Mechernich 55 km SW of Cologne
from Andy Johnson. January 25, 2013
From Kenneth D. Johnson CW2, USA Retired - June 13, 2009
Thanks for your help in keeping the Nike Story alive.
I was stationed at A Battery 2/56 ADA in Geinsheim, Germany from 1982 until it closed in 1984. Our Launcher Platoon Leader was 1LT Beverly M. Smith. She was also our best TCO. She was promoted to captain and re-assigned to Pirmasens as the adjutant. She went on to become one of the first female ADA Battalion Commanders and is now or recently was the Pacific Missile Test Facility at Kwaduline Atol as a full Colonel Col. Beverly M. Stipe. She has had had a great career and her great beginnings were in the Nike Family.
There were also a number of female soldiers working at the site as Military Police, Medic, and Supply.
Those were great days.
A small note from Goerigk, Rolf D. :
The Germans operated 6 NIKE Batallons, 21,22,23,24,25 and the 26 FlaRakBtl. Each bataillon consisted of 4 combat units.
From Benjamin Lowe - December 4, 2006
As you know, I just found your site. I have enjoyed the exploring and remembering things I thought were lost to history.
I did want to provide you with a. Next Generation. view of what had been SASCOM and became 59th Ordnance Brigade a few months before my arrival in Germany in 1978, in particular the 35th USAAD. Most of the problems Richard mentioned remained true throughout my tenure in Germany that is, until 1981. Although we did generally have three officers, we almost never had a qualified team sergeant there being by that time virtually no 16-series E-7s who had not either retired or converted to WO, never in my experience had a clerk, and rarely had more than 25 or 26 men assigned. For five long and horrible months in Rodenkirchen, we managed with 2 officers and 20 men plus or minus one because of a drug bust. And this was during an NSI cycle see below.
As shorthanded as everyone was, we could only concentrate on the core missions. custody and warheading. Most other Army stuff, such as training schedules, PT until I became TC, anyway, non-special ammunition property records, non-two-man key control, etc., were pretty well left to the weeks before the. NSI Cycle. or the AGI. We were thoroughly inspected, certainly; the NSI cycle lasted about three months every twelve to fifteen months, and started with an inspection from Det; then a. technical assistance visit. TAV from group, then the. Brigade Security Evaluation. from Pirmasens before we actually saw the NSI. We also put up with annual tactical evaluations from 2ATAF and the Air Force these cycles following the German chain of command in the same was as the NSI followed ours, an AGI from USAREUR, and inspections from every tenant unit in Bremerhaven, from the physical security people to the dining facility folks, on what seemed like a weekly basis.
My first year all three of the sites on which I served operated on the waiver Richard discussed, permitting the duty officer to be on call at home at night if the Senior Custodial Agent SCA was SANRAS qualified. 59th pulled all the waivers in the summer of 1979 and we had to stay on site or, later, in the admin area through duty. This little bit of bureaucratic mischief was compounded by a massive increase in traffic, which meant that generally both the officers and senior NCOs were awake all night, one night in three, and pulled normal business hours the other day although the workload was such that. normal. hours were often 0700-2000 or later. Of course, we went though all the post-Vietnam vicissitudes of the Army as well; I remember that 15 of my EMs were considered functionally illiterate including two 24Us. and had to be made available for. basic skills education. four hours a week. We also had a couple of bouts with drug busts, and one CQ who opened fire on me and the team sergeant after snorting cocaine. These incidents would result in the perps being. pulled from the personnel reliability program. and leaving us even shorter handed.
552d Group in Soegel pronounced ZER-gel was the command element for the. northern 3. dets. the 35th, 42d, and 51st. when I first arrived, but when 59th Ordnance Group PROV, the replacement for SASCOM, was reorganized in the summer of 1978 into 59th Ord Bde, all AD elements were placed under 5th Group in Bueren. Our supporting signal corps folks remained in Soegel, though, and we still took SANRAS/EMAS tests and did our two-man turn-ins of cookies and code there. We continued to wear the USAREUR patch through my tenure, although one of my A M sergeants proudly kept his SASCOM patch on his never-worn greens, telling me that it made his uniform SRFD SECRET-Formerly Restricted Data, in case anyone has forgotten.
