Thursday, December 13, 2007


My name is Tim Hebert. From January 1981 to February 1985, I was assigned to the 490th Strategic Missile Squadron which itself was a component of the 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls, MT. I was a missile launch officer. By the end of my "controlled" tour I would complete 295 alerts, five alerts shy of the mythical 300 mark.

As the heading of this blog states, the world, politics and our nation were vastly different. Ronald Reagan was president, the Soviet Union would go through three premiers, and NATO was countering the Warsaw Pact nations. The spectre of Vietnam still casted a shadow on the psyche the nation and it's military. Most of us were trying to forget the past four years of Jimmy Carter. This sentiment was duly confirmed by Reagan's election.

The Strategic Air Command (SAC) was THE command. This statement is defended by the fact that SAC had the largest budget of all the other Air Force commands. Pretty much what SAC wanted they got it! During my time on the crew force, SAC employed well over 400 bombers and approximately 1000 ICBMs. Malmstrom itself hosted 4 missile squadrons, this equated to 200 missile assigned to the 341st Strategic Missile Wing.

People pulled the alerts and maintained the bombers, tankers and missiles for various personal reasons. Some did it for patriotic reasons, though I find the term patriotic to be highly subjective and totally dependent on ones personal views. Some did it as a means to achieve an end such as career ambitions and advancement. And some simply found them selves with nothing else better to do.

The postings will be snippets of time and events. This is all from memory so some things may be inaccurate but not by design or malice. The people are real. I'll use only individuals first name, last name initials, and rank. I will try to capture how I actually thought and felt at the given time period. Though an individual may be described in an unflattering way, this in no way should be construed as a slight of ones character. Perception is reality, conversely reality is perception.

"It was the best of was the worst of times"

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