May 19, 1999
The Rapid City Journal grants permission for use of 1958-59 news stories on Nike sites on private web pages.
Peggy Sagen, Editor
(Editor's Note: Ed Niciejewski, Journal staff writer, is in
New Mexico this week where men from the Nike missile battalion at Ellsworth Air Force
Base are practicing. A national firing record has been set by the local missilemen who
are on the rock and snow-covered firing range 182 miles west of El Paso, Texas. Targets
knocked out by the missiles were shot down at a distance of 16 nautical miles and an
altitude varying from 10,000 to 25,000 feet.)
The six official kills Thrusday were added to six other drones
knocked down last week by two other batteries. Firing was completed about 2:30 a.m.
No other Nike-guided missile team stationed in the United States has ever scored 12 hits in 12 shots at the Red Canyon service practice grounds.
Four batteries of the Second Battalion were commanded by Capt. Robert Van Horn and Capt. Norman Glozer, who shot last week, and Capt. Robert Hurst and Capt. Keith Springer, who fired this week to post a kill.
The Nike must come within 35 yards of the small radio controlled target plane. A hit is a distance 35 to 50 yards from the target zone and is considered sufficiently disabling t demolish the airplane. The Second Battalion in 12 shots got 11 kills
and one hit. In the annual service shoot each battery is allowed to fire three
missiles, which made a total of 12 for the crews from Rapid City.
In addition to hits, judging is also on assembly of the missile, procedure and safety during the entire routine of blasting a Nike into the sky. Each battery, a firing team for one missile, can amass a total of 3,000 points.
Last week Rapid City batteries scored 4,817 out of a possible 6,000 points. Points acquired by the present two batteries on location have not yet been computed. Lt. Col. Raymond Rounds commanded the Second Battalion firings here. Officers assisting included May. Charles Bechel, operations Officer, and Capt. Norman Lawrence, missile officer. The two teams plan to return to Rapid City Sunday.