330th ASA Co. (AVN)
History of the 330th ASA Co. (AVN) in Germany
Some histories of the 330th ASA Co. (AVN) in Germany. Feel free to submit your own histories or corrections.

A History and Numerous Stories
For many of the first members of the 330th ASA problems began with our arrival in Germany. All Army personnel assigned to units in Germany were required to process through the Frankfurt Repo Depo for incoming processing and ultimate assignment to their duty station. We ran into problems when the 330th ASA Co. didn’t appear as an active unit in Germany. Despite our written orders in hand and vehement protest, the Repo Depo would not dispatch us to an Unknown unit, with no known garrison location (and who ever heard of an Army unit assigned to a Air Force Base (Sembach)). We contacted our parent unit, 502nd ASA Group Augsburg. We were held in Frankfurt for two miserable weeks, pulling details, awaiting the wheels of progress to resolve our status and we were sent to Augsburg for more weeks of details. It appeared that the Army really wasn’t ready to “Stand up” our new aviation unit. The 330th had no firm mission, no barracks or designated area to claim as our base, no command structure or cadre, no established supply channels, no commitment for airbase operations. Due to the nature of our business (reconnaissance) and the desire to keep the deployment of our new technology a low profile event, further complicated our situation. No one knew who we were, where we were going and what we were supposed to be doing -kinda makes it difficult to ask for help. I wish I could remember the name of our founding Captain. He, after weeks of run-around, gather twelve of us out of our limbo status in Augsburg, formed a caravan of dilapidated cast off vehicles scrounged from other 502nd units and set off for Sembach. Even this trip from Augsburg to Sembach ran into problems with two vehicles dying enroute. One temporarily stored at a conveniently located Army Kaserne the second towed the remaining miles to the Grundstadt motorpool.
For some reason, the Air Force, took pity on us and allowed us to set up operations at Sembach. Probably because we were to use Ramstein as our permanent airfield. A nice gesture by the AF but we ended up housed in an abandon barracks building in Sembach AFB. Several weeks of cleaning, painting and repairing of the building was required to bring the building up to living conditions. Well at least we were not in Frankfurt or Augsburg and besides the equipment had not arrived from the U.S.
Eventually the equipment arrived. Last to appear were the aircraft. The aircraft did not have the range to be flown from the U.S. to Germany, so the Navy was enlisted to transport the planes. The aircraft were lashed to the deck of a Navy carrier for the transit. The Army recon aircraft were not designed to withstand exposure to the elements (sea spray,). All the aircraft were offloaded at Rota Spain for post transit rehab/cleanup. The task took several weeks to complete which further frustrated the antsy operational staff of the 330th. Finally, the stars aligned, the aircraft and ground equipment arrived, and the real work began.
The initial “stand up” of the ground processing equipment at Grunstadt exposed some unexpected issues. The compound was position on level ground that was covered (by the previous Nike/Hercules missile resident unit) with PSP (Perforated Steel Planking). The PSP provided a nice stable base and good solid electrical ground connection. Perfect – well almost. The electrical wiring in the new IPF vans was installed in accordance with the current NEC (National Electrical Code) standards whereas some of the older vans that were interconnected to the common power supply were built to older standards. The wire color coding for the AC power was different between the two standards. As a result, the high current three phase AC hot, neutral and ground wires got crossed during installation (by authorized facilities engineers). As soon as the power generators were engaged, a loud bang was heard emanating from our brand new IPF vans. Luckily no internal electronics were damaged but the power connecting cables and terminal became welded together. So much for disconnecting the 100 foot long cables if we needed to moved the vans. The cabling error was corrected, and the system brought online without further incident. However, the permanently attached cables remain an artifact of this incident during the remainder of my tour with the 330th.
Airfield operations were fraught with logistical problems. Simple things like, “Who are you guys and why should we bring fuel to you” to “Why should the Air Force connect telephone lines to supposedly vacant building and you guys want heat and water too”?
Operationally, the flight line people arrived three to four hours earlier to prep the aircraft for missions. Winter operations caused even more problems since the aircraft electronics had to be warmed up before we could prep and test the systems. Initially our hangars were not heated so to warm the equipment we had to follow a specific power on sequence which used the “first on’ equipment generated heat to preheat the remaining equipment. This warm up sequence added minutes if not hours to our preflight times. So for double missions (two, two aircraft flights per day) our staff was typically on site for 12 hour days.
