Juliet - 01 receives new computer capabilities
By Gabriel J. Myers, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
/ Published June 01, 2006
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Airmen who pull alert in launch control centers deep underground in remote locations around the country are virtually cut off from the outside world.
Ensuring America’s intercontinental ballistic missile force is ready to launch at a moment’s notice may be considered a lonely, isolated job with an average day consisting of scouring over technical data and monitoring the missile complex, until now.
Juliet-01, a missile alert facility here, has new computer capability allowing missile combat crewmembers to access the Internet while pulling an alert shift in the LCC.
This new system, Netlink, provides Airmen with the capability to increase their productivity while on alert. With this new system, crews can work on professional military education, graduate degree programs and professional communication such as staff packages, performance reports, awards and decorations.
This system is the first of its kind dedicated to combat crews in an ICBM LCC.
In addition to boosting personal productivity, LCC Netlink provides high-speed access to remote monitoring equipment, providing crews with better situational awareness in their underground control centers.
The LCC Netlink concept was envisioned by Master Sgt. Doug Angell, 741st Missile Squadron.
“After seeing crewmembers spend their days off trying to catch-up on ancillary training, additional duties or simply reading and responding to e-mail, I saw the need for PC access while on alert,” said Sergeant Angell.
One of the obvious concerns and obstacles in gaining this technology in the LCC was ensuring this capability would not pose a threat to the safe and secure operation of nuclear weapons.
Emissions and transmission security are the main concerns in the LCC and Netlink operates within the bounds of both due to the use of fiber optic cable and policies and procedures governing the use of Netlink.
By removing the central processing unit to upstairs MAF and only placing the keyboard, video and mouse devices inside the LCC Sergeant Angell was able to completely mitigate all the related risk with this solution.
After a survey period of a couple of months, the results of Netlink will be analyzed to see how much productivity has been improved.
“Some people who have been in the ICBM business for a while might say, we didn’t have that so why should you? Or shouldn’t you be doing your job, not browsing the Internet? When presented with the idea that office productivity will actually improve some misconceptions can be steered towards the truth that Netlink is a great thing,” said Capt. Joseph Page II, 741st MS combat crew commander.
Netlink will undergo an initial trial phase of 60 days to collect data on the success of the new system. If the results deem positive then a blanket approval will be sought to install the same system at all 15 MAF’s within the 91st Space Wing.
“The LCC NetLink is a revolutionary leap forward in increasing the proficiency, productivity and efficiency of on-alert missile crews as they deter would be adversaries and safeguard our precious freedom,” said Lt. Col Tom Summers, 741st Missile Squadron Commander. “We’ve only begun to scratch the surface on how to exploit LCC NetLink’s new mission-enhancing capabilities. The positive mission impact and future uses of computer network access in the missile capsules will surely pay huge dividends for years to come.”