I was originally to have gone to the 42d in Barnstorf, but 552d Group reassigned me after one day to the 35th. I started as Assembly and Maintenance A M Officer at C Team in Wiesmoor in May 1978. Newly-promoted Captain Gilmore was the TC; he would leave to take over the 51st Det I think a couple of months later. I remember the following conversation when I reported to him:
CPT. LT pronounced, of course, ELL-TEE, you know all that junk not the word he used they told you at Fort Bliss about how if you blow an NSI nuclear surety inspection they relieve you, put you in jail, and ruin your life forever..
Me feeling much relieved . Yes, sir..
CPT. Well, it.s all true, every bit of it..
He then handed me USAREUR Reg 50-100 and told me that I would be sleeping in my office until I passed the CA custodial agent test in Hohenkirchen. Thus inspired, I managed to pass it three days later.
I weathered an NSI in Wiesmoor and so pleased everyone. even the new Det WO, Cliff Atchley. that I was moved to D Team in Dornum that October literally the day of the post-NSI party in Wiesmoor. I only stayed in Dornum long enough to pass an NSI and Tac Eval, and then I was moved to B Team in Rodenkirchen after a drug bust there in February 1979. I don.t doubt the next stop would have been A Team in Hohenkirchen, but the chief of the NSI party in Rodenkirchen that April had also been on the other two NSI teams; he called Captain Pierce, the Det Commander, over at the outbriefing and said. You see that lieutenant over there. I.m not going to see him again, am I.. So I stayed in Rodenkirchen, first as A M, then as security officer, and finally from December 1979 to May 1981 as Team Commander. We did have some good times. we won the USAREUR small unit flag football championship in 1980, for instance. and a lot of long hours.
By the last few months of my tenure in Rodenkirchen, the German magazine Der Stern had published the coordinates of every site in 5th Group, we started having demonstrations along the highway by our site, and rumors of closure abounded. When I got back to Fort Bliss in June of 1981, I was promoted to CPT and retreaded into 14G. A friend from the 35th called me one Sunday afternoon, waking me up just barely ; when he realized I was asleep, he just said. Sir, you have a message downrange. and hung up. I was halfway out the door when I realized what I was doing and he called back, saying. Got you, didn.t I.. I still have stress dreams of the team, mostly panicking when I remember that we haven.t done an emergency destruction drill in oh, thirty years..
I lost track of most everyone from that time, particularly after I left active duty. I really appreciate your site and knowing. the rest of the story..
MAJ AD USAR ret
PS.BTW, my father was chaplain of the 314 Ord Bn at Hampton Roads Army Terminal, which provided GS to the local Nike sites. I actually had a photo of an ASP shoot in my room when I was growing up. which let me taunt my NCOs with the information that my father had worked with the system, too.
From Foy, Robert
A Team 501st USAAD was a custodial unit assigned to the 5th United States Army Artillery Group in Germany. A Team was attached to the 23rd FlageRockett Bn of the German Air Force in Lich located about 8 miles from Giessen. One of four teams, our mission was to defend both the air and ground corridor of the Fulda Gap. It was kind of scary when we went to our sister teams and found out that we were sitting on the Bullseye. All of their weapons were pointed directly at our position. Gives you a warm sense of security. Great info and glad to see that the Old Lady of Air Defense is being kept alive. She was a great system and taken care of by a great bunch of people.
Yes, the German Air Force had numerous Nike Sites throughout West Germany. The typical configuration of the Launching Area was three firing sections A, B, and C Section. Two of the three firing sections were controlled by US Custodial personnel because of the nuclear payloads mated to the missile. All access and maintenance within those firing sections was strictly monitored and controlled by armed US personnel. I guess the term Ground Zero would have been better than the Bullseye. You didn t really get that warm and fuzzy feeling when things started to get hectic. From what I ve been able to gather, the germans have converted over to Patriot now. The Fulda Gap was one of the prime invasion routes from East Germany into West Germany. A real prime piece of real estate.