As mention by other contributors, the aircraft were flown well beyond original design specifications. Flying the heavily loaded airframes at high altitudes resulted in frequent engine problems. The unit operated under an agreement with the Mannheim aircraft depot for replacement parts. On several occasions we needed to exchange a failed aircraft engine for a replacement engine. During one of our periods of high mission surges, we needed to execute such an exchange. The aircraft maintenance officer and I traveled to Mannheim with a defective engine. Upon arrival we were informed that no replacement engines were available, however as we exited the hangar offices the Captain noted an engine that met our needs being mounted on an aircraft. The Captain did an about face, entered the office, produced a “magic” U.S. Army maintenance order that stated we had maintenance priority over all other activities in Germany. The Mannheim office objected since the engine replacement we witnessed in the hangar was to repair an aircraft belonging to the U.S. Army Europe Commanding General. After much yelling and several phone calls we ended up leaving with the Generals engine. My thought, “Man I gotta get me a copy of that maintenance order!” Then to make matters even more ironic, after the Generals engine was mounted on our aircraft, that very engine was damaged during at training flight when a pilot inadvertently feathered the wrong engine and “over torqued” the Generals engine.
One of the early tasks to which I was assigned was the fielding of the TCT communications terminal throughout Europe. I was assigned to an Air Force Captain to complete this task. The only fun part was that the Captain and I traveled in civilian clothes – no one knew who we were. Most, but not all, of the installation occurred without incident. During this effort, we were instructed to install our equipment in one of Europe’s most sophisticated data fusion centers. Upon our arrival at the center, a Colonel rejected our efforts stating “your not putting that crap in my center”. Can’t say I blamed him. His center was a consolidation of the newest sophisticated systems – real star wars stuff – pretty lights, screens, computer consoles where as our stuff was two, four foot high, olive drab green equipment enclosures. The Colonel and my Captain carried on a heated discussion for several minutes during which time the Captain produced a two or three page document (the content of which I did not and would not ever know) that caused the Colonel’s face to redden. Politely my Captain suggested the Colonel and he got clarification via the Colonels encrypted phone. I wasn’t privy to the conversation but within minutes the pair emerged from the Colonels office. He, still red faced, pointed to a remote corner of the operational area and told us to put the crap over there. My thought, “Man – I gotta get me a copy of THAT document”. We did the install, then proceeded to verify the equipment operation and left. Several months later the 330th received a message from the center stating that our ugly little TCT had become one of their most valuable assets.
The REFORGER exercise happened during the early operational period of the GR IIA system. The Army Powers That Be wanted the 330th to show their stuff during the operation. Sooo – my good ole Air Force Captain and I had to install a TCT at one of the tactical (deployed) Army Brigades. Our first efforts were to train the equipment users and let them do the dirty work. Seems Army tradition had other ideas. The Brigades trained operators were reassigned and “the sick, lame and lazy” members assigned to run our TCT. A couple of days into the exercise we learned that the unit TCT had failed. The Captain and I traveled, by 5/4 ton truck, to the TCT site only to discover the unit had not been uncrated. We proceeded to install the system. Once turned on the TCT started cranking out messages that were printed on a roll of paper. The good Captain gathered the 20 foot long message and disappeared into the Brigade TOC. By the time the Captain returned another 20 foot long message scroll was available. We handed off the operation to the Brigade staff and left. A day or so later we received another indication the fielded TCT wasn’t working. Again the Captain and I traveled to the site. This time in a Hertz rental car. On the way the car got stuck up to the axles in sand. We flagged down a passing Army vehicle and completed our trip to the site. That abandon Hertz car may still be stuck somewhere in a remote field in Germany. When the good Captain and I arrived that the TOC we found that the TCT was operational and that the only problem was the staff didn’t turn it on because it cranked out more data than they could handle. The outcome of all this was that the good Captain stayed with the TCT for the duration of the exercise and I was helicoptered back to Mannheim and ultimately Grundstadt. With the Captain babysitting the TCT and sheparding/interpreting the data the TCT provided enough of an edge to upset the predetermined winner/looser of the war game. This one incident established the 330ths reputation within the U.S. Army. I never saw the Captain after that incident.
Looking back on things the Air Force Captain was probably one of the Unsung Heroes of GR. Without him and his tenacious effort to install the TCT equipment throughout Europe, GR IIA’s importance would not have been realized.
Sometime during the units’ early operations, it came to the attention of the company logistics personnel that the amount of “mogas” consumption was abnormally high. Fearing that someone in the unit was pilfering petroleum for their personal vehicles, the management devised a plan to identify and prosecute the culprit. The plan – put a type of dye into the mogas supply. This dye/ fuel mixture when used in an internal combustion engine would leave a telltale red residue on the engine exhaust. By inspecting the POVs around the work areas, management hoped to identify the thief. The plan was approved and with great secrecy put into play. Only problem was the G.I. grapevine was more efficient than the clandestine petroleum ploy. If any of the G.I.s were stealing gas, the advanced knowledge of the dye plan must have caused any would be thief to suspend if not halt their activity. Whether management knew of the plans leak or not is unknown but the plan was placed into operation. Unfortunately, the people putting the dye into the mogas supply did not use the correct proportions of dye to gas. The resultant contaminated dye/gas concoction not only did not identify the alleged gas thief but when used in the aircraft ground power units caused at least two these costly generators to fail, requiring an extensive overhaul.

