How Often Should A 2 Month Old Wake At Night Somebody Should Have Died (1975, 545th Ordnance Company, Nuclear Site, West Germany)

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Somebody Should Have Died (1975, 545th Ordnance Company, Nuclear Site, West Germany)

(1975, 545th Ordnance Company, Nuclear Site, West Germany)

The structure was built to withstand a nuclear blast. Surrounding the site were tall trees, walkways that led to bunkers containing half a dozen nuclear bombs (see interlude for details). The trees and foliage were high enough to be seen only by a small plane about a hundred feet above the site, and the German government forbade allowing any flights over the site. A young sergeant, twenty-seven years old, well built, chestnut hair, blue-green eyes, had just taken another sergeant’s shift; he was on what was called ENREST (nuclear security, watchdogs). Every sergeant at the site who had a top secret clearance was on the ENREST list, as was every officer with a top secret clearance, it was a twenty-four hour duty, once a month, and neither sergeant nor officer was allowed to leave the bunker area. At night the doors were locked and locked, the front door, one to the bunker, the other to the ENREST room in the bunker, where the orders came from.

As Sergeant Chick Evens listened, he could hear the night winds above the bunker. At the same time, he heard a five-ton truck bringing in a new shift of twenty-four Military Police who were guarding the place. He licked his lips to moisten them, it was a very hot night, he took off his shirt, wearing only an undershirt, the fat captain, snoring on his iron bed on one side of the room, sitting on the iron. cot, on the other side of the room. The room was twelve feet by twelve feet. The young captain’s name was Horace Worme. The sergeant had seen his file and his college transcripts since he was a noncommissioned officer in charge of investigating the nuclear security program, and often wondered how a captain could become a captain with 90% “D” semester grades. I mean he had more “D’s” than anything he’s ever known, not one A’s, not one B’s, a few C’s. He went to college himself and had a bachelor’s degree and got one D, and that was fault finding.

Evens watched the fat captain, no one else could watch, breathing heavily, sweating, the wind just swirling over the structure as his sweat soaked into the mattress. Then he got up and walked the floor, he never liked ENREST. He told the captain that one of them had to stay awake, monitor phones, incoming data and read printouts in case there was an alarm. It was a two man inspection process, but only one had to be awake during the night hours, but he also knew that this captain never liked duty, he had the sergeants stay up all night while he slept her, but Evens said. not for this bullshit, he was going to do his duty, just like him.

He tried to wake up the captain at 2:00 a.m. to take over the night shift, his time was up, but the captain didn’t wake up. In fact, the captain said, “Leave me alone, that’s the order sergeant!” So the sergeant lay face down on the bed, chin on the pillow, arms outstretched.

“It’s stupid” he said out loud hoping the captain would hear “you can’t expect me to have your shift as well and read the data correctly” the messages came from what was thought to be European Central Command all along. And it had to be translated, it was in code, and one man had to break the white seal, after reading the message and doing the decoding, the other checked it, and they followed the procedure. If it was a red seal, then it was for a high priority alert and would go to a second seal if necessary. The white seal was less complicated. But often the white seal led to the red seal, and that meant war; and of course the cold war was with the russians. Their assumption was that if it went to the red seal, the nuclear stomachs (nuclear warheads) – that’s what I called them – from bombs that had to be sunk underground.

(Interlude: It’s hard to convey the makeup of a nuclear bomb and its destructive power in a simple paragraph, and I’ve seen their guts, but let me put it in the most basic, if not oversimplified, way: there are two parts to the nuclear bomb I’m talking about, some have three parts, the secondary part of a nuclear bomb – about a half dozen were stored at the site, this is the part I saw, the cylindrical type. the bombs were 9 to 50 megatons and more, some were Titan II (ICBMs), the Titan fleet was decommissioned in 1988; the fireball of one of these Titan missiles was three miles in diameter, its destructive power would most likely destroy all structures within ten miles, or three hundred square miles. One kiloton is equal to 1000 tons of TNT, kilotons are measured in thousands of tons; Hiroshima witnessed a 15-kiloton bomb, called “Little Boy,” and Nagasaki witnessed a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb, called “Fat Boy”—where megatons are minuscule, millions of tons of TNT are provided. e lower part; the primary is on top. I don’t need to say more about this story.)

