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Much of the credit for the successful execution of the NIKE HERCULES program could be attributed to the coordination and spirit of cooperation among elements of the Government-industry team. But the Government deserved far less credit for the success of the program than the WECo-BTL team which managed to meet essentially all of the original schedule dates despite the disruptive influences of short-term, piecemeal funding and pronounced weaknesses in the Army's project management structure. These onerous conditions prevailed throughout the 1950's and left their mark on all of the Ordnance guided missile development programs whose prime contractors lacked the managerial competence to counteract them. Since the Army funding and internal management deficiencies did nor seriously hamper the HERCULES program, the present discussion is limited to very broad treatment of the organization and management structure with primary emphasis on the evolution of project management within the Redstone Arsenal complex.l

The Government-Industry Team

As the second generation of the NIKE family, the HERCULES was the beneficiary of a ready-made contractor team whose technical and managerial competence was second to none in the military-industrial complex. Before the initiation of the NIKE AJAX program, WECo and BTL had established a very close working relationship in their normal commercial practice. As a result of this rapport, WECo, the prime contractor for the NIKE AJAX, had selected BTL as its prime subcontractor for weapon system design and overall project management. The efficient and speedy execution of both the ATAX and HERCULES programs was aided by numerous subcontractors to the WECo-BTL team. Chief among these were the Douglas Aircraft Company, which had prime responsibility for the missile structure (less electronics), for launching and handling equipment, and for conducting the proving ground firing tests; and the General Electric Company which had the subcontract for development of the high power acquisition radar for the Improved NIKE HERCULES system. Other subcontractors and suppliers of equipment items numbered in the hundreds, each dealing with components or subsystems in his special field.

In keeping with the "system contract" philosophy, the prime contractor was delegated full responsibility for development and production of the complete tactical weapon system pursuant to specified guidelines and technical requirements. Implicit in this responsibility was technical control over the design characteristics of all components and subsystems making up the weapon, including the items of Government-furnished equipment (GFE). In general, the latter items fell in fields familiar to Ordnance and other supporting technical services and governmental agencies.

Among the Government agencies providing actual equipment and/or technical assistance and support were the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Picatinny Arsenal (warheads); Diamond Ordnance Fuze Laboratories (fuzes); Jet Propulsion Laboratory (wind tunnel facilities); White Sands Missile Range (flight test facilities); Corps of Engineers (power generation equipment, air conditioners, heaters, buildings and structures); Signal Corps (missile batteries and communications equipment); Ordnance Tank-Automotive Command (vehicles); Ballistic Research Laboratories and Human Engineering Laboratories, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (supporting research and consultation services); Redstone Arsenal (basic and supporting research on rocker motors and propellants); and Ordnance Ammunition Command (motor loading). The coordination and direction of the efforts of the Government-industry ream was a responsibility of the weapon system manager at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.2

Evolution of the Project Management Structure

The Redstone Arsenal Era--1951-58

From the inception of Project NIKE in 1945 to August 1951, the program was directed, coordinated, and supervised by the Rocket Branch, R&D Division, Office, Chief of Ordnance (OCO). On 16 August 1951, OCO transferred the responsibility for conduct of the R&D program to Redstone Arsenal,* the latter then becoming the sole source of instruction to the contractor. In general, the responsibilities transferred to Redstone embraced the monitoring, coordinating, and conducting of the technical aspects of the project. The Rocket Branch, OCO, retained responsibility and authority for general direction and for rendering decisions on such matters as policy, scope, and objectives of the project and the original approach and major changes in the design, performance, and operation of the missile. To assist ehe Arsenal in carrying out its mission responsibilities with respect to the project, OCO transferred its NIKE Project Officer, CAPT John R. Grace. The Resident Ordnance Officer then stationed at the BTL plane in Whippeny, New Jersey. was LTC Robert E. LeRoy.3

