Captain Swoop's Virtual ICBM Tour presents...
THE LAST FEW MOMENTS OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT....

 

Contrary to popular misconception, there is no "button" to push, to start World War III. There are actually 2 key operated switches (one for each crew member). These switches are now kept covered and sealed to detect tampering, after it was discovered that some silent protestor among the launch crew cadre (most are not volunteers) had been stuffing the keyholes with gum, rendering them useless if needed. Additionally, the keyswitch will not function unless the correct launch code has been programmed into the Launch Control Panel. A long checklist of actions, including these, must be performed in sequence to launch our missiles.

The Launch Consoles have since been upgraded into a new unit known as a REACT Console (which stands for Rapid Execution And Combat Targeting), which combines the MCCC and DMCCC consoles into one unit, complete with digital readouts of missile status and computer controls.

A checklist similar to the one below is practiced countless times by Missile Crews until it is virtually an automatic response for them. This is somewhat chilling when you consider this is not just any task, but the Emergency Combat Capable Launch Checklist - also known as an EWO launch - and the steps below describe the final actions of a crew ordered to literally end the world as we know it. While this is an older, discontinued version (for the Minuteman II missile system) of the current EWO Launch checklists in use, the similarities are enough to give you a good impression of the events. We can only hope that some Third World madman never gives cause for this checklist to be anything but an exercise.

Actions for specific crew members are identified by: MCCC (Missile Combat Crew Commander), and DMCCC (Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander). The "zebra bars" bordering the page are present on the actual checklist pages, so Launch Crew Members will not confuse the checklist with others during times of stress. Steps pertaining to test launches, and classified printout readings, have been left out. The checklist picks up after a genuine Emergency War Order (EWO) message from the President has been received, decoded, and verified, and the crew have retrieved the launch keys.

And keep in mind another sobering fact: once these birds enter "terminal countdown" after being commanded to launch, they cannot be stopped, recalled, or aborted. For more on the popular misconception about this, go HERE.


4-6. EMERGENCY COMBAT CAPABLE LAUNCH CHECKLIST
NOTE
If DSAP lockup occurs before completion of launch actions, and time does not permit accomplishment of the DSAP fault/reset procedure, select a valid time on the LVP and momentarily press DSAP RESET pushbutton and continue. If DSAP reset is unsuccessful, press LOGIC CLEAR pushbutton on CMPG prior to attempting launch or enable commands. When time permits, accomplish applicable steps of DSAP fault/reset procedure.

 

If unable to accomplish emergency combat capable launch due to equipment malfunction, accomplish steps 64 and on.

 

 

 

1. MCCC & DMCCC: Launch Keys

INSERTED         

PLC-A sequence (if required) - steps 2 - 9
2. DMCCC: FUNCTION SELECT switch

OFF         

3. DMCCC: PLC-A LAUNCH OPTION selector (00-49)

PLC-A1 NUMBER         

4. DMCCC: CEP/MRT switch

REQUIRED POSITION         

5. DMCCC: INITIATE switch ACTUATED CLOCKWISE         
Rotate switch and hold until MESSAGE TRANSMITTING indicator comes on and goes off.

6. DMCCC: Printout CHECKED         
E (no.) CEP (or MRT)
PLATRN (time of day)

7. DMCCC: PLC-A LAUNCH OPTION selector (51-98)

PLC-A2 NUMBER         

8. DMCCC: INITIATE switch ACTUATED CLOCKWISE         
Rotate switch and hold until MESSAGE TRANSMITTING indicator comes on and goes off.

9. DMCCC: Printouts CHECKED         
E (no.) CEP (or MRT)
PLATRN (time of day)

Check TVR for correct PLC-A insertion.

PLC-B (if required) - steps 10 - 17
10. DMCCC: FLIGHT ADDRESS SELECT switch

REQUIRED FLIGHT         

11. DMCCC: LAUNCHER ADDRESS SELECT switch

REQUIRED LF         

12. DMCCC: FUNCTION SELECT switch

PLC-B         

13. DMCCC: TARGET selector

REQUIRED TARGET         

14. DMCCC: CEP/MRT switch

REQUIRED POSITION         

15. DMCCC: TIME selector

REQUIRED TIME         

16. DMCCC: INITIATE switch ACTUATED CLOCKWISE         
Rotate switch and hold until MESSAGE TRANSMITTING indicator comes on and goes off. If a NOPLCB printout occurs, check FLIGHT ADDRESS SELECT and TIME selector switches and initiate a second time.

17. DMCCC: Printout CHECKED         
TVR from LF will occur within 237 seconds.

Enabling (as required) - steps 18 - 23  
18. MCCC: PROGRAM SELECT switch

ENABLE         

19. MCCC: FLIGHT select switch

ALL or REQUIRED FLIGHT         

20. MCCC: LAUNCHER select switch

ALL or REQUIRED LF         

21. Unlock Code INSERTED         
Insert unlock code into code insert thumbwheel switches in accordance with SAC directives.

22. DMCCC: Enable switch (if required)

ENABLE         

23. MCCC: INITIATE switch ACTUATED CtrCLOCKWISE         
Rotate switch and hold until MESSAGE TRANSMITTING indicator comes on and goes off, or up to 20 seconds.

