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Emergency Rocket Communications System (ERCS)

On 29 September 1961 SAC issued a Specific Operation Requirement [SOR] for a UHF Emergency Rocket Communications System (ERCS) to provide a reliable and survivable command, control, and communications connectivity between command posts and launch control centers. The ERCS UHF transmitters carried prerecorded force execution messages that could were transmitted to all units within line of sight of a rockets's apogee flight.

The first test launch of an ERCS was on a Blue Scout Junior rocket from Vandenberg AFB, California on 31 May 1962. SAC declared ERCS operational with three Blue Scout Junior launch sites at Wisner, West Point, and Tekamah, Nebraska on 11 July 1963. This interim system was inactivated on 01 December 1967.

The objective ERCS became operational on 10 October 1967 with the installation of the system on a Minuteman II missile at Whiteman AFB, Missouri. ERCS vastly improved SAC's ability to transmit command and control messages to its forces. These missiles and the ERCS system were inactivated in the early 1990s.

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