In February 1953, at the beginning of the NIKE HERCULES preliminary design studies. OCO assigned to Redstone Arsenal the additional responsibility of maintaining close technical liaison with other Government field installations and contractors engaged in the development of GFE components for the system. Among these were the Bureau of Ordnance, Department of the Navy (XM-5 booster); Glenn L. Martin Company (self-destroying booster); Picatinny Arsenal (fragmentation warheads); Frankford Arsenal (support, arming device); National Bureau of Standards (T90 safety and arming mechanism); and Signal. Corps Engineering Laboratories (countermeasure susceptibility study and missile batteries, chargers, and testers). Since these parts of the project were with installations under control of the R&D Division, OCO, or other agencies of the military, any changes, improvements, cancellations, or accelerations required to maintain proper phasing with the basic project had to be submitted through OCO.4

REDSTONE ENGINEERS WITH NIKE HERCULES MODEL -- Shown above is a model of the NIKE HERCULES, developed under technical control of the Projects Management Staff, R&D Division, Redstone Arsenal, and three of the engineers who were most closely associated with the weapon's development. Left to right are MAJ Rudolph A. Axelson, Deputy Chief, Surface-to-Air Missile Branch; Harry F. Vincent, chief of the branch; and W. J. Millsap, NIKE HERCULES Project Director. (Redstone Arsenal Photograph, March 1957)

In mid-1955, Redstone Arsenal became the Army Ordnance Commodity Arsenal for rockets and guided missiles, with national mission responsibilities for development, procurement, production, industrial engineering, industrial mobilization, maintenance and repair part supply, and stock control.5 Its major operating elements were the R&D, Industrial, and Field Service Divisions, and the Ordnance Missile Laboratories (OML) consisting of a series of laboratories devoted to in-house research, development, and testing operations.6

During the ensuing 3 years, Redstone Arsenal saw the NIKE project through development, test, and initial production of the Basic HERCULES system and early development of the Improved HERCULES system.

The AOMC/ARGMA Era--1958-61

In March 1958, some 3 months before deployment of the first Basic HERCULES battery, Redstone Arsenal was involved in a general reorganization. On 31 March, the Secretary of the Army created the U. S. Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) at Redstone Arsenal and appointed as its head MG John B. Medaris. Placed under General Medaris' direct control were the Army Rocket & Guided Missile Agency (AROMA), the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the White Sands Proving Ground, and the Redstone Arsenal. Officially established on 1 April 1958, ARGMA assumed responsibility for the NIKE HERCULES program and other technical missions formerly assigned to Redstone Arsenal, leaving the latter with post support functions.7

CHART 2 - USEOMC CHAIN OF COMMAND, March 1958 - July 1962

The integration of primary research, development, test, and logistical support installations under single direction, together with the administrative streamlining, provided the means to carry out more effectively the existing and future Army missile programs. Under the executive control of the Chief of Ordnance, AOMC was entirely responsible for the execution of Army rocket and guided missile programs, from the inception of an idea through research, development, production, procurement, and training, to supply, maintenance, and support in the field. Although not directly involved in operational matters, the Conrmanding General of AOMC, as the weapon system manager, was concerned with whatever pertained to rockets and missiles, regardless of the service within the Army that might be directly interested.8

During the 1958-61 period, ARGMA, as the commodity manager under conrmand of AOMC, guided the program through production, type classification, and deployment of the Basic HERCULES system; final development, rest, limited production, and delivery of the Improved HERCULES system; initial development of the advanced HERCULES Antitactical Ballistic Missile system; and the final phase of AJAX-HERCULES conversions in CONUS. The HERCULES program activities were directed and coordinated through the Control Office by a staff of Senior ARGMA Representatives (SXR's) at contractor plants and Government installations and designated representatives in the Control Office and the three national mission operations.9


LTC Richard C. Miles, who had served as the Redstone Resident Ordnance Officer at BTL since August 1955,10 became the ARGMA SXR at BTL on 1 April 1958 and remained on the job until December 1959, when he was replaced by LTC Lee G. Jones.ll Other SXR's included George W. Haug at WECo's Burlington, North Carolina plant; Louis V. Bilotta at DAC, Santa Monica, California; and Arthur R. Andrews at DAC's Charlotte Division, Charlotte Ordnance Missile Plant.l2 The HERCULES project officers within ARGMA were R. W. Ekis and George Bittenbender, Control Office; W. J. Millsap, MkT Q. C. Soprano, and M. E. Pederson, R&D Operations; L. F. Chesebro, Industrial Operations; and CWO Clifford A. Van Pelt, Field Service Operations.l3

