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09/21/2017

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Tinclad

I was on the boat when the initial BRAC announcement came out. Everyone's first thought was to wonder how we'd ever be able to sell our houses now. In the end, as you say, they changed their mind yet AIRPAC still had to lose a base- and it ended up being, to the surprise of everyone, Miramar.

Quartermaster

I was never able to simply walk onto the flight line of an AFB. I was shocked when I visited Oceana in 1974 looking for info and was simply able to walk into any hanger along the flight line with no questions asked.

I got thrown off the flight line at Ramstein AFB in 1966. I was brought to the Wing Commander and told to never allow myself to be caught inside the security perimeter again. Turned out the Colonel knew my father and he ratted me out.

The 2 LTs that took me onto the flight line disappeared shortly thereafter. It may have had a bit to do with the F-104 I was sitting in when the APs came for me.

XBradTC

The difference, QM, was that Oceana and Whidbey didn't have any nukes on station. Ramstein did.

Quartermaster

It wasn't just nukes. All AFBs had heightened security at the time. Lemay's fingerprints were still deeply impressed on the entire USAF of the late 60s. Even Air Defense Command bases would not permit easy access, and ADC never had any nukes. Otherwise, I would agree with you.

Adair AFS was a SAGE site and the only part of the station I couldn't freely walk about in was the "Block House" where the radar signals were processed, a prohibition I agreed with even as a kid.

XBradTC

ADC bases had the AIR-2 Genie nuclear rocket.

Quartermaster

Not all did. It's been too long to recall for certain, but nukes had to be kept at bases where flight line access was completely controlled. Places like Klamath Falls, OR and McGhee-Tyson (Knoxville, TN) had shared airfields and were not considered completely secure.

ADC bases that were shared with SAC, normally with ADC being the subordinate command, were preferred. I could go on the flight line at Klamath Falls with escort, but I could not go on the flight line at all at Barksdale, Carswell or Offut. My father could, but only if he had business there and even then only with escort. The reaction to my presence on the Ramstein flight line, a NATO and TAC (Tactical Air Command) base was typical. I didn't know why at the time, but learned later.

The USAF has always been more Byzantine than the Navy. Much of the problem was the Bomber Generals, with Lemay being the archetype of the species.

Funny thing - Ramstein doesn't even have a fence around the entire airfield anymore.

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