It was still dark outside when the young sergeant awoke; he heard the incoming message being printed on the machine so he could read and decode it. He got up, walked over to the table where the machine was spewing out paper and the message was being printed, he came and went to wake up the captain and said to him: “You must decode the message with me. Or at least read it while I decode it.”

“No, you decode it,” he said, “I’m tired.

He began decoding the message and fell asleep again without reading it clearly. Just like the captain’s job; one looks over the other’s shoulder.

It was 6:15 and the phone rang. The sergeant handed it to Horace and said, “The major wants to talk to you for some reason.”

He stood to the side of the phone, half dazed, the phone in his right hand heavy. “Yes, sir,” said the captain, “what is it?”

Captain Worme pulled back like a double bolt of lightning and grabbed the decoded message, “You didn’t decipher it last night,” he yelled at the sergeant.

“Of course,” said the sergeant, the decoded part is exactly where the message you just intercepted was.

“Hello,” the captain said to the major, “the sergeant said he decoded the message.”

“Well, didn’t you read it?” shouted the major so loud that the sergeant heard him.

“Yay! No, I don’t think so, why?” said the captain.

“Because,” said the major, “we’re the only nuclear facility; no, in fact we’re the only place in all of Europe that isn’t on standby, and the colonel wants to know why our gates are wide open like it’s a normal day. I want to see you for an hour and read the damn coded message and come back in five minutes.”

“So Sergeant,” Captain Worme said to Evens, beginning to read the decoded message, “it looks like you decoded it correctly, why didn’t you wake me up and call the alarm?”

“I woke you up and you ordered me to leave you alone, after I told you that you needed to check the decoded message as it should be and you insisted, I was tired and collapsed. sleep.”

“It was stupid not to respond to the message!”

“Yes! Be careful, Captain. I have done my duty and you have done no duty, that is what duty is called.”

As the captain came out of the major’s office, he stopped Sergeant Evens. “So what’s up?” asked the sergeant.

“I’m sorry to break it to you, I think there will be some charges against you, maybe a court-martial; too many things for me to cover.” Now the sergeant knew how he got past his “D’s” in college, it was a conniver.

“Well,” said the sergeant, “if I go down, so will you! They obviously don’t know my part of the story; sooner or later I’ll have to make a report and inform them. Did they know it was?” you who gave me a Direct Order to let you sleep?” (And the sergeant knew that a direct order from an officer must not be contrary to established law, and it was.)

“I’m not sure,” he said.

“What you’re supposed to be sure of is whether you told them or not, and I don’t think so.”

“I’d better get back in there and deal with this before it gets out of hand. It was funny, the sergeant thought, not batting an eye and having to test the water to see if he would take the blame.

“It is very good, if you do I will stand here for a while.

When the captain returned, everything was taken care of.

“We’re all soldiers,” said the captain, “just forget about what happened today and don’t say a word about that sergeant, okay? If you let it slip, we’re all dead.” We were with an attack, an alert, the Red Brigade, some anti-German group tried to attack one of our nuclear sites and an alert was issued because of that and we screwed it up. If they came here to our post, God only knows what would happen. The gates were wide open and they could take hostages.’

“Yes,” said the sergeant (looking at the door, which was now closed and secured), and stood on his right. “I’ve never heard of it.

“Did you hear about what?” said the captain. The sergeant thought back to all the ‘D’s’ the captain had received.

“No one will ever hear about it, that’s it!” The sergeant said, then thought ‘…someone could have died because of our neglect-‘ and wanted to get out of there.

Note: The 545th Ordnance Company was activated in 1942. In 1950 it was activated in Japan and in 1959 it was active in West Germany, Muenster-Dieburg; inactivated June 1992; area returned to Germany in 1994. No: 715 1-24-2011)

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