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worked in the bluerooms of the aadcp's
Subject: Nike Listing
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 16:40:58 -0500
From: lostonearth <>
To: ""

17h (converted to 16k in 1968) was "fire distributions systems crew". we worked in the bluerooms of the aadcp's. we monitored the entire battle zone and assigned specific targets to the firing batteries. that way there weren't multiple batteries firing at the same target.

we also were the ones with top secret-crypto clearances who received permission to use nukes. there were safes with double locks in the bluerooms. the officer-in-charge of the blueroom and the nco-in-charge of the blueroom both carried .45's and each had a key. when we received orders releasing fire, we went through a "dance" (too complicated to document here) of holding the pistols trained on each other as we authenticated the orders and then released the batteries, who had to authenticate our orders to them.

while in the united states, those safes also had the war-time flight plans for air force 1. they didn't want us to shoot them down accidently. we were also the ones in the united states with direct contact to norad (cheyenne mountain).


Inquiry, SkyShield II, and objection
Subject: Historical Inquiry
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 12:41:34 -0500
From: Stephen Joiner <>
To: Ed Thelen

Dear Mr Thelen:
I came upon your excellent NIKE site while doing a word search for "Iconorama." I'm a free-lance writer working on an historical piece about Operation Sky Shield II for publication in a national magazine.

Sky Shield II was a massive air defense drill carried out at the height of cold war tensions which had as its most notable feature the grounding of all civilian aircraft in North America for one day, 14 October 1961, in order to clear the skies and the radar defenses for a mock Soviet bomber attack. The air maneuvers of Sky Shield II were monitored and directed by NORAD in Colorado Springs using the" Iconorama" - that imposing wall-size electronic display of North America (a well-known facsimile is featured in scenes from "Dr Strangelove.")

I am seeking photographic background for this article, specifically I would like to find a 60's vintage shot of the Iconorama. The search which led me to you produced a hit on the page called "US Army Air Defense Digest 1966."

Unfortunately, that web page only displays text -- however there are tantalizing notations as to missing images, one of which ("Figure 12") is identified as a picture of the Iconorama. I am wondering what became of that image -- do you have it?
Do you know -- or have any suggestions, leads, etc -- where I might obtain that image or one like it? I have e-mailed Mr Slonaker listed in that article at US Army Military History Institute, but the message was returned undeliverable due to non-existent address.

Of course, I'm also trying to get something out of the NORAD History Office in Colorado Springs, but they have not been very responsive so far and I am working against a deadline. If, in your considerable expertise, you have any idea where I might turn next in this quest, I'd appreciate knowing about it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this query.

Stephen Joiner
L.A., CA

Subject: Iconorama Shot
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2000 02:38:01 -0500
From: Stephen Joiner <>
To: ""

Yep, that's the shot! I've seen it before, somewhere...elsewhere. Yet, judging by NORAD's (un)responsiveness, I must've dreamed the whole thing because no pictures of Iconorama were ever released back in those days according to them. Think I'll send them a crummy low-res printout of it anyway, just to make my point. Thanks for going to the trouble of putting it on the web page.

The fact that so few people have heard of or recall Sky Shield is what makes it such an interesting story. But it was front page stuff in its day. If you were among the 125,000 persons who would've been flying on 14 October '61, you weren't, because all commercial flights were canceled and all general aviation grounded by a special FAA order that sailed thru Congress w/o debate. The airlines had to put on a happy face about it (officially, at least) because public sentiment was so heavily in favor of civil defense at that time and many people were digging up their backyard bermuda grass to build fallout shelters. I have of neccessity had to spin this piece more from the civilian angle than the military. Hopefully, some pics will surface in time.

Thanks again,

Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002

Ed: I think you are wrong about Sky Shield. I was in a Nike Battery in Sept 1960, when Sky Shield took place. I want to place it on 12 Sept 1960. My battery deactivated on 30 Sept 1960, so we could not have participated in Oct 1961. Maybe we were in Sky Shield I????? I was long gone from air defense by Oct 1961, off in grad school, so a Sky Shield II could have taken place and I would have been oblivious.

Don Reinhard, Col (Ret) USA

U.S. Army Air Defence Command SW United States downtown Okahoma City, OK
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: U.S. Army Air Defence Command SW United States downtown Okahoma City, OK
From: ken rider
Date: Sun, September 10, 2017 10:20 pm
To: ""

I worked in this Hq during the Cuban Missile Crisis until July 1963. I was billeted at Tinker AF Base. I can't find anything about the Hq that controlled all Nike sites in SW United States. Do you have any info?

I served from 1962 till 1965. Thank you very much.

Ken Rider
Canby, Ore

Subject: Re: U.S. Army Air Defence Command SW United States downtown Okahoma City, OK
From: Thomas Page
Date: Tue, Sep 19, 2017 9:28 am
To: "" , ken rider
Cc: "Mark Morgan, " , Greg Brown , Gordon Lunn


There was an Air Force (ADC) Manual Air Defense Command Center (ADCC) at Oklahoma City AFS, which was an annex of Tinker AFB, OK. The ADCC (P-86 / MCC-11) was once slated to become a SAGE DC, but never did. The ADCC was collocated with the radar station there (P-52 / Z-52), home to the 746th AC&W Squadron.

Oklahoma City AFS functioned as a NORAD Sector Combat Center (Manual), and, as such, no doubt had U.S. Army personnel also stationed there. There were no Nike missiles at this site, just HQ personnel.


See also

I hope this helps.

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Started March 27, 2000

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