Re: Basement level of TI Bldg 1


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I worked in the basement of building 1 from 1967 to the end of 1969. The basement was the Operations Control Center for Commander Western Sea Frontier. COMWESTSEAFRON had the responsibility for Anti-submarine warfare for the West Coast of the U.S. Primarily it involved the monitoring of Soviet submarines in the Western Pacific. It was also during the Viet Nam period and merchant ships that were under contract to the U.S. Government came under the operational control of Western Sea Frontieer for their routing and montioring until they were passed on to the command in Hawaii. It also had the responsibility for the San Francisco Movement Report Center which received reports from ships outlining their planned movement.

The vault was where the computers were housed (such as they were during that time). The briefing room was renovated around 1968 and it was where the Admiral was briefed about intelligence, weather, and activities in his area of responsibility. The operations control center was kind of like the World War II rooms you may have seen in films - floor to ceiling maps that slid on which were plotted submarine locations, merchant ship routes, and other items of interest. There were also other plotting tables used to plan routes, etc. Overlooking this was a glassed in "bridge" staffed by watch officers and support staff 24 hours a day with, for that time, pretty sophisticated communications between the west coast naval air fields, Washington, NORAD, and SAC. At times, it was a pretty exciting place to be.


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