Space shuttle contingency functional

Patrick AFB FL 32925-3239 15 February 2003

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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 1 August 2001

d. KSC OMI S-0057, Shuttle Landing - Post-Landing Operations, TAL Zaragoza AB (SAF), Spain, current revision

e. KSC Offsite Operations Plan, SFOC-GO0021, Appendix F, Zaragoza AB (SAF), 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 December 1998

h. Implementing Technical Agreement between DDMS and Spanish Air Force, 11 December 1998

1. Situation. Zaragoza AB may be designated as a Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) site or Emergency Landing Site (ELS) for high and mid inclination launches. DOD forces, joined by NASA/NASA contractor and host country forces, form a convoy for employment in the event of a contingency. MEDEVAC, SAR, and weather support will be available during TAL landing opportunities. In the event of a landing at Zaragoza AB, DOD forces in place (as well as additional forces as required) will support NASA’s recovery/turnaround operations.

2. Area of Operation. The Zaragoza AB local contingency area is designated as the area within the confines of the base accessible to DOD ground response vehicles.
a. Within this area, the DOD will provide support for orbiter crew member rescue, fire fighting, MEDEVAC, liaison with the Spanish Air Force (SAF) for security to protect personnel and preserve property, and fire fighting suppression support for contingency ops.
b. Outside this area, SAR operations will be IAW Appendix 3 and applicable plans.
3. Concept of Operations.
a. When Zaragoza AB is identified as a TAL site, DDMS representatives (Deployed Forces Commander and assistant) and DOD forces, along with NASA/NASA contractor personnel, will pre-position at Zaragoza AB to provide support. Approximately 1 hour prior to launch, the DDMS representative will establish telephone contact with the DOD SOC and provide status of DOD forces. The DDMS representative 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 DFC to accomplish nominal post-landing operations. Once a mode is declared, the DOD Senior Fire Official (SFO) 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 ground rescue and SAR/MEDEVAC capabilities in addition to DOD weather forecast, surface observations and upper air information. The DOD Manager exercises control of the participating DOD response forces through the on-site DDMS DFC.
d. If a NASA contingency mode (Annex C, para 5.b.) is declared, the DOD SFO, will direct the employment of DOD-SAF F/C/R forces while the NASA Convoy Commander (NCC) provides technical advice and assistance. If, however, a landing is nominal (no mode declared), the NASA NCC will request support through the DOD SFO.
e. Following a TAL, a Mishap Investigation Team (MIT) and Rapid Response Team (RRT) from the U.S. and personnel/equipment from the other TAL sites will begin arriving within 24 hours to begin investigative/turnaround operations. Further detailed information is available in reference c.
f. Following a landing at another TAL site, the C-130 at Zaragoza AB may be tasked to reposition to the orbiter landing site to MEDEVAC astronauts or airlift support personnel/equipment. Further detailed information is available in reference c.
4. Management Structure. The following officers will form the management team to oversee DOD forces deployed at Zaragoza AB to support shuttle contingency operations:
a. DDMS Deployed Forces Commander (DFC). DDMS will deploy two representatives (DDMS DFC and Spanish speaking liaison officer) to serve as the interface between NASA, DOD, and the Spanish Air Force. Specific responsibilities of the DDMS representatives are to:
(1) Coordinate real-time support requirements.
(2) Provide technical shuttle support advice to deployed DOD forces.
(3) Provide the SOC with the status of all committed DOD resources at Zaragoza AB.
(4) Provide mission briefing and instructions to deployed C-130 and C-21 aircrew, pararescue, DOD-SAF F/C/R, and medical personnel.
(5) Coordinate weather support requirements IAW Annex H.
(6) When directed, reposition personnel and equipment to another TAL site if a landing occurs there.
(7) Provide the operational interface with the SOC during all contingency support operations.
(8) Provide interface between the NASA Ground Operations Manager (GOM) and deployed DOD security representative to ensure appropriate security is provided IAW Annex L.
(9) Provide assistance, as requested, during the launch countdown and ascent profile.
(10) Assist, as necessary, during a contingency landing.
(11) Ensure weather personnel compute a toxic corridor based on forecast weather.
(12) Coordinate DOD support for orbiter landing exercises with the NASA GOM.
(13) Coordinate contractor personnel to assist in installation/removal of the SOAS.
(14) Advise the SOC Director of the need for additional DOD support resources, if required.
(15) Coordinate DOD support for turnaround operations following a landing at Zaragoza AB.
(16) Coordinate contingency firefighting operations with the DOD SFO and SAF/SFO.
b. DOD Senior Fire Official. The SFO will direct employment of DOD-SAF F/C/R forces during any contingency mode response. During nominal operations, he will support the NCC as directed. Specific responsibilities are to:
(1) Ensure F/C/R forces are ready to support an orbiter landing.
(2) Consult with the NCC to ensure a safe landing/post-landing operation.
(3) Provide status of contingency F/C/R forces to the DDMS DFC.
(4) Respond to requests from the NCC for the selective use of fire protection equipment to control leaks, spills, smoke, etc., during landing/post-landing operations.
(5) Provide assistance during tow preparation and actual towing of the orbiter.
(6) Support orbiter landing exercises.
c. DOD On-site Security Representative. A bilingual USAF security police individual will deploy to provide liaison with Spanish Air Force (SAF) personnel for base security and initial shuttle security in the event of a landing. Specific responsibilities include:
(1) Provide status of security forces to the DDMS DFC.
(2) Coordinate SAF security force response with the team leader IAW Annex L.
(3) Coordinate all base entry requirements for deployed DOD and NASA personnel.
(4) Provide other assistance, within capabilities, as may be requested.
d. Spanish Air Force Liaison Officer (SAFLO). The SAFLO serves as the primary point of contact for local shuttle contingency support matters and will be available during appropriate pre-mission preparation activities and during the TAL opportunity to coordinate required support operations. The Implementing Technical Agreement tasks the SAFLO with the following requirements:
