Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Name:
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Monday, June 11, 2007

A CONTROLLER’S DÉJÀ VU’

Among my many life adventures, I was an Air Force Weapons Controller (for those who understand AFSCs, I was a 1744 and then a 1716). A civilian controller’s job is to keep airplanes apart; a military weapon’s controller’s job is to bring aircraft together. Today, along with Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, I toured the 176th Air Control Squadron, operated by the Alaska Air Guard, at Elmendorf AFB.

“Everything” is changed, but everything is the “same.” Gone is the darkroom, the vertical plotting boards, the dais, and the big cathode ray tube monitors (and maybe some of the ambiance). But the job is still the same: identifying aircraft that could pose a threat (including Russian bombers intruding Alaska’s airspace), running fighter intercepts on targets (for real or for practice). Also the same, I’m sure, is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of frenzied action dealing with aircraft emergencies and other unexpected situations. Do I miss all this? The answer is "yes."

My first experience as a controller was in 1955 at Jitney Control at Cape Charles (Virginia) AFS. Later came computerized controlling at Air Defense Sage Centers at the Los Angles Air Defense Sector (LAADS) at Norton AFB. I was a controller at LAADS during the Cuban missile crisis – and that, I’m here to tell you, was exciting stuff. Later I controlled at the Great Falls Air Defense Sector in Montana. I spent a year remote as Operations Officer and Second-in-Command at the 748th AC&W at Kotzebue AFS in 1964-65 (never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever serve in the Alaska Legislature thirty-eight years later!).

My last job as a controller was at Sembach Air Base, Germany in an inflatable building we called the “Rubber Ducky.” Before that, I was Battle Commander at "Motel Alpha" control site at Udorn, Thailand. However, my controller’s piece de resistance was in Vietnam (1972-73) as a Senior Director at Monkey Mountain, DaNang, Vietnam, and then as Commander of the radar site at Pleiku, Vietnam - Peacock Control - where we controlled airplanes (both American and Vietnamese) many times while undergoing rocket attacks (which tends to focus one’s attention), and calling in help for battle damaged aircraft trying to make it back to home base. At Pleiku, I was on duty controlling aircraft during the famous Christmas Eve raid of Hanoi.

The photos are of my Master Weapons Controller Badge, me at a control scope today at Elmendorf AFB, me as a Controller at Kotzebue in 1964 (check out that mustache!), and a picture I took on Christmas Eve 1972 of my control scope at Pleiku, Vietnam of B52 bombers en route to Hanoi from Thailand - each blip contains three of the big bombers. I'm the only person in the world with that historic photo!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Bill Grom said...

Interesting blog Bob. We may have two things in common. I served as commander of the 748th '70-71, and may also be in one of those blips on your radar screen. I flew missions as a B-52 aircraft commander during Linebacker II out of U-tapao, Thailand.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Small world Bob. I was Senior Director at Monkey Mountain, MOTEL- 1967-1968. I was the 620th Tac Control Sqdn Intelligence Officer and served on the Da Nang AB/I Corps Intell Group which served the Commander III MAF. We also had a HUMINT team with OSI in a villa in Da Nang City. I volunteered to join the covert team atop Phou Pha Thi LS 85, which we supported from MOTEL, but they were overrun by NVA and killed on March 11, 1968. I was selected for TDY as Field Project Director for TIVET GYM EC-121 missions (using College Eye Task Force assets) and completed 20 missions - Laos (Barrel Roll) and Tonkin Gulf.

I was also assigned to 701st RADRON at Cape Charles AFS,VA just prior to going to Viet Nam. I was BUIC II Weapons Director and Sgdn Intell Officer.

I had the selection to Kotzebue revoked for another assignment.

I was Ops Officer and then Commander of the 6947th Security Sqdn, USAFSS at Homestead AFB - Card Sound and Boca Chica Key (Key West).

Then came 10 years in Washington at ACS/I USAF in the Pentagon, ACSC, 4 years at NSA on the Directors Staff as his Rep to DOD for USAF Matters, and 3 short tours at CIA.

If you are in the Washington area I live on Maryland's Eastern Shore and we should get together. Visit my company site www.tedcor.us and call me.

I also want to extend an invitation to become a Member of the TLC Brotherhood which keeps alive the Secret War we waged in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. You would not believe how good it feels to be there... Welcome Home.

Bill Peterson
Denton, MD

10:39 PM  

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