Site III Gets “Designer” Furniture

In an email from Fred Horky to Russ Reston, dated Mar. 26, 2008, Fred, in part, writes:

“My only experience was with Site III (Grünstadt), but I believe most operations were pretty much the same at the other two sites. The biggest difference for Site III was that the single/unaccompanied enlisted troops at Grünstadt lived on the site, while those at the other two were billeted on Sembach. That of course made a big difference in the living and social experience of being a Sembach Missileer, with things a lot cozier at Grünstadt than in the bustle of the barracks, etc. back at Sembach.

I’ve already mentioned the uproar we had soon after “C” flight (the 3rd and last of the first Mace squadrons to deploy) arrived at Sembach. That was when it was announced that not only would we be “way out in the boondocks on that hilltop”, but that we had to ourselves convert that abandoned A.F. Security Service radio listening post into a missile launch site. This was pretty much without any additional funds for housekeeping considerations. I still marvel that nobody had realized that it would be just too far from the base to commute, and that all those guys had to live SOMEWHERE.

Of course, after we got moved in, EVERYONE realized what a really good deal we had!

I’ve already mentioned how our missile crew members, led by their very resourceful NCO’s, checked out how to drive one the base motor pool’s huge M.A.N. diesel trucks and a “lowboy” trailer (of course, already being qualified to handle the even bigger MM1 with a missile in tow helped!), took it to the salvage yard at Ramstein; and after loading up a truckload of salvaged furniture there, took all that junk up the hill to Site III where they rehabbed it themselves for use at the site.

This typically involved, for example, the mix ‘n match of a door from one salvaged wall locker, a side from another, a top from yet another, etc. Then they painted the newly recreated locker using a borrowed air compressor and spray gun with paint from base supply, moved it all into the barracks and then finally took the remaining REALLY junk parts back to Ramstein and the truck back to the motor pool.

I’ll have to admit that holding the lofty rank of 1st Lt meant that I didn’t do much dirty work myself. I’ve recently read someone else’s Grünstadt reminisces began with their first chore having been cleaning the lawnmower (sheep) dung out of the “T” Building and “H” building! (“Join the USAF and become a hi-tech specialized missile technician?.”)”