The dreaded IG inspections for the 330th were postponed until the second year of operation. Even given this respite, the airfield supply clerk was confronted with a monstrous task. The new GR IIA high tech system used a very large number of non-standard parts. The poor clerk did his best to cross reference, index/catalog and store these strange new widgets. During the first IG, the clerk got numerous (probably 10 or more) gigs. The Company management was not happy to say the least and the clerk caught hell (and unwelcomed oversight) for weeks if not months afterwards. Time passed and the second IG inspection was imminent. The situation with the uniqueness of the parts had not changed. What’s a guy to do? Our clerk decided to remove every single part from his storage area and squirrel them away somewhere. On the day of the inspection the IG exit report listed only ONE gig – no spare mission equipment parts on the flight line. Company management was elated. Go figure.

It was not unusual for the 330th to draw 24-hour continuous operations, especially when the bad guys were acting up which was frequent. One early morning at the Grunstadt site the IPF vans were staffed with a full complement of operator/analyst. Actual operations in the wee morning hours were very, very slow. Consequently, many of the operators were dozing at position. Suddenly someone got access to the van wide Public Address system and shouted “Anyone who can’t tap dance is of questionable sexuality (paraphrased). Immediately, 3 vans worth of operators jumped up and started tap dancing. And right on queue, wouldn’t you know, a high ranking officer stepped into the vans. The officer stopped, looked down the line of galloping operator, did an about face and left. I never learned if the event was planned or just a perfectly timed coincidence. Nothing was said of the incident by management, guess they understood that at times the task could be extremely monotonous.

The GR IIA system computers used a computer driven high speed printer, the output of which was specified in pages per minute verse the customary lines per minute. One of the more senior staff discovered that the line printer made for a comfortable napping prop. Frequently he could be found with his chair leaned against the printer, snoozing. The 33S maintenance personnel discovered the capability to directly control the line printer functions through the computer maintenance features. So, one early morning during the staff members’ snoozing the 33s, using the computer, issued ten or so form feeds to the printer. The result was that a large volume of paper shot up vertically out of the printer and buried our snoozing staff member.

Another interesting discovery made by the 33s was that using special computer commands graphic objects could be transmitted from the system computer to any operator position. It didn’t take long for the 33s to devise a way of messing with the operators. One maintenance person and an appropriately position co-conspirator, decided to throw in a few extra graphic characters whenever an operator (under close observation by the co-conspirator) issued a specific system data request. The operator expected a one or two symbol response and we would throw in three or four extras. Confusion reigned supreme. The 33s humor was short lived. Once the prank was uncovered, the 33s were verbally chastised and had to convince management the prank did not contaminate any of the collected data.

Many G.I. acquired automobiles from the German locals for their personal vehicles. One G.I. obtained a beautiful red Jaguar XKE. Everyone was jealous, the car was beautiful, until one day when the G.I. parked his pride and joy in the tight confines of Kleber Kaserne. Seems his vehicle was inadvertently struck by an Army Truck. It turned out his beautiful Jag was a bondo special. The seemingly minor accident caused cracks to appear on virtually every surface of the car. No reputable repair company would touch the car due to the underlying, bondo covered damage. The car was a total write off but the jokes lived on for months.

Initial placement of the GR IIA IPF trailers onto the Grunstadt site provided an example of the ingenuity of the 330th staff. The road leading to the site passed under the autobahn. The height of the underpass was adequate (say for example 20 ft) for the level transit of the trailers (again an example 19 ft). Problem was that the exit of the underpass immediately changed to a rather steep grade. As a result, combined height of the IPF trailers, the tractor and inclining roadway caused the top of the vans to hit the underside of the underpass. There we were with a multimillion dollar tactical system stuck in a underpass. I believe it was one of the lower ranking motor pool staff or drivers that provided the solution. Let the air out of the tires. The simplest of solution worked wonderfully. We proceeded to move the three vans through the underpass using the same technic.