In the AOMC reorganization of 11 December 1961, ARGMA and its sister agency, ABMA, were abolished and their functions merged with AOMC headquarters.l4

The HERCULES/AJAX-Target Missiles-MTE Project Manager

Under the new AOMC organizational structure, which became operational on 1 January 1962,15 the national and support missions of the former ARGMA and ABMA were consolidated and assigned to the R&D, Industrial, and Field Service Directorates. Established under the Commanding General were Deputy Commanding Generals (DCG) for the two missile system groups: ballistic missiles and guided missiles. There were seven project offices under each DCG, the office of the HERCULES/AJAX-Target Missiles-Multisystem Test Equipment Project Manager being established under the DCG for Guided Missiles (DCG/GM).16 LTC Joseph C. Baer became the HERCULES/AJAX-Target Missiles-MTE Project Manager,l7 with responsibility for directing and coordinating the project activities assigned to and performed by the national mission directorates and supporting services. With a small staff of less than 20 people,l8 Colonel Baer could not truly manage his multifaceted program, and was, in reality, little more than a high level staff coordinator. This interim project office, however, did provide essential staff experience for implementing the vertically directed management structure which came into being on 1 August 1962.

The HERCULES Project Manager--1962-70

The AOMC reorganization extended into 1962, overlapping a major Army reorganization which culminated in the creation of the Army Materiel Command (AMC), the abolition of the Office, Chief of Ordnance, the realignment and redesignation of AOMC as the Army Missile Command (MICOM), and selection of the HERCULES system for vertical project management. The new AMC and MICOM organizations existed with skeleton staffs from 23 May to 1 August 1962, when they became operational. AMC absorbed functions of the former OCO and MICOM absorbed functions of the former AOMC.19 Effective 31 July 1962, the HERCULES/AJAX-Target Missiles-MTE Project Manager organization was divided in two parts, the latter three programs being grouped under a product manager and the SERCULES joining the project-managed systems. At the same time, the weapon system divisions of the directorates, plus certain quality assurance functions from Industrial and liaison and training from Field Service, were transferred to the HERCULES Project Manager, along with personnel, personnel spaces, records, and equipment. Also transferred from the directorates were management control, direction, planning, programming-budgeting, and review and analysis functions relating to the HERCULES.20 The concept of vertical project management recognized the project manager as the single individual responsible for accomplishing the objectives of his assigned program. It stressed maximum integration of the total effort in order to make the best possible use of limited resources, and at the same time attain a high order of stability. It necessarily entailed maximum use of the functional directorates for operational support, but the project manager possessed the authority, resources, and capability within his own office for centralized management, direction, and control of the total effort. This included all phases of research, development, test, procurement and production, distribution, and logistic support for the purpose of maintaining a balanced program to accomplish the stated objectives of AMC. The project manager was charged with exercising full-line authority over all planning, direction, and control of tasks and associated resources involved in furnishing HERCULES missile systems and system support Eo designated recipients at times and places directed by AMC.21


The new project office became operational under the DCG/GM on 1 August 1962, with LTC Joseph C. Baer assigned as the HERCULES Project Manager.22

The activation plan provided for a total of 299 (20 military and 279 civilian) personnel to staff the new project manager organization; however, the Table of Distribution (TD) approved by AMC early in December 1962 reduced that number to 266 (20 military, 246 civilian). By the end of December, the project manager's personnel staff had grown to 203 (19 military, 23 For the next 18 months or so, the assigned personnel strength slowly increased, but all of the TD spaces were never filled and the authorization was gradually reduced.

