a. Launch and Landing Program Requirements Document (PRD)
No. 20,000 - Space Shuttle Operational Support for AFFTC
b. Operation Requirement Extract No. 20,000 - Shuttle AFFTC
c. KSC (OMI) S-0026, Shuttle Landing/Post-landing Convoy Operations,
d. EPD S-9906, Emergency Preparation Document - Secondary Landing Site (SLS/EAFB/DFRC), 11 August 1998
e. Department of Defense Manager's Space Shuttle Procedures Document (under revision), expect March 2001
f. Department of Defense Manager's Space Shuttle Training Plan, 30 May 2000
g. Shuttle Operational Data Book, NSTS-08934, Vol IV, Orbiter Landing Emergency Rescue Data, Parts 1 and 2, Basic, September 2000
1. Situation. EAFB may be designated as a primary or secondary EOM landing site, AOA site, PLS, or ELS. Ground rescue, SAR, and MEDEVAC capabilities will be available during scheduled landings. These capabilities will remain until the landing opportunity has passed, the flight crew has departed the orbiter, or the LRD and DDMS have released the convoy.
2. Area of Operation. Within 50 NM of the EAFB TACAN, DOD forces committed to the mission will respond to a bailout or other contingency by locating and providing assistance to the crew members as soon as possible. Outside this area, SAR operations will be conducted IAW applicable SAR plans. Forces committed to the EAFB area will be released, with concurrence of the commander concerned, to the responsible SAR Mission Coordinator to support these operations.
3. Concept of Operation.
a. NASA has the responsibility for management of operations in direct support of normal orbiter landings at EAFB. The Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) supports NASA requirements IAW appropriate program requirements documents, program support plans, and/or local support agreements. AFFTC personnel will commence landing preparations in accordance with timelines established in local plans and directives. For nominal landings at augmented landing sites, the NASA Convoy Commander (NCC) is responsible for overall direction of post-landing activities. 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.
b. The DOD Manager exercises tactical control of the participating contingency response forces (CRF) through the DOD Support Operations Center (SOC) to the Commander, AFFTC, or his designated representative.
c. In the event of a mishap during landing, NASA will use the contingency response modes listed in Annex C, paragraph 5.b., to declare a contingency and request a particular DOD support response. Once declared, the Commander, AFFTC, will discharge his responsibility for contingency rescue/recovery of the orbiter crew members within the accepted area of operation through the EAFB OSC. The OSC will direct the employment of DOD forces. During these operations, NASA will provide technical advice and assistance to the OSC through the NCC. 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.
d. In the event of a bailout within 50 NM of the EAFB TACAN, DOD forces committed to shuttle support will respond as soon as possible. Initial response will be directed by the OSC and supported by the appropriate SAR coordinator. Extended SAR operations will be conducted IAW the National SAR Plan.
4. Management Structure. The Commander, AFFTC, will designate personnel to interface directly with members of the DDMS staff and with the appropriate NASA representatives as follows:
a. Edwards AFB Contingency Coordinator. The EAFB Contingency Coordinator, located in the Dryden Flight Research Facility (DFRF) Control Center (also known as the “Blue Room"), serves as the primary point of contact for all contingency support supplied by AFFTC. Specific responsibilities are to:
(1) Provide the SOC with the status of all DOD resources committed to the contingency support mission.
(2) Coordinate DOD response/support activities with the appropriate representatives.
(3) Provide the operational interface with the SOC during launch, landing, and contingency support operations.
(4) Provide an operational interface and, as required, assist the EAFB OSC in the execution of contingency support responsibilities.
(5) Advise the SOC Director of the need for additional DOD support resources, if required.
(6) Provide transportation for the NASA crew surgeon and the NCC from the convoy to the triage and/or remote site if required.
b. Edwards AFB On-Scene Commander. The AFFTC/CC designates the EAFB OSC who is responsible for directing the employment of all committed DOD contingency response forces responding in the immediate vicinity of the landing runway at EAFB, and in those areas readily accessible to ground forces. In discharging these duties, the OSC has a direct interface with the NCC.Specific responsibilities of the OSC are to:
(1) Provide command and control of DOD forces and direct the response to contingencies.
(2) Provide status of contingency response forces to the EAFB Contingency Coordinator.
(3) Respond to requests from the NCC for the use of fire protection equipment to control leaks, spills, smoke, etc., during the post-landing operations. Overall responsibility for the protection of life and property rests with the OSC.
(4) Secure and control access to the contingency site in accordance with local DOD directives and as the situation requires.