During routine airframe maintenance, a plane was placed on heavy duty wheeled jack stands. During elevating/dropping of the aircraft, the jack wheels permitted continuous alignment of the jacks that prevented the binding of the jack hydraulics. While lowering of one aircraft, a newbie mechanic forgot to release the jack stand brakes. As the plane, with two of the three jack stands free to self-align, was gradually lowered the third jack stand, with lock brakes, bound. The crew chief, directing the lowering process, realized the problem, yelled at the newbie to release the brakes. When the brakes were suddenly released, the bound jack stand shifted, adjusted under the weight of the aircraft, then bound again. The bound jack stand punched a hole through the aircraft wing. This slight momentary oversight took the plane out of service for a couple of weeks.

Each of the GR IIA aircraft had eighteen antennas. Within a few months of flight operations, an aircraft suffered an inflight detachment of an antenna. This prompted an immediate investigation into the design of the antenna. A solution was identified however, all antennas had to be removed and returned to the U.S. for a two week modification. We had six aircraft with eighteen antennas, each antenna secured with a unique set of shims and twelve different length screws (not that we counted). Scheduling the modifications became a nightmare, the normal airframe maintenance (every 100 hrs – requiring two to three days) conflicted with the roughly month and a half turn around time for a set of antennas. At any one time we had two of the six aircraft out of service. Of the remaining four aircraft, we had to have one configuration (ARF) flyable at all times for the Guardrail System to operate. This entailed moving equipment racks between aircraft. Since only three of the six aircraft were certified as an ARF configuration, we had to reconfigure, weigh and balance and certify the other three DARF configured aircraft. Somehow, we managed to juggle the planes and equipment over several months without missing a scheduled mission. Just to add an interesting twist, somehow a complete set of antennas got lost during shipment back from the U.S. Consequently, good ole TN 886 became our “hangar queen” not to be fully reconfigured during my time with the 330th. An interesting side-note on this story. Several year late (sometime between 1984 and 1989) while I was a contractor FSR supporting GR system in Wiesbaden, I got a phone call from the U.S. embassy in Brussels asking me if I was the SSG from the 330th and when was I going to pick up my crate of antennas that had been sitting in their warehouse for years. I deferred the problem to Army Materials Command Heidelberg.

An upgrade to the flight line facilities required a large quantity of cement. While delivering the cement, a cement mixing truck became stuck in the sand behind our hangar. An aircraft tug was brought in to tow the truck. The tug was position on a cement pad. Heavy duty chains were attached between the two vehicles. The tug driver (one of our crew chiefs) gradually pulled the chain taught then applied full power to the tug. The stuck cement truck didn’t budge, and the tug rear wheels simply spun. To get more weight over the tugs’ rear wheels, a couple of G.I.s jumped on the rear of the tug. Under the heavier weight the tug tires gripped. The tug popped a wheelie lifting the front wheels a foot or two off the ground. When the G.I.s saw what was happening, they jumped off the tug. The front of the tug slammed down causing a weight transfer off the rear wheels which in turn lost grip. As the weight shifted back over the rear wheels the tug again popped a wheelie. This teeter tottering continued for a couple of second giving our tug driving crew chief the reputation as a bucking horse rider.

There was the incident of the night time assault on the Grunstadt site. Seems the on-site MPs noticed eyes peering through the night fog that surrounded the site. The intruders failed to comply with the numerous verbal challenges by the MP but simply disappeared into the night fog. After hours of the cat and mouse game, the on-edge MPs succumbed to anxiety, drew his 45 and squeezed off a couple of rounds. The subsequent investigation by the German polizei concluded that the MP had heroically defended US government property from a family of mink that inhabited the area.

I can’t remember if it was before or after the mink incident, we had an MP shoot a hole in the floor of the guard shack while practicing his quick draw.

Due to the length of the antenna on the aircraft, the GR planes had to avoid the arresting cables at the end of the runways. The GR planes entered the runway mid field, taxied to the end, did a 180 then proceeded with takeoff. On occasion the AF Tower personnel, who were unaware of our practice, would place F4s onto the same runway for taking off or landings. It seemed that at least twice a year the pilots would bring an aircraft back covered with grass and mud from having to make rapid, stage right exit from the active runway to avoid the oncoming F4s.

Then there was the million dollar vineyard. Seems one of the units inebriated truck drivers missed a critical downhill, 90 degree, left hand turn encountered when leaving the Grunstadt site. By the time the driver stopped the vehicle he had managed to mow down 200 to 300 feet of grape vines. I dcan’t remember the actual dollar figure the U.S. government had to pay but like all claims against the U.S. this one must have been expensive. Seems the U.S. had to pay not only for the destruction of the present years crop and vines (of course these were claimed to be the most expensive highly desirable type of grapes) but the loss of income from grapes these demolished vines would have produce for several years in the future.

