Space shuttle contingency functional

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Patrick AFB FL 32925-3239

15 February 2003




a. Department of Defense Manager's Space Shuttle Procedures Document, 15 April 2001

b. Department of Defense Manager's Space Shuttle Training Plan, 30 May 2000

c. Department of Defense Manager’s Space Shuttle Turnaround Functional Plan 3611-01 (under revision), 1 August 2001

d. KSC OMI S-0029, Shuttle Landing - Post-Landing Convoy Operations, TAL Moron AB, Spain, current revision

e. KSC Offsite Operations Plan, SFOC-GO0021, Appendix E, Moron AB, Spain, 14 January 2000

f. Shuttle Operational Data Book, NSTS-08934, Vol IV, Orbiter Landing Emergency Rescue Data, Parts 1 & 2, Basic, September 2000

g. Agreement on Space Cooperation Between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain, 11 July 1991

h. Support Agreement between the 31st Fighter Wing (for Moron AB, Spain) and the DOD Manned Space Flight Support Office, 4 August 1998

i. 496th Air Base Squadron, Moron Air Base, Spain, Base Support Plan, PSRT 1, 21 January 2000

1. Situation. Moron AB may be designated as a transoceanic abort landing (TAL) site or emergency landing site (ELS) for all inclination launches. DOD forces, joined by NASA/NASA contractor and host country forces, form a convoy for employment in the event of a contingency. Weather support will be available during TAL landing opportunities. For ELS landings, there is no specific posture required and the base will respond on a best effort basis. In the event of a landing at Moron AB, DOD forces in place (as well as additional forces, as required) will support NASA’s recovery/turnaround operations. At Moron AB, command relationships are unique. The 496 ABS commander, or designated representative, is the site commander for all DOD Space Shuttle support operations, acting under the direction of the DOD SOC who maintains TACON of all shuttle support forces. Therefore, the DDMS Deployed Forces Commander (DFC) is not a true site commander. The DDMS DFC at Moron AB will provide expertise to the 496 ABS commander and ensure all DOD shuttle support forces are in-place, ready to support.

