HISTORY - Page 60

Ground Support Equipment Difficulty in the GSE development of JUPITER came to pass for reasons that were other than technical. At the outset of the program, the DOD dictum was strictly confined to developing the IRBM and nothing was said about GSE. (This was quite a contrast to the THOR program, in which missile and related GSE development progressed almost simultaneously.) This situation existed all through 1956 and until October 1957, when DOD directed weapon system development. A target date for deployment to an overseas site was set for December 1958. Although the Agency was pleased that the JUPITER was finally headed toward weaponization, the impact in view of the time phase was critical on GSE and training. This meant that within a minimum of 12 months, GSE would have to be designed, fabricated, and tested, and personnel trained in its use. Just before the DOD decision was released, the ABMA technical group estimated that JUPITER GSE was about one year behind Air Force efforts 79 . This was not the end of the complications, either. For one thing, the employment concept changed. To attain the early operational capability, the Air Force went along with the Army idea of mobility, as opposed to the fixed site operation they supported. ABMA immediately went to work on mobile GSE, which was not too difficult because they had REDSTONE equipment to serve as a pattern. The main problem in the mobility phase was expediting contractor delivery, for, more often than not, reports constantly cited that such-and-such a component was late in delivery. This caused concern as the _____________________________
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79. Hist, ABMA, Jan-Jun 58, pp. 48-49; Fact Book, /Compilation of Documents on/ Opnl Acceptability and GSE, Aug & Sep 57, Hist Off files.
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HISTORY - Page 60

Ground Support Equipment Difficulty in the GSE development of JUPITER came to pass for reasons that were other than technical. At the outset of the program, the DOD dictum was strictly confined to developing the IRBM and nothing was said about GSE. (This was quite a contrast to the THOR program, in which missile and related GSE development progressed almost simultaneously.) This situation existed all through 1956 and until October 1957, when DOD directed weapon system development. A target date for deployment to an overseas site was set for December 1958. Although the Agency was pleased that the JUPITER was finally headed toward weaponization, the impact in view of the time phase was critical on GSE and training. This meant that within a minimum of 12 months, GSE would have to be designed, fabricated, and tested, and personnel trained in its use. Just before the DOD decision was released, the ABMA technical group estimated that JUPITER GSE was about one year behind Air Force efforts 79 . This was not the end of the complications, either. For one thing, the employment concept changed. To attain the early operational capability, the Air Force went along with the Army idea of mobility, as opposed to the fixed site operation they supported. ABMA immediately went to work on mobile GSE, which was not too difficult because they had REDSTONE equipment to serve as a pattern. The main problem in the mobility phase was expediting contractor delivery, for, more often than not, reports constantly cited that such-and-such a component was late in delivery. This caused concern as the _____________________________
79. Hist, ABMA, Jan-Jun 58, pp. 48-49; Fact Book, /Compilation of Documents on/ Opnl Acceptability and GSE, Aug & Sep 57, Hist Off files.
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