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USAF "Silk Purse" Patches

Started by Teamski , Jul 18 2008 12:18 PM

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#1 Teamski

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 12:18 PM

I was able to grab some USAF "Silk Purse" patches while stationed over in the UK. I had no idea what "Silk Purse" was at the time (1994). It looks like the program ceased to exist in 1992 or so with the mission eventually going to the US Navy TACAMO E-6's. Here is an exerpt from elsewhere (http://www.freqofnat...com/nigel13.txt) that details what Silk Purse was:

STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND 'ABNCP' USAF AIRBORNE NATIONAL COMMAND POST SILK
PURSE-AIRCRAFT TYPE EC-135/H AS PART OF THE USAF COMMITMENT TO NATO IN
THE EUROPEAN THEATRE, USAFE HAVE STATIONED AT RAF MILDENHALL, FOUR TDY
AIRBORNE COMMAND POST AIRCRAFT. THE PRIME FUNCTION OF THE ABNCP IS TO
PROVIDE VITAL COMMUNICATIONS LINKS WITH SURVIVING SAC WEAPON AND RADIO
INSTALLATIONS SHOULD THE BOMB DROP, THEY ALSO HAVE A SECONDARY TASK
WHICH WILL BE OUTLINED LATER. EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR,
SOMEWHERE AROUND THE FREE WORLD, AT LEAST ONE COMMAND POST FLIGHT WILL
BE IN THE AIR, CHECKING COMMUNICATIONS LINKS WITH GROUND STATIONS AND
MIL-SATS. THE SECONDARY TASK OF THE COMMAND POST, IS THAT SHOULD THE
NEED EVER ARISE, THEN THESE AIRCRAFT HAVE THE AUTHORITY AND TECHNICAL
CAPABILITY TO INITIATE A RETALIATORY NUCLEAR STRIKE USING GROUND BASED
MINUTEMAN 2 NUCLEAR WEAPONS. FOR THIS REASON A MISSION-BIRD FLIGHT WILL
CARRY A FULL BATTLE CREW AND AN ONBOARD SAC GENERAL, THIS IS AS WELL AS
THE REGULAR SAC FLIGHT CREW, WHO JUST FLY THE BIRD AND OPERATE THE
IN-FLIGHT REFUELLING SYSTEM. THE PRIMARY FLIGHT PATH OF THE MILDENHALL
BASED AIRCRAFT IS DOWN TO SOUTHERN ENGLAND FOR AIR TO AIR TRAINING IN
ARA-12, OR UP TO SCOTLAND TO PERFORM THE SAME TASK. OR TO SWAP WITH
ANOTHER 'ABNCP' AIRCRAFT AT LAJES-FIELD IN THE AZORES. THEY ALSO MAKE
PERIODIC FLIGHTS TO ROTA IN SPAIN, TO GET THE AIRCRAFT WASHED.


Interesting. Anyways, the Silk Purse aircraft had crew members from all of the armed forces, thus the different patches. I'm missing the US Army one, unfortunately. The 10th ACCS flew the aircraft.

-Ski

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Edited by Teamski, 18 July 2008 - 12:19 PM.


#2 TLHorstead

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 11:08 PM

I was able to grab some USAF "Silk Purse" patches while stationed over in the UK. I had no idea what "Silk Purse" was at the time (1994). It looks like the program ceased to exist in 1992 or so with the mission eventually going to the US Navy TACAMO E-6's. Here is an exerpt from elsewhere (http://www.freqofnat...com/nigel13.txt) that details what Silk Purse was:


Interesting. Anyways, the Silk Purse aircraft had crew members from all of the armed forces, thus the different patches. I'm missing the US Army one, unfortunately. The 10th ACCS flew the aircraft.

