Robert "Bob" Raichle was interviewed on September 14, 2015 by Leslie McCartney in the offices of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) in Anchorage, Alaska. In this first part of a two part interview, Bob talks about his background, entering the military and getting assigned to the Nike Missile Sites, working at Site Love near Fairbanks, Alaska, and his duties and responsibilities as Battery Commander. He also walks through how a missile firing might go, talks about being evaluated, and how the site was helpful during the 1967 Fairbanks Flood.
Digital Asset Information
Project: Cold War in Alaska
Date of Interview: Sep 14, 2015
Narrator(s): Robert "Bob" Raichle
Interviewer(s): Leslie McCartney
Transcriber: Joan O'Leary
After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.
Personal background and education
Entering the military
Arriving in Alaska and at Site Love near Fairbanks
First day on the job
Rules of engagement for launching missiles and being in hot status
Significance of working with nuclear warheads
Interaction with Soviet bomber airplanes
Site evaluation and training
Checking and maintaining equipment
Average day on the job
Role as battery commander and learning leadership to motivate the men
Practice missile firings
Evaluation of the battery and the operation, and his responsibilities
Nuclear warheads arriving in Fairbanks
Wife and family life off of base
Dealing with stress
Success of the batteries and interacting with each other
Change in job duties, and leading a team of men
End of military career
Description of a typical engagement of Nike missile
Intercontinental ballistic missile
How guided missile system functions
Bond amongst teammates
Effect of weather on the equipment
Effect of 1967 Fairbanks Flood
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After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Today's Monday, September 14, 2015. I'm Leslie McCartney here with Bob Raichle. Thanks so much, Bob, for agreeing to come in.
BOB RAICHLE: Good afternoon, thank you.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Good afternoon. We're here in Anchorage at the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Committee Board Room. They were kind enough to give us the room, and Bob has kindly said that he has the afternoon to talk to us. So thank you once again.
Let’s just start with a little bit of background biographical information of where you were born and where you grew up and how your career started.
BOB RAICHLE: Okay, I was born and raised on the East Coast right outside New York City. Westfield, New Jersey was the name of the town. It was, as most towns are back there, a commuter town. My father worked in the city and we lived half an hour, forty-five minutes from the city itself.
Went to high school there. Went to college in the Midwest at Purdue University. And this was to study engineering, but then decided to study business because I had a greater interest in -- in business than engineering.
Graduated from Purdue in 1965. While there, was also in the Army ROTC Program. So the day I graduated, I also was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army.
From there, was unsure what I wanted to do or when I could do it because I knew I had an army obligation. Had a year basically to kill, so I went to graduate school for a year, worked part time for a year and then I --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Sorry, Bob, what school did you say? BOB RAICHLE: Purdue University.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah, and so the year that you had, you said you went to reg school? BOB RAICHLE: Grad school. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Grad school. Sorry, my mistake. Grad school, okay.
BOB RAICHLE: And then, I finally got my orders and I was assigned to the Air Defense School in Fort Lewis, Texas. Wasn’t really sure how the selection process worked, but that sounded fine to me because they were dealing with these surface-to-air missiles and really sounded kind of interesting to me.
So in the spring of 1966, I went to Fort Lewis, Texas, which was the Army Air Defense School. And in a three-month officer program got my final certification I guess it was to go to a Nike Missile Site.
At the time, I was trying very hard to be number one in the class because I knew I would have my choice of locations. I was thinking San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, maybe. But unfortunately, in the final exam I missed a question so I ended up number two.
Number one went to Baltimore as it turned out, Washington, DC. And I had a choice of Korea or Alaska or Greenland.
So Alaska sounded the least threatening of those three, so I said Alaska is where I will go. And I got my orders about a week later assigning me to Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
I looked on the map and just off the North Slope near Point Barrow was Wainwright, Alaska and I thought, oh, my goodness, what have I done. But then somebody pointed out that I was looking at Fairbanks and not Wainwright, Alaska.
So that was basically my -- my early background through college. Got a bachelor’s degree from Purdue, a combination of engineering and business, and I was a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Army looking at that brief career.
About a two year commitment is what I had for that unless I wanted to go longer. So then I was off to Alaska at that point.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And you were already married at this point?
BOB RAICHLE: At this point, I was not married. I was engaged as I recall, but not married. We wanted to see how the military experience was going to go because it was unclear whether I would stay in Alaska or maybe go to, you know, even to the war area like Vietnam.