2. Area of Operation. The Moron AB local contingency area is designated as the area in the vicinity of the runway accessible to DOD ground response vehicles.
a. For TAL site support within this area, the DOD will provide orbiter crew member rescue, fire fighting, assistance with installation and removal of the shuttle orbiter arresting system, and security to protect personnel and preserve property.
b. Outside this area, SAR operations, to include recovery of the crew following a bailout, will be IAW local SAR plans. Forces committed to the Moron AB area will be released by the DDMS DFC after the landing opportunity passes.
3. Concept of Operations.
a. When Moron AB is identified as a TAL site, the DDMS DFC and DOD forces, along with NASA/NASA contractor personnel, will pre-position at Moron AB to provide support. Approximately 1 hour prior to launch, the DDMS DFC will establish telephone contact with the DOD SOC and provide status of DOD forces. The DDMS DFC will then monitor the ascent and release of TAL support on Landing Field Prime 1. See Annex K.
b. For nominal landings at TAL sites, the NASA Convoy Commander (NCC) is responsible for overall direction of post-landing activities. (Note: At TAL sites, the NCC role is normally filled by the USA Operations Manager.) Although not in the DOD chain of command, the NCC works closely with the DOD On-Scene Commander (OSC) to accomplish nominal post-landing operations. Once a mode is declared, the DOD OSC directs and oversees the DOD response to the contingency. After DOD completes its rescue mission and the incident has been resolved, direction of post-landing activities is handed back to the NCC.
c. During TAL landing opportunities, DOD contingency forces will provide convoy, and ground rescue capabilities. DOD weather personnel will provide forecasts, observations, and balloon information. The DOD Manager exercises tactical control of the participating response forces through the DOD SOC to the Commander, 496 ABS, or his designated representative.
d. During a landing, the Commander, 496 ABS, or designated representative, will discharge his responsibility for convoy support and contingency rescue/recovery of the orbiter crew members within the accepted area of operations through the Moron AB OSC. In the event of a mishap during landing, the contingency response modes listed in Annex C, paragraph 5.b., will be used to declare a contingency and the appropriate DOD support response. The OSC will direct the employment of DOD forces. NASA will provide technical advice and assistance to the OSC through the on-site NASA representatives and the DOD SOC. The OSC has the final authority and responsibility to determine whether a specific rescue/recovery operation can be performed within the operating capabilities of the assigned forces.
e. Following a TAL, a Mishap Investigation Team (MIT) and Rapid Response Team (RRT) will arrive within 24 hours to begin investigative/turnaround operations. C-130 aircraft will arrive from the other TAL sites with selected NASA/DOD personnel and equipment. Further detailed information is available in reference c.
f. Following a landing at another TAL site, a C-130 will arrive at Moron AB to transport selected NASA personnel and equipment to the landing site. Further information is available in reference c.
4. Management Structure. The following individuals will interface directly with other members of the DOD Manager's organization and with the appropriate NASA representatives.
a. Moron AB Airfield Support Coordination Officer (ASCO). The ASCO serves as the primary point of contact for local NASA/DOD contingency support matters and will be available during appropriate pre-mission preparation activities and during the TAL opportunity to coordinate required support operations. Specific responsibilities are to:
(1) Provide the DDMS DFC with the status of DOD resources committed to the mission.
(2) Provide operational interface with the DDMS DFC during launch, landing and contingency support operations.
(3) Provide an operational interface and assist the Moron AB OSC in the execution of contingency support responsibilities.
(4) Advise the DDMS DFC of the need for additional DOD support resources, if required.
(5) Coordinate the support provided to the NASA Deployed Operations Team (DOT) during ground turnaround operations following a landing at Moron AB. DDMS will have a representative with the DOT to assist the ASCO and to provide the necessary interface and coordination between local support personnel and NASA. Further detailed information is available in reference c.
b. Moron AB On-Scene Commander (OSC). The Commander, 496 ABS, will designate an OSC to direct employment of DOD personnel and resources supporting an orbiter landing or responding to a contingency in the designated local area. Specific responsibilities are to:
(1) Ensure the airfield is ready to support an orbiter landing.
(2) Consult with the NASA Ground Operations Manager (GOM) to ensure a safe operation.
(3) Provide command and control of DOD forces and direct their contingency response.
(4) Provide status of contingency response forces to the ASCO.
(5) Ensure hazard assessment/weather personnel compute a toxic corridor based on forecast weather conditions at the scheduled orbiter landing time. See Annex H.
(6) Respond to requests from the NASA GOM/USA Operations Manager for the selective use of fire protection equipment to control leaks, spills, smoke, etc., during landing/post-landing operations. Overall responsibility for the protection of life and property rests with the OSC, who may direct such action, as necessary.
(7) Secure and control access to the contingency site and ensure appropriate security is provided for the orbiter and its crew.
(8) Provide assistance to NASA personnel during preparation to tow and towing of the orbiter, as directed by the NASA GOM.
c. DDMS Deployed Forces Commander (DFC). DDMS will deploy an individual to perform duties as the DOD Manager's on-site representative. The DDMS DFC is the interface between NASA representatives and DOD forces at the site. Specific responsibilities are to:
(1) Coordinate real-time support requirements not previously documented in this functional plan.
(2) Provide technical advice to the OSC and ASCO on the DDMS FUNCPLAN and DDMS Procedures Document.
(3) Provide assistance, as requested by the ASCO, during the launch countdown and ascent profile.
(4) Assist the ASCO, OSC, and NASA GOM, as necessary, during a contingency landing.
(5) Coordinate and support orbiter landing exercises.
(6) Coordinate support requirements with DOD weather personnel IAW Annex H.
(7) Be prepared to reposition selected personnel and equipment to another TAL site if an orbiter landing occurs at other than Moron AB. Coordinate a personnel and equipment manifest with the NASA GOM and the C-130 aircraft commander.
5. Alert Requirements/Notification Times. Alert postures for the contingency response force will be determined by the following in-place requirements and response notification times:
a. In-Place Requirements for TAL Support.
(1) Ground Forces. When designated as a TAL site, ground forces will be in place and ready to support at L-30 minutes and remain there until after the TAL opportunity has passed. NOTE: For an ELS landing, ground forces will be in place at Ld-30 minutes, if notification time permits.
(2) Aircraft Support. USEUCOM through the component commands, will provide a

C-12 or similar aircraft, for real-time pilot weather reports (PIREP). This aircraft will be in position NLT L-1 day if sourced from other than NS Rota. Weather reconnaissance flights are scheduled at L-6.5 and L-1 hours for 1.5 hours each. Depending on weather conditions, this requirement may be extended through the launch. Navy C-12s may elect to stage out of NS Rota instead of remaining at Moron AB. This will be coordinated by the DDMS DFC. See Annex H.

