
the early 90s. SAC no longer exists. In a fit of supreme stupidity,
then AF Chief of Staff McPeak combined SAC and TAC to form Air Combat
Command. The tankers were spread between ACC and the new Air Mobility
Command. AMC was previously known as MAC. Most of the tankers have
since come back to AMC since it turned out that having a single point
manager for tanker assets (as SAC was doing) is not a bad idea at all.
Most if not all of the EC-135s that were flying the Looking Glass
missions have been retired.
Merrill was part of the Fighter Mafia. Big time. He was also known for
redesigning the AF uniform. That lasted until he retired.
I remember wasting way too much paper while he was reorganizing and
shuffling assets. For a while it was almost a weekly occurance. Now
some things, mainly AF Systems Command needed to be disbanded. There
was more than a lot of who the heck do we report to now? going on. IF
you never have been in the AF, official orders, letters have to be
sent as originals on forms printed at the base print shop. That's by
regulation. Soooooo reorganize, old stuff gets turned into small
recycled note pads, new stuff gets printed and you can't do anything
without the right official letterhead. The official pen color is black
though they did relent and let you use blue. Nice of them.
There are a few unofficial bring back SAC patches for sale around the
Late 80s there was a reintroduction of the leather flight jacket to
improve pilot morale. That went over real well. Especially as only
combat crews were elgible. Then there was some bonuses for reupping to
keep people from going to the airlines. Soooooo those that DIDN'T get
the bonuses came up with a 'non bonus aviatris' patch, had a dollar
sigh with a pair of wings with a slash over it. More than a few of
those were sported on flight suits. Eventually everybody got the
leather flight jacket if you were on flight status. OF course we all
forgot leather was lousy for fires, there was a reason for the Nomex
suit and gloves.
No doubt this can be worked into a diorama somehow.
I think the Navy kept the leather flight jacket and never retired it.
In the 90s they did away with the white missileer uniforms, there was
also a blue shade. Looked like the OD fatigue but in those colors.
Maintenance guys looked spiffy, though maintenance is known for grease
and other stuff, god knows how they kept the white ones clean.
I always thought the guys running around in flight suits at NORAD were
a bit of a hoot. Wasn't a bit of JP4 or a canopy anywhere to be found
around there. Besides being under a granite mountain.