The flight line received numerous high-ranking dignitaries to review our operation. On one occasion, a full Colonel and his entourage received a briefing then moved to inspect the aircraft. While walking from the briefing area to the flight line, the Colonel lit a cigar. Upon crossing the no smoking line, the 330th flight line operations NCO, an SFC, asked the Colonel to extinguish his cigar. The Colonel responded by stating “That god damn airplane wouldn’t dare blow up around me!” To our astonishment the SFC grabbed the cigar from the Colonels mouth, threw it on the ground, stomped on it and stated to the Colonel, “It damn sure would”.

Another incident concerning the SFC. During an operational flight, a pilot reported over the radio that he had suffered an engine failure. Shortly after the pilot called again reporting a second engine failure, not good on a two-engine aircraft. The pilots made a dead stick landing at Mainz Finthen. While all this unfolded the SFC paced around the ops area like a caged wolf, mumbled something about the mental qualities of the newbie pilots. As the plane landed in Finthen, the SFC and a driver grabbed a vehicle and drove to greet the crippled aircraft. A couple of hours later, the driver and the two pilots returned in the vehicle but no SFC. Later the SFC arrived at Ramstein flying the crippled aircraft. His first comment upon disembarking was “Damn pilots don’t know how to operate a transfer switch (required to refill each engine main tank from the wing bladders). The planes had simply drained the main tanks and flamed out while the wing bladders were full of fuel.
I can’t remember the SFC’s name but he was one of the NCOs I respected most. He proved that if you’re in the right you can do almost anything in the Army.
Written by Duncan Michael (Mike) Wagner
During its history, the 330th ASA Company had served under the ASA umbrella as a direct support unit and a processing company. Upon reactivation on 5 November 1973, the company not only assumed a new type of ASA support mission but began operations in the European Theater for the first time. The mission of the reactivated 330th ASA Company, now turned aviation company, would be to provide support direct to tactical commanders on a real time basis. Upon activation, the unit was assigned to and located with the 502nd ASA Group in Augsburg, Federal republic of Germany.

On 9 January 1974, the first element of the 330th which consisted of CPT John N. Niemczuk, Jr., Commander, one warrant officer, and nine enlisted personnel and four vehicles departed Augsburg for the site which was to become the company headquarters, Building 216 on Sembach Air Base. On 6 January, the ground operations section of the unit occupied the abandoned missile site at Gruenstadter Berg. On 8 May, the unit Aircraft Maintenance Section took temporary possession of a hangar in the southwest corner of Ramstein Air Base. In mid-March MAJ Lemuel G. Brinkley, Jr. arrived to assume command. Finally, the last section of the unit to enter temporary facilities was Flight Operations which moved into Building 2330 at Ramstein Air Base on 22 April 1974.

Within six months of becoming operational, the unit had grown from 0 to over 100 assigned personnel. The company utilized GUARDRAIL aircraft in support of U.S. Army Europe/7th Army. On 29 August 1975, the company headquarters was relocated to Kaiserslautern. The personnel assigned to the 330th over the months and years continued to add to the distinguished lineage of the unit.

In 1976, the Army Security Agency was reorganized into the U.S. Intelligence and Security Command. Although still possessing a worldwide headquarters at Arlington Hall Station, Virginia, the new command lost it's verticalized organizational structure which characterized ASA. Consequently direct tactical support units were transferred to theater commands. On 1 January 1977 the 330th was reassigned to U.S. Army Europe, ending over 30 years association with the ASA.
Written by Sam Hamilton | Full Story from ASA Lives!
Guardrail II, III, IV and V
My name is Roger Brown. After returning from Viet Nam, where I was assigned as an RU-8D pilot with the 138 th. Avn Co (RR) in Phu Bai, and the 146 th. Avn Co. (RR) at Long Thanh North ( later moved to Can Tho), I relocated to Ft. Bliss, TX, where I was assigned to the 156 th. which had been relocated from Viet Nam to the U.S. On this assignment I was sent TDY to Hanau, Germany to care take three RU-21D aircraft which had been evaluated during the previous Re-Forger Exercise. We were six pilots and three maintenance personnel. We had been assigned to keep the aircraft airworthy and to put time on the aircraft while we waited for further instructions from Arlington Station. During that time we flew all over Europe (minus the mission equipment) to keep current. Cpt. Pruitt was in charge, while the remaining pilots were Warrant Officers Larry Henderson, I.W Harper, Larry Jenks, John Johnson, and myself. We were stationed at Hanau AAF for several months but later repositioned to the Kitzingen AAF near Wurtzburg. About five months later we received word to fly the aircraft back to the Moffett Naval Air Station in California. It was there that ESL had been modifying the mission equipment for these aircraft. Our route of flight was from Germany through Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador, and from the east coast on over to the San Francisco Bay area. We utilized extra internal ferry tanks to give us an additional 480 gallons of fuel. At Moffett Field we participated TDY in mission equipment testing with nightly flights along the California coast near Monterey Bay. Subsequently, many of us were sent to Ft. Rucker, Alabama for Helicopter transition training (as fixed wing only pilots, we were told we had to become dual qualified) prior to returning to Europe and the 330 th.