E-mail of Belgian Airforce From Bob VERHEGGHEN
I was a Belgian conscript in from december 1974 till september 1975.
It is in 1957 that Belgium did complete its defence system by using missiles instead of aircraft only.
In the orbit of Mutual Defence Aid Program, the first Belgian personnel was send in november 1957 in the USA for training. The training lasted two years and by the return in Belgium, the units began assembling their new material in provisional locations at Elsenborn near the German border and in Bierset Air Base near Liege, waiting their posting to definitive locations in Germany, under construction.
In December 1959, it took over the traditions of the 13 Fighter Wing, disbanded in July 1958 these wing flew with Meteor Aircraft
The second unit, 9 WETSA, was formed on 28 May 1962 and took over the traditions of 9th Fighter Wing, disbanded in june 1960. A little bit later, the two units changed their names in 13th Missile Wing and 9th Missile Wing.Each unit had 4 missiles squadrons and a technical and support unit.
The coordination needs between the two units and the fact that they were stationed outside Belgium on German ground, necessitated a higher level of Command, having authority on the two wings and wich was called Groupement Missiles . It was created in June 1962.
The first bases in Germany were occupied by 13th Wing units in 1962 in D.ren 50 squadron, Blankenheim 51 squadron, Euskirschen 52squadron and Kaster 53 squadron not far from K.ln and the Belgian border.
The 9th Wing arrived in Germany in 1965 only after having been trained in the USA in 1961 and having been at Elsenborn and Bierset, left over by 13th Wing, now in Germany.
End in 1962, a third unit was created, reunifying the support under the name W S Msl Wing Support Missile. This was stationed in Duren during winter 62-63.
In 1965, the 53 squadron, based at Kaster, left 13th Wing to be put under command of 9th Wing. 55 squadron of the 9th Wing went to Kapellen-Erft and the 56 squadron stayed for a while in Elsenborn.
In 1969, 56 squadron, the HQ of 9th Wing and HQ Groupement Missile arrived at Grefrath, big radar station.
In 1971, the 54 squadron, last unit of 9th Wing arrived at Xanten and by 1976, the 56 squadron, left Elsenborn and took its quarters at Erle.
All units were disbanded in the mid and late eighties. 53 and 57 squadrons were disbanded in 1983, 52 and 55 squadrons in 1985,51 and 54 squadrons in 1989, 50 and 56 squadrons in 1990.
I have a very good souvenir of those 10 months in 52 sqn. I was working as switchboard operator in the launching Control trailer. The radars of the units were not on the same sites as the missiles. They were on a hill not far, some kilometers. We had 3 sections, two of them under US custody as each section had nuclear head on some Hercules tip of missile was red- I remember. Each year, the Belgians units went to Creta in Greece to practice live firing.
The most notable incident I remember was when we were put on NATO real alert as a soviet Mig 25 foxbat was crossing the Iron Fence, going south to photograph the Plateau d Albion in Southern France were the french had a Intercontinental Nuclear Missile base. Some time later, he came back, again full alert for nothing.
I hope these infos will be useful for you.
8th PERSCOM, 10th PERSCOM, Total Army SUPPORT COMMANDS--7th FASCOM, 8th FASOM, 22nd FASCOM, 23rd FASCOM, SASCOM a Pennsylvania Meical CAP Patch.
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- I was assigned to Alpha of the 43rd USAAD as a 2LT United States Army Artillery Detachment SASCOM units wore the USAREUR patch but a SASCOM patch.
- The 35th detachment was part of a larger unit known as SASCOM. of our unauthorized patch for B Team 35th USAAD stationed in Artillery Detachment/USAAD.
- SASCOM Patch 59th Ord Bde Patch : Overview and The Bundeswehr kaserne at Pfullendorf was originally designated Neue Kaserne. On October 27 1964, the.
- SASCOM. Worn from: 12 which units of Special Ammunition Support Command are serving and further symbolize the vehicle such as might be used in snow and.
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