-Ski


Ski,

"Silk Purse" Control Group was a JCS operation assigned to EURCOM (USAFE's 7120th ACCS Later: 10th ACCS at Chatteroux AS France [with EC-54's & C-118's] and converted to EC-135H upon reassignment to RAF Mildenhall under FRELOC in 1965), and was mirrored by PACCOM's "Blue Eagle" Control Group (PACAF's 6486th ACCS) that was based a Hickam. These are Theater Commands and yes they were tasked along the lines of the Strategic Air Command "Cover ALL" System (commonly referred to as "Looking Glass") "Silk Purse, Blue Eagle & Scope Light Control Groups" (described below) had theater control of nuclear weapons for their "CinC's" but that control did not extend to "SAC Assets" and with the Langley based "Scope Light Control Group" assigned to Cinc-Lant operated by TAC' 4500th Air Base Wing and later 1st TFW's 6th ACCS along with the 4 Navy TACAMO squadrons primary mission as communications to the SSBM forces (FBM's) via Long Wire ARC-96 VLF Radio. We also had VLF on the Looking Glass aircraft. 1001st (Later: 1st ) ACCS (1001st Air Base Wing) was the JCS Airborne Command Post operation based at Andrews with EC-135J' s until 1975 when the E-4 apperared on the scene J's went to replace the EC-135P' s models at Hickam and the P's went to setup the 6th ACCS at Langley under CinC-LANT. These Operations unlike the SAC Looking Glass operations the Battle Staff's are Joint Services. Glass, however was a strickly SAC operation until we lost the 1st Aerospace Comm Group & the 30th Comm Sq (Command) to AFCS. The "Glass" was the only ABNCP required to maintain 24 Hour around the clock airborne operation. Every 8 hours maintenance had a Primary aircraft (Cocked, Codes Loaded in the Safe), Spare Aircraft (Cocking and would become primary 8 hours later), and if possible Spare-Spare preflighted and ready. Prior to 1970 (April 1) the Glass was assigned to the 38th STRATEGIC RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON (Aug 66 - 31 Mar 70) and the 34th Air Refueling Squadron (1961 - Aug 1966), with backup aircraft at Barksdale (2nd AF HQ) 913th AREFS, March (15th AF HQ) 22nd AREFS, Westover (8th AF HQ) 99th AREFS, the Radio Relay & Missile "ALCS" support of the 906th AREFS at Minot, and 301st AREFS at Lockbourne. After reorganization of the PACCS oerations in 1970, the Numbered Air Force HQ lost the PACCS Missions the 1st ACCS (Nightwatch) organizanded 1969 at Andrews and that operation relocated with the E-4 to the 55th SRW at Offutt in 1975, unlike the Glass Operation Nightwatch's Battle Staff was JCS assignment. 2nd ACCS formed at Offutt, 3rd ACCS at Grissiom (This short lived unit, That deactivated in 1973 however the EC mission Radio Relay mission remained ith the 70th AREFS), the 4th ACCS at Ellsworth and all SAC Battle Staff's were assigned to the respective Airborne Command & Control Squadrons, Lockbourne & Minot lost the assigned PACCS mission but Minot still provided fwd support for the ALCS aircraft sitting ALERT at Minot - TDY from Ellsworth. As far as I know there were never a 5th ACCS organized, 6th ACCS at Langley organized when Hickam released the P's, they burned up P model and it was replaced with a H from Mildenhall. Scope Light 's battle staff was a JCS assignment., 7th ACCS was the EC-130 Tactical Airborne Command Post out of Udorn, Thailand, I believe MACV provided the Battle Staff, 8th Tactical Deployment Control Squadron assumed the old 19th AF's deployment control mission based at Langley and Seymour - Johnson later became the 8th ACCS and assigned to Tinker's 552nd AWCW (TAC Battle Staff). 9th ACCS was based at Hickam with the P's then the J's, again a JCS Battle Staff. 10th ACCS was based at Mildenhall with the H's,again a JCS Battle Staff in 1968 or 69 while they were the 7120th England a week of very hot temperatures. Mildenhall's runway buckled slightly and the Purse spent a week on our ramp at Upper Heyford (Det 1, 98th SW) We gave them some support however access to backshops was not due to the classified KC-135R/RC-135C/D missions. In 1982 3rd ACCS reincarnated as a Space comm unit attached to the 552nd, I was back in the 55th at that time and transfered C-135E 60-376 to them, The crew was telling me (I had the transfer documents the crew had to sign for the airplane) how they were a brand new squadron and this was their 1st Airplane, I'm smiling having flown a mission or two at Grissom. Finally the Bastard operation, Combat Lightning, This was a package of 7 modified KC-135A's that flew a radio relay orbit in the Gulf of Tonkin during Viet Nam, we had no Command Post suite, we did carry the standard Glass Communications Suite X 4 without the ARC 96 Long Wire and I don't remember if we had provisions for the wire or not.

