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.
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.
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.