RWC (if required) - steps 24 - 30

NOTE

To prevent possible code compromise, do not perform RWC if a secure translate code has been inserted in the translate thumbwheel switches.

 

24. MCCC: PROGRAM SELECT switch

RWC         

25. MCCC: FLIGHT select switch

REQUIRED FLIGHT         

26. MCCC: LAUNCHER select switch

SELECTED LF         

27. DMCCC: CODE INSERT thumbwheel switches

SET         

28. DMCCC: RWC CODE

VERIFIED         

29. MCCC: INITIATE switch ACTUATED CtrCLOCKWISE         
Rotate switch and hold until MESSAGE TRANSMITTING indicator comes on and goes off, or up to 20 seconds.

30. MCCC: check printout (RWR)

VERIFIED         

31. MCCC: PROGRAM SELECT switch

OFF         

32. MCCC/DMCCC: Key turn ACCOMPLISHED         
Simultaneously rotate both launch keys and hold until the MESSAGE TRANSMITTING indicators come on (may take up to 10 seconds) and go off. If MESSAGE TRANSMITTING indicator on program control panel comes on and goes off and MESSAGE TARNSMITTING indicator on launch verification panel fails to come on, ensure PROGRAM SELECT switch is set to OFF and reinitiate key turn. During DSAP lockup, monitpr MESSAGE TRANSMITTING indicator on launch verification panel. If indicator(s) fail to come on, release switches and repeat.

33. MCCC: Launch switch

CODE USED         

34. MCCC: LAUNCH COMMAND caution light ON         
Comes on for each enabled missile except those in infinite hold.

35. MCCC: PROGRAM SELECT switch

SCNT         

36. MCCC: LAUNCH IN PROCESS indicator(s)

ON         

37. MCCC: LAUNCH COMMAND indicator(s)

OFF         

38. Launch Indications NOTED         
See table 3-2 for launch status changes.

39. Clear LF's (if required)

ACCOMPLISHED         

For additional launches, repeat steps 2 thru 39 as required by SAC directives.

 

40
thru
44 (Deleted)

 

If ALCC assistance is required for sole survivor conditions, electrically isolated LF(s), or LF(s) with unknown status, accomplish steps 45 thru 48 as applicable. Otherwise, proceed to step 49.

NOTE

Disregard abnormal indications that may result when interrogations are interrupted.

45. ALCC contact (if possible) ESTABLISHED         
Attempt radio contact with ALCC over ALCC coordination frequency or radio relay through another LCC and advise of requirements for PLC, enable, and/or launch commands. Inform ALCC of all actions taken and time when LF(s) will accept ALCC commands. If unable to contact ALCC, monitor ERCS frequency.

 

If ALCC contact was attempted for sole survivor condition, but contact was not possible, re-accomplish steps 2 through 39 as applicable prior to continuing procedure
46. MCCC: Squadron Time Slots (if required) DELETED         
Required for sole survivor conditions. Delete all squadron time slots by depressing corresponding illuminated FLIGHT NO. pushbutton(s) and note pushbutton(S) go out. LF's will accept ALCC commands 102 seconds after all time slots deleted.

47. MCCC: ALCC launch indications NOTED/REPORTED         
Note missile away indications(s) for parent flight and time of occurance and advise ALCC. If missile away indications cannot be monitored, verify completion of ALCC actions by radio contact. Return to ERCS frequency after actions are completed.

If time slots were not deleted at step 46, proceed to step 49.
48. MCCC: ALL FLIGHT NO. pushbuttons DEPRESSED         
Required if completion of all squadron launch by ALCC has been verified by radio contact, or for additional crew launch actions. Depress all FLIGHT NO. pushbuttons and note pushbuttons illuminate.

49. Report results to Command Post ACCOMPLISHED         
Report in accordance with SAC procedures. When unable to report to Command Post, report to ALCC over ALCC coordination frequency. Monitor ERCS frequency after contact.

CODE INSERT thumbwheel switches RESET         
In accordance with SAC directives, insert the following code:
P7 P7 P7 P7 P7 P7

50. DMCCC: Enable Switch

CODE USED         

51. MCCC: PROGRAM SELECT and FLIGHT select switches

OFF         

52. DMCCC: FLIGHT ADDRESS SELECT and FUNCTION SELECT switches

OFF         

53. DMCCC: TARGET selector

1         

54. DMCCC: TIME selector

9-59-59         

55. DMCCC: MRT/CEP switch

CEP         

 

EWO MESSAGE: The Deputy Commander checks "Flight Status" of his ICBM's to ensure they are ready for launch.

VALIDATED MESSAGE: Once the Emergency War Order has been authenticated, the launch crew unlocks and opens the box containing launch keys and codes needed to enable the missiles for launch.

LAUNCH ENABLED: Missile Combat Crew Commander, sends a Preparatory Launch Command to the ICBM Flight

MISSILE AWAY: 2 Minuteman ICBM's streak toward the target in a "salvo" launch

INCOMING!: the last thing you'd see before detonation of 3 incoming Minuteman warheads