(5) Activate local disaster preparedness plans, if required.
(6) Assure that only properly trained and prepared personnel are used and that all personnel are operationally ready to support.
c. DOD Airborne On-Scene Commander. The aircraft commander of a supporting helicopter will be designated the DOD airborne OSC (call sign: Airboss). The DOD airborne OSC will be directed by the EAFB OSC when the contingency site is readily accessible to ground forces. When the contingency site is not readily accessible, the DOD airborne OSC will direct the DOD contingency response effort until the EAFB OSC arrives on scene. Specific responsibilities are to:
(1) Coordinate and direct the employment of helicopters responding to a contingency.
(2) Provide MEDEVAC within the immediate landing area as directed by the OSC.
(3) Coordinate all SAR efforts beyond the immediate EAFB runway vicinity, but within the 50 nautical miles. This includes recovering the crew following a bailout.
(4) Follow standard SAR procedures outside the 50 nautical miles of Edwards AFB TACAN.
(5) Coordinate delivery of the orbiter crew members to the appropriate medical facility as directed by the attending NASA flight surgeon.
(6) Request assistance through the EAFB Contingency Coordinator or OSC as appropriate.
d. DDMS Representative. DDMS may deploy an individual to perform duties as the DOD Manager's on-site representative for certain EOM landings at EAFB. The DDMS representative will be the interface between the NASA representatives and the DOD contingency forces at the site. Specific responsibilities are to:
(1) Coordinate real-time support requirements not previously documented in the Program Requirements Documents (PRD) or this FUNCPLAN.
(2) Provide advice to the OSC and Contingency Coordinator on the DDMS FUNCPLAN and Procedures Document.
(3) Assist the OSC and Contingency Coordinator, as necessary, during a landing.
(4) Assist in the coordination and support of orbiter landing exercises.
5. Alert Requirements and Notification Times. Navigation and landing aids are required to be operational 90 minutes prior to the first landing opportunity each day. Aids are released after the last daily deorbit time of ignition (TIG) has passed (approximately 1 hour prior to the last landing opportunity). Alert postures for the contingency response force will be determined by the following in-place requirements and response notification times:
a. In-Place Requirements.
(1) End-of-Mission (EOM). If designated as prime for EOM, ground forces will be at the lake bed staging area at Ld-1 hour and 30 minutes. Helicopter forces will be in place and ready at Ld-30 minutes.
NOTE: For the first EOM opportunity, helicopters are required only at the designated landing site, normally KSC. For EOM + 1, both KSC and Edwards will have helicopter support available. For EOM + 2, KSC, Edwards and WSSH helicopters are required. If 24 hours notice is provided to support an early termination landing, helicopter support is required.
(2) Abort-Once-Around (AOA). If designated the primary AOA site, ground contingency forces supporting the AOA landing opportunity will be prepared to support a landing from Ld-1 hour and 30 minutes until after the AOA landing opportunity has passed. With less than 24 hours notice of a change in status from alternate or secondary AOA to primary AOA. DOD support will be “best effort.” If designated as an alternate AOA, there is no requirement for an enhanced posture. Standby helicopter support is not required for AOA.
(3) Primary Landing Site (PLS). While on orbit, the daily PLS will be identified the day prior to a possible landing at an augmented landing site to enhance contingency force readiness. A PLS is activated when required to terminate a mission early and if time permits to hold off the landing until an optimum deorbit opportunity exists. Ground convoy contingency forces are required to be on-call (pagers, phone, cell recall) 4 hours prior to scheduled PLS landing time for call up or release. On launch day, if designated as PLS and primary AOA site, convoy forces may stand down after the SOC has verified a negative AOA (approximately 45 minutes after launch), but will remain on-call until the SOC has verified normal on-orbit operations (approximately 90 minutes after launch), and releases on-call PLS forces for that day. If Edwards AFB is the PLS for launch day, but not primary AOA, the SOC will release on-call convoy forces after normal on-orbit operations are established (approximately 90 minutes after launch). If not identified the day prior as the PLS, there is no requirement to have forces on call 4 hours prior to scheduled landing time. Standby helicopter support is not required for PLS.
(4) Early Termination Landings. With 24 hours notice of an early termination landing, ground contingency and helicopter support forces will be in place and ready to support at Ld-30 minutes. For other early termination landings with less than 24 hours notice, DOD support will be “best effort.”
b. Notification Times.
(1) End-of-Mission (EOM). EOM landings will be scheduled as far in advance as possible.