(3) Medical Support. Medical support will arrive 1 hour prior to the on-scene commanders convoy briefing. See Annex Q.
(4) Weather Support. A fully operational Upper air observing system system (DDMS supplied), with associated equipment (i.e., helium bottles, balloons, and required spares), and personnel will be in place NLT L-60 hours to begin balloon releases at L-48 hours. See Annex H.
b. Notification Times.
(1) Transoceanic Abort Landing. Notification of a TAL to Moron AB will be provided by the LSO on Landing Field Prime 1 as soon as the decision to abort is made. The amount of advance notice will vary with the launch azimuth; however, as a minimum, 25 minutes notification can be expected.
(2) Early Termination Landings. The DOD SOC will notify Moron AB as soon as a decision is made to make an emergency landing at Moron AB. No specific alert posture is required for an early termination landing. However, DOD support forces will make every effort to have maximum support available based on the amount of notification time.
6. Operational Requirements.
a. Landing Support Operations. Once NASA has made the decision to land, the following actions will be taken in preparation for an orbiter landing:
(1) Airspace Clearance. The Commander, 496 ABS, will coordinate with local airspace controlling agencies to ensure a clear airspace corridor for orbiter landing. See Tab A, Appendix 1 this annex. The LSO will provide specific orbiter approach ground track data shortly after notification of a contingency landing.
(2) Dedicated Runway. Dedicate the designated landing runway after a decision to land is made, or earlier, if desired. The ASCO will notify the DDMS DFC when the runway is dedicated to the orbiter landing. Arresting gear, if installed, will be removed and a runway check will be accomplished to ensure the runway is clear of foreign objects.
(3) TALCOM Operations. An astronaut representative (TALCOM) is normally present during a TAL opportunity to communicate with the orbiter crew and pass weather information. DDMS weather personnel will be prepared to provide the latest airfield meteorological conditions to the TALCOM when requested. See Annex H.
(4) Tower Operations. Standard tower procedures will be used to support orbiter landings. In addition, tower personnel will be prepared to provide the latest airfield meteorological conditions to the orbiter crew, when requested. See Annex H.
(5) TACAN Support.
(a) Local TACAN stations are required to be operational to support a landing.
(b) Annex K provides a listing of required/desired TACAN stations and information on reporting status of these navigational aids.
(6) Runway Lighting. Sequential, airfield approach strobes will be in the following configuration: Dusk/Night - Off; Day (Visibility < 10) - On; Day (Visibility > 10) - Off. VASIs and threshold strobe lights should be off for all landings. Runway edge lights will be on bright setting for daylight landings and step 3 for night landing.
(7) Shuttle Unique Landing Aids. Shuttle unique landing aids described in Appendix 1 to Annex D will be installed and operated by the NASA team.
(8) Shuttle Orbiter Arresting System (SOAS). The SOAS will be installed and erected on the runway by the NASA team, assisted by six personnel as described in Appendix 1 to Annex D.
(9) Communications. Primary contact with the orbiter will be on UHF 259.7 MHz (primary) or 296.8 MHz (secondary). Air/ground communications between tower and orbiter will be recorded. See Annex K.
(10) Runway Emergency Support. An orbiter landing will be treated similar to any large aircraft landing. The following resources will be deployed in preparation for an orbiter landing:
(a) Fire/Crash/Rescue Support. Fire/crash/rescue personnel are required to provide fire suppression and a rescue capability in the event of a mishap during landing. Develop a local pre-fire plan based upon information contained in references a. and g., and the following minimum requirements:

  1. A minimum of three major pieces of fire fighting apparatus.

  1. One rescue/utility vehicle with standard configuration and equipment

specified in reference a.
3. Two vehicles to transport the internal rescue team.

(b) Medical Support.

  1. Emergency medical service (EMS) will be incorporated into both air and ground support as soon as practical after recovery. The provisions for medical support are outlined in Annex Q and in the Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for each site.

  1. Bioenvironmental support is provided by NASA.

b. Search and Rescue Support. Commanders will ensure that available SAR forces are alerted and requested to assume an increased alert posture. In the event of a mishap within the accepted area of SAR responsibility, the local commander will conduct the initial SAR effort. Outside the local contingency area, SAR will be the responsibility of the appropriate regional SAR Coordinator in coordination with the DOD SOC.

c. Disaster Preparedness. Local procedures will be established to limit damage to the orbiter and surroundings should a major mishap occur. Local disaster preparedness planning should be accomplished in accordance with standard disaster response procedures and directives. Planning factors for unique hazards associated with the orbiter are included in Appendix 11 to Annex C.
d. Security Support. Pending arrival of the NASA RRT, access to the orbiter will be limited to the orbiter crew, NASA representatives, the NASA ground handling team designated for post-landing orbiter hazard assessment/towing, and support personnel responding to an emergency situation. Subsequent security instructions, including access rosters and personnel badging, will be provided by a NASA security representative on the RRT. See Annex L.
e. Post-landing Operations. NASA personnel will safe and tow the orbiter to the designated parking site and secure it pending arrival of the NASA MIT/RRT.
(1) Upon completion of the post-landing checklist, the orbiter crew will egress the vehicle and proceed to the medical area. After flight crew egress, NASA has overall responsibility for the orbiter. The OSC will assist the NASA GOM with towing as required. Reference a. provides equipment requirements.
(2) After the orbiter is towed to the safing/deservicing area, a secure perimeter will be established around the orbiter. The size of the area will be based upon the hazards associated with the orbiter and the local threat assessment. See Appendix 11 to Annex C and Annex L.
(3) The MIT & RRT, consisting of approximately 70 NASA personnel, NASA contractors, and a DDMS MIT representative, will arrive at the landing site within 24 hours. It will also include management representatives, and personnel to conduct operations, as necessary, to ensure the site is returned to operational status as soon as possible after an orbiter landing. After the remainder of the DOT arrives, local DOD personnel will provide logistics support to NASA in securing and preparing the orbiter for return to KSC in accordance with Annex D. In addition, fire services are required at operational areas during hazardous turnaround operations and to provide a post-landing fire guard. The DDMS representative will coordinate with the ASCO for additional support, as required. See reference c. for orbiter turnaround operations.
7. Weather Support. A fully operational upper air observing system system (DDMS supplied), with associated equipment (i.e., helium bottles, balloons, and required spares), and personnel will be in place NLT L-72 hours to begin balloon releases at L-48 hours.

See Annex H.



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