Upon completion of our training at Ft. Rucker, we were returned to Europe and soon thereafter, were sent to Rota, Spain, where the three aircraft had been shipped . There, we test flew the aircraft and then ferried them on to Ramstein AB in Germany. In the interim, the 330 ASA Aviation Company had been established, and we were assigned permanent party. Throughout my time with the 330 th., the aircraft were always kept at Ramstein, but the company headquarters, which was at Sembach AB, was later moved from Sembach to Kleber Kassern in Kaiserslautern. The Integrated Processing Facility (IPF) was located near Grunstadt at an old hilltop Missile Site.

During my years with the 330 th., I flew the RU-21D, RU-21E, RU-21G and the RU-21H model aircraft. When I wasn?t flying I served first as the Maintenance Tech. Supply Officer, then as the Motor Maintenance Officer, and later the Company Supply and Property Book Officer. Our mission was normally flown at around twenty-seven thousand feet (or as high as you could get ? usually it wouldn?t go any higher) with a slight amount of flap being deployed (5 to 10 deg.) to flatten out the pitch attitude. We flew racecourse patterns along various mission areas from Northern to Southern Germany (essentially 20 miles west along the Iron Curtain). When on station and flying the race course patterns, we were required to make all turns as flat turns, that is, keeping the wings level during the turn (this enhanced the direction finding capability). Mission equipment consisted of multiple ARC-51BX UHF radio?s which were controlled from the IPF at Grunstadt. There, they employed linguists to remotely monitor and DF (primarily) eastern bloc tactical ground and aircraft communications. An encrypted microwave data link was used to pass data and commands back and forth. The aircraft also utilized a sophisticated (for that time) AN/ASN-86 inertial navigation system to provide accurate positioning for the DF capability (and for normal navigation). For those unfamiliar with the RU-21 aircraft ? it was unpressurized, thus requiring the wearing of an oxygen mask at altitude. It also relied on a combustion cockpit heater located in the nose wheel well. It used ram air intake to provide flow for combustion and cooling. Flying at or near the aircrafts service ceiling resulted in slow flight which meant a rather high pitch attitude. Consequently, we would flatten the pitch of the aircraft as much as possible by lowering the flaps slightly(this was necessary to provide reliable DF bearings), one out of ten times the combustion heater would shut down due to inadequate air flow and cause a circuit breaker located in the wheel well to open. At that altitude, it got extremely cold extremely quick. That would always necessitate a rapid descent and a return to Ramstein. We flew these missions day or night and in all weather. Even the DF antennas had de-icing capability.

Upon leaving the 330 th., I was transferred to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. During the first year there, I was called and asked if I would consider ferrying some RU-21H?s from Lakehurst, NJ back over to Germany. Delivering those aircraft was my last association with the 330 th. and the Army Security Agency as a whole. I left the active Army in 79 and after several civilian flying jobs I became a full time Alaska National Guard Maintenance Officer, Test Pilot, and Standardization Instructor Pilot. I retired from the military with 27 years of federal service in 1992. Next I was employed by the Federal Aviation Administration where I serve as Aviation Safety Inspector. Early on I was assigned to an all-cargo airline who had many military contracts, several of which were in Europe. Three or four times a year I spent several weeks in surveillance of their operations based at Ramstein and serving Europe. It was always nice to re-visit Sembach, Ramstein, Lanstuhl, Winweiller, Volgelway, Kaiserslautern, and Grunstadt. Of course everything has changed over the many years ? little to nothing remains that was associated with the 330 th., and although I believe the RU mission aircraft have steadily evolved, even to the present day, a continued presence in Europe does not appear to be evident. I continue to work for the FAA where I have been employed as the FAA?s Lockheed L-382/C-130 pilot and flight engineer licensing and certification examiner for many years. I plan to call it quits and will retire permanently next year.
Written by Roger G. Brown
The new GUARDRAIL II system had been tested in Europe from September to December 1972, and USAREUR was so impressed with the upgraded system that it had recommended retaining it in Europe. The GUARDRAIL II's system encompassed signal-intercept and direction-finding equipment mounted on RU-21 aircraft, which through air and ground relays was capable of providing near-real-time tactical intelligence information to combat commanders. After extensive surveys and negotiations throughout 1973 to find a home for the aircraft and its unit, the 330th Army Security Agency (ASA) Company, it was decided to station flight operations and maintenance elements at Ramstein Air Base, with administrative support and other elements at Sembach and Gruenstadt. The equipment and aircraft arrived by ship in the spring of 1974 and were ready for operational test and evaluation (OTE) on 26 August 1974. The GUARDRAIL II-system successfully completed its OTE in March 1975 and started its intelligence mission in support of theater requirements in April 1975. The combination of its mission tracks being outside of the JCS-defined "sensitive airspace" (20 miles next to the border) and the passive nature of its detection equipment significantly lowered the political sensitivity of GUARDRAIL II's operations.