So we were going to leave that kind of open until we knew exactly what was going to happen.
So I went up to Alaska and arrived over the Fourth of July weekend. I was totally amazed that the sun never set. So I had to pull down the dark shades in my -- my little room in Fairbanks waiting to be assigned to one of the -- the Nike batteries.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So at this point you still didn’t know which site you were going to be going to?
BOB RAICHLE: At this point, I did not know. And I -- again I did not know the criteria for which site other than somebody was leaving and I was their replacement. Which as it turned out was the case.
There was a -- one of the lieutenants was leaving for an Echo battery, Site Love, which was the fifth and the last site constructed of the Fairbanks Nike sites. And so I was assigned there.
The battery commander at the time was a major, which was unusual because it usually was a captain that was the battery commander. But he was to be reassigned as well shortly so I would have a new battery commander.
I was hoping for one of the closer batteries, but as it turned out the drive up to Site Love Echo Battery from Fairbanks was not the greatest, but it wasn’t too -- too bad. That was in the summertime. Wintertime was yet to come, so.
So that pretty much takes us up to my arrival on the site. How do you want to go from there?
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So what was your first impressions when you arrived? You -- you talked about the daylight. What about mosquitoes or -- ?
BOB RAICHLE: Really had no impressions other than it was light, seemed to be light all the time. It was fairly warm, which surprised me. Of course, it was in the middle of the summer.
Beautiful, beautiful area. Beautiful drive up to the site. So I was glad to be there rather than in Korea or in Greenland or in Vietnam as it turned out, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Before you got here did you know of any of the other people that would be there?
BOB RAICHLE: I did not, no. I had no idea. I knew that there were Nike sites around the continental United States, some 300 of them.
I thought maybe I could get into one of those, but as it turned out their needs were, you know, not as -- as hard as the needs up in Alaska, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So take us through the first day. What was the first day like going down on the job?
BOB RAICHLE: Well, the first day was I -- I had a sponsor who was the fellow that was leaving. And he basically took me around on the first day to get me my quarters on -- on Fort Wainwright. Bachelors officers’ quarters, which was a small room. Shared a bathroom with the next room, which was fine. I didn’t need much.
Then we went up to the missile site and got up there and he toured me around as much as he could.
I believe my security clearance was still pending, so he couldn’t take me to all the areas or show me or tell me everything. But that came about a week later, so we were all set in that regard.
He showed me around and it was pretty much what I had seen in Fort Bliss, expected in Fort Bliss. And I was really surprised that it was pretty well self-contained.
Typically, about a hundred to a hundred and twenty men were there. It had everything from a kitchen, mess hall, had a recreation room, it had a small PX which was a closet basically. Had a movie room and movies were very enjoyed -- very much enjoyed up there.
And it was relatively close to Fairbanks, so there was that -- that outlet as well for fun -- fun and games.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: We'll get on to that a little bit later. What were your -- what were your roles and duties then that you were going to be assigned? Your job description type of thing?
BOB RAICHLE: Right. My -- my initial role was launching platoon leader, which meant I had to deal with the missiles. But very quickly in the first week for some reason, which I never found out why, I was re-assigned to be the fire control platoon leader which meant dealing with all the radars and actually sitting at the launch console and pushing the button after I was trained and qualified to do that.
I think the reason was they -- the site was losing a number of its officers who were qualified to be battery control officers as they called that position. The individual who would run the, you know, the drills and run the actual engagement culminating in the firing of the missile.
So they -- they trained me quite extensively for about the next week. I had my security clearance arrived so I was ready to go with that.
And put me through all the -- the, you know, all the testing and training that they could, and in about ten days into my tenure up there I was qualified and they could leave, you know.
They could go home and spend the evening with their family or rotate out of there. That was the situation.
It was very important that they have qualified battery control officers on site because obviously that was the role of the missile site so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah. So were there two of you on all the time? Two commanders on or is it just one?
BOB RAICHLE: Typically, during the off times at nights and weekends and holidays there was one officer.
During a normal weekday, a week workday, there were a number of officers up there either running the battery or getting -- you know, doing the checks whatever had to be done.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And did it make a difference if you were on hot status and not on hot status? BOB RAICHLE: It did. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Okay.
BOB RAICHLE: Well, regardless, there had to be an officer on site. And if you were in hot status that was just a way of having all the equipment primed and ready to go.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And then I have read in a few places where, you know, if you were to launch, there had to be two people who had combinations of a different -- BOB RAICHLE: Correct.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Could you talk about that a little bit.