(2) Abort-Once-Around (AOA). Notification of an AOA to EAFB will be provided by the SOC as soon as possible. Approximately 50 minutes advance notice should be provided. Expected release time will be given by the SOC Director.
(3) Early Termination Landings. EAFB may be vulnerable for a primary landing opportunity during a specified period each day. This vulnerability period will be identified by DDMS prior to each mission. Convoy support will be called to stations or released 4 hours prior to the primary landing opportunity. For other vulnerability periods, no specific alert posture is required. With 24 hours notice, DOD will have full support (including helicopters) available. With less than 24 hours notice, DOD support will be best effort.
6. Operational Requirements. The Commander, AFFTC, will provide appropriate DOD contingency rescue/recovery forces at EAFB and, through the OSC, employ other AFFTC resources as needed to conduct the mission. The following requirements are considered the minimum necessary to conduct the DOD contingency mission within the EAFB local contingency area.
a. Runway Support. The Airfield Manager (412 OSS/OSAM) will dedicate the landing runway:
(1) When EAFB is the AOA landing site, the designated runway will be dedicated upon notification of AOA landing.
(2) For EOM and early termination landings during an EAFB primary landing opportunity, the designated runway will be dedicated from Ld-1 hour until the orbiter is towed from the runway.
(3) For other landing opportunities, the designated runway will be dedicated from Ld-1 hour, if notification time permits, until the orbiter is towed from the runway.
b. Fire/Crash/Rescue Support. An orbiter landing should be treated similar to any major emergency aircraft landing. Fire/crash/rescue personnel are required to provide fire suppression and a rescue capability in the event of an incident during landing. A local pre-fire plan will be developed based upon information contained in references e. and g., and the following minimum requirements.
(1) A minimum of three major pieces of fire fighting apparatus.
(2) One rescue/utility vehicle with standard configuration and items specified in reference e.
(3) 4 F/C/R personnel trained in recumbent seat extraction for crewmembers that have spent > 30 days in space.
c. Helicopter Support.
(1) AFFTC will coordinate mission/exercise support requirements/schedules with DOD units supplying helicopters for transport of fire/crash/rescue personnel to an off runway mishap site. These helicopters will also be available for MEDEVAC as necessary. The aircraft commander of one of these helicopters will be designated the airborne OSC and will respond to the direction of the EAFB OSC in those areas readily accessible to ground forces. If the contingency site is not accessible to ground personnel, the airborne OSC will direct the DOD recovery effort until relieved by proper authority.
(2) Local active duty, guard and reserve units will provide helicopters to perform MEDEVAC of injured orbiter crew members to intermediate medical care facilities (IMCF) and definitive medical care facilities (DMCF).
d. Medical Support. Emergency medical service to the orbiter crew members is an essential part of contingency recovery operations and will be incorporated into both airborne and ground support. As soon as practical after recovery, crew medical conditions will be reported using the appropriate medical condition codes in Annex C, paragraph 7. See Annex Q for personnel and equipment required for response. With less than 24 hours notice, DOD support will be “best effort.”
e. Security Support. Because security is a range requirement, AFFTC will coordinate directly with other agencies to obtain personnel to accomplish this mission. DDMS will assist when requested. All security support will meet minimum requirements identified on Annex L.
f. Search and Rescue Support. To support an actual orbiter landing, local 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 normally accepted area of SAR responsibility, each site commander will conduct the initial SAR effort. Outside the normally accepted area, SAR will be the responsibility of the appropriate Regional SAR Coordinator in coordination with the SOC.
g. Communications. Primary contact between ground contingency forces and the orbiter will be on UHF 259.7 MHz (primary), 296.8 MHz (secondary), or 243.0 (tertiary). Air/ground communications between tower and the orbiter should be recorded in accordance with
7. Traffic Control.
a. Ground Traffic. Control of ground traffic in the orbiter landing operations area at EAFB will be accomplished in accordance with local procedures established between NASA and AFFTC.
b. Air Traffic. The Commander, AFFTC, is responsible for ensuring the safety and control of all aircraft participating in the landing support operation. Plans and procedures developed by AFFTC will include provisions for aircraft operations and will be coordinated with all units providing air operations support.
c. Orbiter Airspace Clearance. NASA will coordinate with the appropriate FAA authorities to obtain the required airspace clearance for the orbiter during landing operations at EAFB. See Annex C, Appendix 1, Tab A for typical airspace requirements.
8. Weather Support. 412 OSS/OSW will provide weather support IAW Annex H.