To further complicate matters for the 330th ASA .Company in 1974 -- when it was receiving its GUARDRAIL II aircraft and attempting to achieve OTE for the new system -- the company also had to field its two new QUICK LOOK aircraft in mid-July. Like the GUARDRAIL deployment, there had been a great deal of discussion about where to put these two aircraft in a theater where airfields were critically overcrowded. Although it would have been desirable to, collocate them at Ramstein Air Base with the rest of the 330th's assets, there just was not enough room. Hanau was the next best choice because the 73d MI Company was located there with its OV-1Ds and OV-1Cs, and since QUICK LOOK was mounted on RV-1Cs -- a modified OV-1C -- there were obvious maintenance advantages and the incoming QUICK LOOK pilots could train on the 73d's OV-1Cs. However, Hanau had runway limitations for the QUICK LOOK aircraft and it too was overcrowded, so the two QUICK LOOK aircraft and Detachment 1, 330th ASA Company, which consisted of 25 personnel, were stationed at Kitzingen Army Air Field. Since the QUICK LOOK's flight tracks would be in the "sensitive air-space," it was imperative the pilots be thoroughly trained before assuming their operational mission and, as a consequence, they were trained by the border-experienced pilots of the 73d in their OV-1Cs. The QUICK LOOK system was approved for reconnaissance missions in the "sensitive airspace" in March 1975. In June 1975 the QUICK LOOK aircraft moved to Echterdingen Army Air Field near Stuttgart, which resulted in all of USAREUR's Mohawks being collocated on the same field, since the 73d had moved there recently with its OV-1Ds. (The 73d's OV-1Cs had been returned to the United States in October 1974, except for one, which had been transferred to the 330th for training purposes.)

1975 was a significant year in another respect for the aerial surveillance mission. The data-link compatibility problem of the new SLAR equipment installed on the OV-1D was finally solved in the latter part of the year. This followed a rather tortuous period between the OV-ID's fielding in 1972 and 1975, which saw the command try several interim solutions to the problem. In 1973 the command had tried to use KY-8 and KY-28 secure voice communications devices between the ground stations and the aircraft with only marginal results and decided to further test the concept in 1974. However, the testing :was delayed due to a lengthy grounding of the OV-1s from January through April 1974 because two of them had crashed during a short period of time. When testing of the devices was resumed, it was discovered that they were not reliable for air-to-ground transmissions in this configuration. Next, the command tried issuing acetate overlay maps of the border area to system operators on the aircraft and in the ground stations. When the SLAR equipment detected activity, the aircraft crew indicated this to the ground station personnel by giving references to a sector identified by a letter-number combination on the acetate maps. Tests in November 1974 indicated the system was usable. In the meantime, however, discussions with the manufacturer of the data-link system used with the older SLAR equipment (AN/UPD-2) revealed that it would be relatively easy to modify it to be compatible with the new SLAR equipment on the OV-1Ds. The contract was let in February 1975 and the upgraded data-link system (AN/TQ-2A) was delivered and operational in both corps by 5 November 1975. The new equipment worked very well during its test period, and timely inflight reporting from the SLAR missions (code named LARD CAN) was again available to the border units.

In the latter part of 1978 both the QUICK LOOK and GUARDRAIL II systems were upgraded in USAREUR. The QUICK LOOK II system replaced the developmental QUICK LOOK system, becoming operational on 7 October 1978. The new system was mounted on six RV-1Ds and was operated by the 73d MI Company (AS) instead of the 330th ASA Company. It had a day-and-night, all-weather capability and was effective for approximately 150 kilometers (line-of-sight) against pulsed and continuous wave emitters. Missions were flown at 10 000 feet on JCS-approved flight tracks in the "sensitive airspace." It averaged 20 missions a month; in comparison, the QUICK LOOK I system had averaged 12 missions per month. The code name for its missions was CARAT ROCK.