(1) Provide an operational interface with the Zaragoza AB control tower and base operations.
(2) Provide the interface with the security office and the support squadron for air deployment at Zaragoza AB for all shuttle support personnel when required.
(3) Coordinate deployed aircraft support requirements.
(4) Coordinate base vehicle passes and training to allow certain team members driving access to Runway 30 Left and adjacent taxiways, and to work on or check shuttle unique landing aids.
(5) Coordinate the weather observation balloon launch schedule with the tower to obtain Air Traffic Control (ATC) clearances (NOTAMs) in a timely manner.
(6) Coordinate with Aeromedical Services Squadron for Runway 30 Left closing times to allow for:
(a) Installation and removal of the shuttle orbiter arresting system (SOAS) net.
(b) Removal and reinstallation of aircraft arresting gear.
(c) Simulation exercises.
(d) Launch support.
(7) Ensure that base operations and the tower coordinate required airspace clearances as soon as a TAL is declared.
(8) Serve as the primary SAF officer to coordinate support requirements and assist with press releases to the Spanish media in the event of a shuttle landing at Zaragoza AB.
(9) Assist in obtaining repair estimates with Spanish contractors, to perform any required maintenance/repairs to Buildings 685 and 686. In extreme cases of emergency, authorized to approve/contract for said maintenance on behalf of DDMS, subject to prior telephonic approval by DDMS. DDMS will be responsible for payments of all contracts for maintenance to Buildings 685 and 686 arising from the use of those buildings.
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.
(1) Ground Forces. When designated as a TAL, ground forces will be in place and ready for support at L-30 minutes and remain until after the TAL opportunity has passed.
(2) Aircraft Support. The following support will be provided by USEUCOM and USACOM.
(a) One C-130 with nine pararescue specialists (PJs) and survival equipment will be in place at L-24 hours for SAR/MEDEVAC support of the TAL opportunity. Not later than 1 hour prior to scheduled launch time, the C-130 crew will have completed all preparations to ensure the capability to takeoff within 30 minutes of notification. See Appendix 3 to Annex C and Annex Q.
(b) A C-21 or similar aircraft for real-time pilot weather reports (PIREP) will be in position at L-1 day. Weather reconnaissance flights are scheduled at L-6.5 and L-1 hours for 1.5 hour duration each. See Annex H.
(3) Medical Support. Emergency medical service (EMS) will be incorporated into both air and ground support as soon as practical after recovery. The provision of medical support is outlined in Annex Q and in the Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for each site. Medical support will be in-place at the site NLT L-1 hour.
(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-72 hours to begin balloon releases at L-48 hours. See Annex H.
b. Notification Times. Notification of a TAL to Zaragoza 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.
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 DDMS DFC, through the SAFLO, will coordinate with local airspace agencies to establish a clear corridor for orbiter approach and landing. See Appendix 1 Tab A of this annex. The LSO will provide specific orbiter approach ground track data shortly after notification of a contingency landing.
(2) Dedicated Runway. The DDMS DFC, through the SAFLO, will ensure the designated runway is dedicated after a decision to land is made, or earlier if possible. Notify the SOC when the runway is dedicated to shuttle landing.
(3) TALCOM Operations. An astronaut representative (TALCOM) will normally be 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) Runway Lighting. The DDMS DFC, through the SAFLO, will ensure the sequential, airfield approach strobes are 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.
(5) Shuttle Unique Landing Aids. Shuttle unique landing aids described in Appendix 1 to Annex D will be installed and operated by the NASA team.
(6) Shuttle Orbiter Arresting System. The SOAS will be installed and erected on the runway by the NASA team, assisted by six personnel. Support is normally provided by Spanish contractor personnel as coordinated by the DDMS site POC.
(7) Communications. Primary contact with the orbiter will be on UHF 259.7 MHz (primary) or 296.8 MHz (secondary). Air/ground communications with the orbiter will be recorded if possible. See Annex K.
(8) 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) DOD-SAF Fire/Crash/Rescue Support. Fire/crash/rescue personnel are required to provide fire suppression and a rescue capability in the event of a mishap. Minimum requirements follow:
1. Three major pieces of fire fighting apparatus.
2. Two rescue/utility vehicles in standard configuration, equipped per reference a.
(b) Medical Support.
1. Emergency medical service (EMS) will be incorporated into both air and ground support as soon as practical after recovery. The provision of medical support is outlined in Annex Q and in the Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for each site. Crew medical conditions will be reported using the medical condition codes in Annex C, paragraph 7. Two ambulances with a crew complement of one doctor aided by PJs are required. The ambulances will be driven by a member of the deployed medical team.
2. Bioenvironmental support is provided by NASA.
b. Search and Rescue (SAR) Support. USEUCOM will provide one C-130 and ACC will provide nine PJs to support SAR/MEDEVAC operations during TAL opportunities. Overall SAR will be the responsibility of the appropriate regional SAR coordinator in coordination with the DOD SOC. See Appendix 3 to Annex C.
c. Security Support. Pending arrival of the NASA RRT, access to the orbiter will be limited to the orbiter crew, the NASA ground operations manager, 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.
d. 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, the NASA GOM has overall responsibility for the orbiter. The DDMS DFC will coordinate assistance for towing operations as required.
(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 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. See reference c., for orbiter turnaround operations. The DDMS DFC will coordinate with the SAFLO for additional support, as required. See reference c. for orbiter turnaround operations.
7. Weather Support. Weather support will be provided IAW Annex H.


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