Edited by TLHorstead, 18 July 2008 - 11:11 PM.


#3 Teamski

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 12:03 AM

:o Wow! Thanks for the ton of information. I didn't realize that Silk Purse had such a deep and complicated history. How little I knew! Again, many thanks for sharing your past. By the way, did you keep any of your patches? The 7th ACCS was still flying their EC-130's when I got the smaller patch off of one of the aircrew quite a few years ago.

-Ski

p.s. The team patches are associated with the 1st ACCS that operates the Boeing E-4 Airborne Command Post.

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#4 Teamski

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 12:12 AM

While we're on the subject, here are the 2 US Navy squadrons associated with TACAMO, VQ-3 and VQ-4. VQ-3 had just converted to E-6's at Travis while I was stationed there in the early 90's. Don't ask how I got a patch off of them at the time because I don't have a clue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TACAMO

-Ski

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#5 BEAST

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 03:40 AM

Very interesting posts! Here is one that is on a BDU shirt. I liked the way the weave of the patch looks, although it may not come through in this scan. It just appears different when compared to some of the other subdued USAF unit insignia that I have from the same time period.

1ST_ACCS_RESIZED.jpg


Edited by BEAST, 20 July 2008 - 03:41 AM.


#6 Teamski

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 05:52 PM

Thanks for sharing the photo, BEAST. Did the jacket belong to a maintainer, scheduler or a flyer?

-Ski

#7 Proud Kraut

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 10:41 AM

I had these patches in a box for years and never new if they were "official" military. Some more variations and the BRAVO team.
If somebody is interested in, let me know...

Lars

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#8 Teamski

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 01:08 PM

PM sent!

-Ski

#9 BEAST

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for sharing the photo, BEAST. Did the jacket belong to a maintainer, scheduler or a flyer?

-Ski


Ski,
I can't find my leadership guide with all of the AFSC skill badges, so I am not sure which one this is.

AFSC.jpg



#10 sgm

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:28 AM

The qualification badge is for Information Management.

#11 MustangNate98

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:13 PM

I have only a little to add to the discussion - My old man was with Silk Purse from 83-87, and was in the back with the nuke codes and the hotline to the president, on Charlie Team.  He also designed the Charlie Team logo - as you can see "Charlie" from starkist tuna.  Its funny to see the patch was upgraded after he left - Charlie now has a fishing hook.

 

PS - This website is awesome I might add.2013-07-02 00.03.31.jpg



#12 Patchcollector

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:29 PM

Hi Nate,nice patches!PM sent.



#13 vintageproductions

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:20 PM

I have only a little to add to the discussion - My old man was with Silk Purse from 83-87, and was in the back with the nuke codes and the hotline to the president, on Charlie Team.  He also designed the Charlie Team logo - as you can see "Charlie" from starkist tuna.  Its funny to see the patch was upgraded after he left - Charlie now has a fishing hook.

 

PS - This website is awesome I might add.attachicon.gif2013-07-02 00.03.31.jpg

 

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#14 Teamski

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:28 AM

 

RULE 10.1 - Posting Requirement

Each member must have at least 50 SUBSTANTIVE posts before the system will allow the member to post an ad in the FOR SALE, TRADE, and WANTED sections (no one or two word posts such as "That's great," etc.). The granting of use permissions is automatically done by the system. So, as soon as the 50th post is made, permission will be granted and the member may post his / her ads. Posts that appear to have been done soley to boost the post count as fast as possible will not be counted.

This posting rule does not apply to buying or replying to ads. All members in good standing, regardless of the number of posts, can respond to ads and purchase items via these ads.

 

 

I'm confused......  I didn't think he was trying to sell the patches.....

 

-Ski



#15 vintageproductions

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:54 AM

His last post has been edited.



#16 Teamski

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:12 AM

His last post has been edited.

 

 

Ohhh.....Ok.

 

-Ski




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