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Survey & Mapping
Mapping makes sense because we need to know the locations of targets, but what the heck does surveying have to do with nuclear missiles? Your gallery curator did not realize how little he knew about missiles until researching the answer to that question and learning, among other things, about how gravimetric readings at a planned missile launch site affect the accuracy of the weapon launched from there. There is no better introduction to the patches in this album than the words of someone who was actually assigned to one of the geodetic survey squadrons, who wrote: “The Survey Squadron personnel were primarily field geodetic surveyors, with the emphasis on "field." Survey Squadron personnel worked on all seven continents, under harsh, sometimes dangerous, conditions. The geodetic survey instruments were heavy, awkward to carry, and delicate, and the surveyors backpacked it all from where the road stopped to the survey mark (for some reason the survey marks were always at the tops of mountains or in the middle of swamps or deserts). Transportation constraints often meant that creature comforts (like food and shelter) were left behind to make room for more equipment. Long deployments were the rule, and the reward for a thankless job well done was usually another thankless job.” For additional details, especially about the squadron when it was based at F.E. Warren AFB in the 1960s, visit:
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