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Project 112/SHAD REPORT

BY JACK ALDERSON, CHAIR
Meet the newest member of the 112/SHAD Task Force, Jack Barry. He was Regular Army, a first lieutenant, ordered to Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, in 1959. He later resigned his commission and stayed in the Deseret Test Center DTC/Dugway complex until the programs began winding down. Jack has extensive knowledge about Army land tests. The following narrative of that type of test was provided by Barry:

The DTC test program was developed during annual planning meetings attended by representatives of each of the uniformed services. They were DTC “customers.” Each 112/SHAD test included an officer from the branch of the military that sponsored the test.

I am providing this information on test operations in which I participated as the test officer. Each followed a test plan, a safety plan, and an operations plan. The test officer authored the operations plan and safety plan in consultation with the project safety officer. No military units were assigned to the field test groups other than the SHAD group.

Test support personnel were assigned from DTC and Dugway. The needs varied from project to project. If certain military specialists were required, and if they were not available at DTC or Dugway, they were detailed to the test project from their home units, drawn from all over the military. Specialists included a medical doctor, a safety officer, water purification specialists, drivers, mechanics, meteorologists, decontamination specialists, engineers, laboratory specialists, munitions specialists, and mess personnel.

Civilians also were detailed from their home organizations. They included generator specialists from the Army Engineering Center at Fort Belvoir, biologists, and others. On at least one test—a winter test—personnel lived in the field. They had to set up a camp that would house 125 personnel for four months under Arctic conditions. This required other support personnel in addition to the personnel who conducted the testing and laboratory activities. On some tests, though, we were housed in motels or on-post housing, thereby reducing the need for quartermaster support.

The test team usually consisted of a test director and a test officer who ran the field operations and worked closely with the test director throughout the planning and conducting of each field trial test. Projects had an administrative officer, an Army lieutenant. The safety officer, admin officer, and test plans officer reported to the test director; all others reported to the test officer. There was a field foreman who prepared the test sampling grid, installed the samplers, conducted the sampling, and transported samplers to and from the laboratory. A technician group handled electronics, and a meteorologist provided weather forecasts. Military weather observers usually were detailed to the test team from Dugway or Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and operated under the direction of the team meteorologist. Sampler operations were keyed to the weather conditions.

The sequence of a typical trial would run like this: First, there was an evening briefing of the test director and test officer by the meteorologist. Based on the anticipated weather conditions, the decision to test would be made. The next morning, another briefing was held and the final decision was made to conduct the test. If it was a go, the test officer would brief field crews and the test team would be alerted. The team was comprised of munitions personnel, weather observers, and a laboratory officer. The field foreman would have his crew set up samplers.

During the release of the agent or tracer, sampling was done, with continual monitoring of the weather. At the conclusion of the test, the samplers would be retrieved and taken to the laboratory. Test data from the laboratory were then sent to DTC as soon as possible. There it was processed first through the Test Operation Directorate and then to the Plans and Studies Directorate. The Commanding General was updated at morning briefings; the test director would forward field reports at least daily to DTC for the general’s briefings. Sometimes the test sponsor or representative (from the Army, Navy, or Air Force) would visit the test site, although this was rare.

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