BOB RAICHLE: That was part of the rules of engagement that in a broad sense -- Since we were dealing with nuclear weapons, there was something called two-man control, which meant for us in the -- in the controlling area that if we were given the authorization to launch nuclear weapons, typically against the Soviet incoming planes which was why we were there, there was a two-man control safe.
I had the combination to one side and another officer or warrant officer or senior NCO had the combination to the other side.
We could not know each other’s combinations because that would violate the two-man control process.
But we would -- once received the authorization to release nuclear weapons we would open the safes. Inside would be a authenticator, which they change every so often. Wuite frequently, in fact.
And we would break them open and authenticate back to our command post, which was at Murphy Dome, what we were saying and they would confirm that that was in fact correct and so we were ready to go.
And from there, we would go through our -- getting our equipment ready, doing the target acquisition, doing the target tracking.
And once everything was acquired and the missile was up and ready to go, we would be ready to push the button if we needed to.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Who gives the authorization then to push the button? You just said a little bit earlier when orders came down. Who-- who would give those orders?
BOB RAICHLE: The entire battle as it would turn out to be was managed by locally the ADCAP, the Army Air Defense Control Center, which was at Murphy Dome.
A combination of Army and Air Force personnel who got their orders from NORAD. Alaska NORAD, which is in Anchorage, who got their orders from US NORAD, which was in Colorado on Cheyenne Mountain, who got their orders from the President of the United States.
So it was quite a chain of command, but once the orders were given it went pretty quickly. They were relayed very quickly.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And did this happen often?
BOB RAICHLE: I'm trying to remember if we ever had an actual alert. I don’t believe we did.
We went through the exercise many, many times. Complete with opening the safes and simulating opening the authenticators and so forth.
Of course, we had all the missiles out and the radar was up and running and so forth. So quite extensive training all the time.
And when we were hot battery, which means we had to be able to come to a status of firing right away in five minutes, everything was up and running. Tuned up and checked hourly to make sure everything was running okay.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And how long did you stay on hot status? Was it about a week?
BOB RAICHLE: About a week. Typically, a week. We had five batteries. One was hot. One was 60 minute, as I recall.
One was 24 hour and the other two typically released for -- for maintenance, so they were unable to respond at all.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And then it just rotated throughout -- BOB RAICHLE: Correct. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: -- the different batteries? BOB RAICHLE: Correct.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. Was there any rolling order that was the same all the time or was it just random or -- ?
BOB RAICHLE: It would depend on who needed what kind of maintenance. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Okay.
BOB RAICHLE: So you could and we, in fact, were on hot status for two or three weeks straight because the other batteries were literally torn apart. The electronics were on the floor being reassembled so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah. You're a young man working with nuclear weapons, how -- how did that affect you?
BOB RAICHLE: At that time, not at all. I was a 23 year-old Second Lieutenant, recent college graduate, recent commissioned officer.
I knew that, you know, I had some pretty powerful weapons at my command. That pretty much on my own I would be called upon to release those nuclear weapons to basically blunt or stop a Soviet air attack.
I knew the -- the result of that attack would be devastating to Alaska and to the United States so I was, you know, ready and able to -- to complete the mission.
And it really never occurred to me how it impacted me or my family. I certainly did not want that to happen, but, you know, I didn’t sweat it really.
One thing about air defense and Nike in particular and our unit in particular -- can’t talk to the other units -- was we were very well trained, very well versed in what we were doing.
So it was -- it was almost automatic, you know, I don’t think I would have thought twice about pushing the button to launch a missile with a nuclear warhead on it because I knew that's what I was there for and that was the purpose of the missile so --
And the consequences of not doing that were worse than the consequences of doing it.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: What would the consequences be if you didn’t? You'd lose your job.
BOB RAICHLE: Well, that’s -- that's the best case. I think the worst case scenario if I -- you know, if I hadn’t launch a missile against incoming bombers and the bombers got through, you know, I would probably be killed.
I -- I do know having researched some -- some of the old Russian archives, that our target, as well as the other targets in Alaska, were targeted with roughly 15 to 20 megatons payloads per -- per site which, of course, would've blown us completely out of the water.
So knowing that now, I'm glad -- I'm glad we were so efficient in what we did and really had no reluctance to do what we had to do.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So how many times did the bombers come over that you guys detected?