The new GUARDRAIL V system (its mission code name was CARD WHALE) replaced the aging GUARDRAIL II system and was declared operational on 28 November 1978. Operated by the 330th ASA Company, the system was mounted on 6 RU-2H aircraft (plus a seventh aircraft for maintenance float) and flew approximately 25 missions per month. The 2-aircraft missions were normally flown at around 18,000 feet on JCS-approved nonsensitive tracks. It also had a day-and-night, all-weather capability and was effective to a depth of 300 kilometers against ground-based emitters and 450 kilometers against aerial emitters.

Both upgraded systems improved the command's aerial surveillance capabilities, and USAREUR was scheduled to receive additional sets of QUICK LOOK II and GUARDRAIL V in 1979. Stationing problems for the aircraft precluded this, however, and the deployments were rescheduled for 1980. Eventually, only the QUICK LOOK II set of six additional RV-1D aircraft was fielded by the 73d in the summer of 1982, with the additional set of GUARDRAIL V aircraft scheduled to be deployed in 1984.

Organizationally, things had been fairly straightforward for the aerial surveillance units up through 1978; however, at that point they became involved in an Army-wide reorganization of intelligence and electronic warfare assets. Many of these assets were controlled by higher headquarters, such as USAREUR headquarters, or were part of INSCOM units in a stovepipe arrangement. The new doctrine called for placing the "combat electronic warfare intelligence" (CEWI) assets in companies, battalions, and groups that would be directly attached to the tactical units they supported. In 1978, CEWI planning called for each USAREUR corps to have one CEWI group, part of which would be composed of a CEWI aerial exploitation battalion. However, the command only had enough aircraft and equipment to form one aerial exploitation battalion. As a consequence, most of the 2d MI Battalion, including the two aerial surveillance units, was reorganized as the 2d MI Battalion (Aerial Exploitation - AE) on 16 May 1979. It continued to be assigned to the 502d ASA Group, an INSCOM unit, until 16 January 1981, when it was reassigned to USAREUR.
Written by William E. Stacy | Full Story from www.history.army.mil
A Pre-History of the 330th
My name is Pat Moyna, CW4 USA (Retired) 988A/982A. I was never assigned to the 330th but I did participate in the NSA Phase I Operational Test of the Guardrail Prototype at the old Mace Site in the summer/fall of 1971. It was a grand TDY with a crew hand picked by Frank Newton and his staff. Many of the legends of ASA were on board. Civilians like Frank and Smokey Rush, Army troops like Dave Kralik, Paul Murray, Joe Moore, Don Davidson, Bud McDonald and Dave ''Der Hund'' Merritt. I was a replacement for a guy who was recalled to the states and arrived shortly the Canadians had crashed the F106 into the hill just outside the fence. The Canadian Salvage Crew was still there from Lahr, policing up the fragments for the investigation.
For the OT our acft flew out of Sembach along with the accompanying CREEKRAIL DF bird, an old C-47 (Guardrail with DF had not been fully developed yet).
Some years later (1980-81) while assigned to the 415th ASA Company, just up the road in Idar-Oberstein, CW2s Eddie Washington, John Lowe and I visited the 330th site to coordinate joint training with 330th Mission managers, CW2s Larry Kinsey Henry Hobde and Earl Rollins. We were fielding the TSQ-114 Trailblazer and we had some excellent results integrating air and ground assets with direct contact using the TCT. We operated out of both Meissner and Wobeck during the test. Great stuff!
A Post-330th History of the Grünstadt Site
I was at Grünstadt from '62 through '66 with the Mace. Have been back many times over the years after I retired from the AF. I worked for an European company for twenty some years after my AF career and that afforded me the opportunity to travel to Germany and Holland numerous times on business. And since I had married a girl from Grünstadt we have gone over many other time on our own as well. Forty-five trips there in all. Each trip I'd take the time to visit the site if at all possible. Over the years the site gradually fell apart from disuse and the weather, missile shelters were removed and all buildings were eventually removed, dinning hall burned down. Only thing remaining now is the fencing and gates and inside the fence the pads from the former squadron HQ building, Airmen and NCO barracks and maintenance/hobby shop and inside the secure area the pads from the launch facilities. For a while in the '80s it was used as a paint ball arena run by the U.S. Army out of Mannheim. Occasionally on visits I would encounter an Army or AF communications group using the Hill while they were on deployment. They were all in tents and vans, earlier visits found them deployed inside and on later trips outside the fence. The site was returned to the German government in 1998 and on our last trip there in late 2008 there was a sign on the main gate indicating that it was now owned by a private group. No indication of who or what the group was. The Grünstadt RC model club still operates from there as they did when I was stationed there.
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