COL Bernard R. Luczak replaced Colonel Baer as HERCULES Project Manager on 1 February 1963 and remained on the job until 12 February 1964. Mr. Edward L. Smock, the Deputy Project Manages, was acting manager until the assignment of COL Rawlins M. Colquitt, Jr., on 27 May 1964.24 Meanwhile, the original manpower authorization of 266 had been reduced to 255 by 31 December 1963, and 25 of the spaces were vacant with an actual strength of 230 (19 military, 218 civilian).25 Six months later, on 30 June 1964, the project manager's authorized strength was further cut to 243, and his assigned strength stood at a peak of 236 (14 military, 222 civilian). In FY 1965, both the authorized and assigned strength declined, the former to 235 and the latter to 229 (19 military, 210 civilian).26

Implementation of the refined MICOM project management policy, issued in September 1965, altered the project manager's staffing pattern fos 1966 and subsequent years. The revised policy, in effect, sent the major project operations, together with personnel and spaces, back to the functional directorates from whence they had come several years before. It decreed that the project offices would consist of small groups of elite management technicians who would rely on the functional directorates to accomplish the "doing" portions of the project work, with the project managers retaining full-line authority for planning, direction, and control of the total effort. To avoid disruption, each directorate would gradually take on the new functions and associated personnel as it demonstrated its ability to perform each function equal to, or better than, the project management organization.27

Pursuant to the realignment plan, AMC, in January 1966, reduced the HERCULES Project Manager's manpower authorization from 235 to 111 (10 officers, 101 civilians). The major moves of personnel did not occur until February and March 1966, although some of them confirmed earlier tentative assignments and thus carried am effective date of November 1965. BY 30 June 1966, the project manager's assigned strength had dropped to 103 (11 officers, 92 civilians).28

With Colonel Colquitt's departure on 1 October 1966, Mr Edward L. Smock took over as acting project manager and served until the assignment of COL Morris W Pettit on 26 June 1967. Colonel Pettit steered the HERCULES program through continued system improvement and field modification; the rebuild program for equipment from deactivated defense sites; implementation of the Japanese Go-Production Program; the gradual phasedown of operations preparatory to deprojectization; and finally, the transition to the special items/functional management concept under the new standard commodity coannand structure.

By the end of December 1969, the HERCULES Project Manager's Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA) had been reduced from 111 to 91 (10 officers, 81 civilians) and his assigned staff had declined from 103 to 83 (10 officers, 73 civilians).30 The proposed MICOM plan at that time called for the continued phasedown of project office staffing to a level of 42 by 30 June 1971, and conversion to commodity management by 30 September 1971. A concurrent MICOM review of the REDEYE system indicated that it would be ready for deprojectization by 30 June 1970.31 However, the Secretary of the Army, with concurrence of AMC, officially removed both the HERCULES and REDEYE from project management status effective 27 April 1970, and transition plans for deprojectization of the two systems were forwarded to AMC early in June 1970.

The approved MICOM organization plans called for the establishment of a very small management office, to be known as the Air Defense Special Items Management Office (ADSPIO) and consisting of 15 civilians and 4 officers, to exercise overall management of the HERCULES and REDEYE systems after their deprojectization. The same plans provided for the creation of a new Systems Engineering & Integration Office in the Directorate for Research, Development, h Engineering, which, among other things, would be responsible for all system engineering on weapon systems under technical direction of ADSIMO.

During the transition period (April-December 1970), the HERCULES Project Manager continued to operate under his existing organizational structure. His operational c oncepts, however, were modified to follow more closely the concept of commodity management as defined in MICOM Regulation 11-10, and activities, reports, and other instruments or requirements directly connected to project management, as such, were discontinued. Pursuant to the transition plan, the RERCULES TDA was reduced to 3 officers and 39 civilians. The rest of the previously authorized civilian positions were abolished and the personnel were moved to other positions or separated in accordance with their retention rights as a part of the MICOM reduction in force effected on 29 June 1970.32

The Air Defense Special Items Management Office--1971-72

The new Air Defense Special Items Management Office was organized effective 4 January 1971. At the same time, the HERCULES Project Office was discontinued and COL Morris W. Pettit was assigned as Air Defense Special Items Manager, with responsibility for overall management of assigned air defense activities and for providing control and coordination to assure full support by all functional directorates. The NIKE HERCULES and REDEYE were the first systems assigned to ADSIMO, with others added later. Personnel of the new Systems Engineering & Integration Office of the restructured Directorate for Research, Development, Engineering, & Missile Systems Laboratory, uere collocated with XDSIMO personnel.33 COL Donald H. Steenburn became chief of ADSIMO on 17 April 1972,34 following Colonel Pettit's retirement.


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