Command and Control

Command and Control

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
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The film tells the story of a 1980 accident at a Titan II missile complex in Damascus, Arkansas, in minute-by-minute detail through the accounts of Air Force personnel, weapon designers, and first responders who were there, revealing the incredible chain of events that brought America to the brink of nuclear disaster.
Publisher: [Arlington, Virginia] :, PBS,, [2017]
Copyright Date: Extended version:, ©2017
Theatrical version:, ©2016
ISBN: 9781627897839
Branch Call Number: DVD 973. 926092 COM
NF D 2016 C666
Characteristics: video file,DVD video,region 1,rda
NTSC,rda
digital,optical,5.1 surround,rda
4 3/4 in.,stamping,rda
1 videodisc (approximately 90 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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b
badboy63
Oct 05, 2017

Outstanding documentary on the careless and reckless way the American military has handled nuclear weapons. The record of the buck passing of the upper ranks was enlightening, the policy appears to be lie and coverup these accidents. The military blames the young men at the missile base, even after they did everything the could. Nothing is failsafe, human beings all make mistakes. Wherever a bureaucracy is in charge, whether government or the military, the same pattern appears. The upper ranks always blame those at the bottom, they rarely accept the blame when things go wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed the DVD.

t
tj_is_cool
Jun 09, 2017

The book was way better in terms of suspense and details.

h
heidiup1
Jun 04, 2017

Chilling. Must see.

j
jimg2000
Mar 12, 2017

A docudrama composed of in-depth interviews of real people and plenty of authentic historical footage. The rare images, technical information of the Titan-II missile, the USAF teams who controlled the silo's infrastructure and launch complex grasped my attention from start to finish. It certainly convinced me that we must reduce our nuclear arsenal stockpile and urge the rest of the nuclear powers to do the same.

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j
jimg2000
Mar 12, 2017

***Spoiler Alert***
There was an old motto that went around that to err was human, to forgive wasn’t SAC policy.
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We could not tell the local populace or any of the political or law enforcement people that we had a warhead on the missile. That was, we could not confirm nor deny that we had a nuclear weapon onsite, and that was SAC and national policy at that time.
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Again and again in looking at these documents, you find an effort to blame the person who dropped the wrench, who used the wrong tool at a minuteman site, blew the warhead off the missile, who brought the seat cushions onto the plane that caught on fire and crashed the plane. There’s this instinct to blame the operator, to blame the little guy. If the system worked properly, somebody dropping a tool couldn’t send a nuclear warhead into a field.

j
jimg2000
Mar 12, 2017

Gallery: Titan II Missile Silo Explosion 09.19.1980 - See more at:

http://www.arkansasonline.com/galleries/20040/album/#16

A fatal explosion Sept. 19, 1980, at Titan II missile silo 374-7 north of Damascus. A maintenance team forgot to bring the right tool into the silo and instead tried to use an unauthorized wrench, setting in motion one of the most publicized disasters of the Cold War.
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I think nowadays people don’t realize that we still have 7000 nuclear weapons. They think that’s all in the past and that they’re not there anymore and the reality is they’re all over the place.
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It doesn’t matter how much you plan, it doesn’t matter how many checklists you have, somebody’s got a ringer somewhere they’re going to throw out there at you.
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Nuclear weapons will always have a chance of an accidental detonation. It will happen. It may be tomorrow, or it may be a million years from now, but it will happen.

j
jimg2000
Mar 12, 2017

A recent technical order said that a torque wrench always had to be used when tightening or loosening a fuel cap ... Powell had reached level 2 of the silo, fully dressed in their RFHCOs, before realizing that they’d left the torque wrench behind in their truck. ... instead of sending someone topside to get the torque wrench, wasting another ten or fifteen minutes, Powell grabbed the ratchet hanging on the wall near blast door 9.
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The measurement would give them a sense of whether the silo was safe to enter. At a level of about 18,000 parts per million (ppm), the RFHCO would start to melt. At 20,000 ppm, the fuel vapor could spontaneously combust, without any exposure to a spark or flame, just from the friction caused by the movement of air.

j
jimg2000
Mar 12, 2017

As Powell used a socket wrench to unscrew the pressure cap, the socket fell off. It struck the platform and bounced. Powell grabbed for it but missed.
Plumb watched the nine-pound socket slip through the narrow gap between the platform and the missile, fall about seventy feet, hit the thrust mount, and then ricochet off the Titan II. It seemed to happen in slow motion. A moment later, fuel sprayed from a hole in the missile like water from a garden hose.
“Oh man,” Plumb thought. “This is not good.”
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And a study of abnormal environments commissioned by Sandia soon found that at least 1,200 nuclear weapons had been involved in “significant” incidents and accidents between 1950 and March 1968.
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The United States now had about thirty thousand of them (nuclear weapons,) and each one could potentially be lost, stolen, sabotaged, or involved in an accident.

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