BOB RAICHLE: Not once. I think they knew that we were there, so they were afraid of us. Hopefully, that's the way it worked out. No.
Nothing really came in mass, but we were probed constantly by Soviet -- if not bombers by Soviet intelligence planes who would try out our various electronic countermeasures, which are ways to get through all the jamming that they would put out.
All kinds of different techniques of doing that. And they -- they would test us from time to time. Sometimes they'd just fly along the Alaskan coast testing our response.
Sometimes they'd come straight in until they saw that they were being tracked and they'd turn around and get out of there very quickly.
And it was only us. The Air Force was putting planes in the air to identify and detect them, as well. So there were a lot of things going on.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So they're just -- just enough to -- to make you guys try out your equipment so that they could see -- BOB RAICHLE: Oh, absolutely. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: -- what it was that you had?
BOB RAICHLE: Yeah. And I actually think we -- we feared and I feel too feared to a certain extent the various evaluations that we would get at a moment’s notice.
They had something called an ORE, an Operational Readiness Evaluation. And that’s when you're on hot status, they could walk in any time of day or night during that week you're on hot status and call you up to battle stations basically, which was your readiness condition.
And if you flunked one of those things, if you failed to, you know, stay up and ready to shoot a missile, it wasn’t very much fun for the battery commander or the battery control officer or for the unit, because there were some disciplinary actions that could be -- typically were taken so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: How was your battery unit? When we were talking off camera before, you were saying that your battery had got a lot of very good evaluations?
BOB RAICHLE: Right. And it all came down to the quality of the people and the quality of the training. And we had both good people and we had excellent training. And we trained and trained and trained consistently to the point where it became so automatic that it WAS automatic. So --
And we trained for all kinds of different scenarios, all kinds of different targets, all kinds of different possible invasion and invasion routes.
We had exercises with the Air Force that we'd run where they'd try to come in and sneak through.
There was a nightly Pan American flight that flew into Fairbanks about one o’clock in the morning, so we made sure that we tracked that as it came down.
So we were -- we were very well trained and because of that did very, very well in the evaluations. Never had any problems at all unless a piece of equipment just went down that we could not foresee.
And that that way we were not -- we were responsible for that, but it was out of our control at that point.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. I suppose that you would be training all the time. I mean if there's -- if not, you would be very bored. There wouldn’t be much to do, so I could see the training would be constant.
BOB RAICHLE: Yeah, typically the crews -- the -- the launching crews and the radar crews were on either eight hour or twelve hour shifts. And because they lived there, you know, work was good for them. They wanted to work.
And that helped with the constant training and the constant peaking and tweaking of the equipment. Making sure that we did all our checks on time.
It was, you know, at that time state of the art equipment. Today very, very old, but it still had to be checked and powered up and so forth, because if something were going to happen you wanted it to have it -- have it to happen at the check time as opposed to during the exercise time, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So did you say a little back when you're on hot status you would check the equipment every two hours? BOB RAICHLE: Every one or two hours, correct.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And something could go wrong within one or two hours? BOB RAICHLE: Absolutely. It could go wrong any time.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: These are electronic components then that could go wrong? BOB RAICHLE: Uh-huh. Sure. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Okay.
BOB RAICHLE: Sure. Kind of like a television picture tube going out at some point. You know, we never knew how old the equipment was or how long it had been up and down and up and down and on and off, so --
And they were always fiddling with it one way or another trying to improve it or trying to fix it.
We had two warrant officers in the fire control area who were experts on the equipment, and they were the ones that really kept it going because they'd been around for 20, 30 years and so they knew what to -- what to look for
And I learned quite a bit from them just in terms of, you know, the equipment itself, and also in terms of, you know, how they dealt with people and dealt with leadership issues, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. So take us through an average day then.
BOB RAICHLE: Well, an average day for me would be arriving at the site, probably around seven o’clock in the morning after driving up from Fairbanks.
Going through my daily duties. I -- being the junior officer, I had all the duties that most officers would have and be spread around.
I'd probably have 40 or 50 different titles. Security officer and movie officer and garbage officer and mess officer and on and on and on and on. And that kept me busy during the day, but, you know, different priorities would happen at different times.
A large part of the day, probably at least a third to a half of the day, was spent in training. If not physically at the equipment, you know, dealing with the troops and putting in various scenarios for training and what if and if this happens, what do you do? And what if that happens, what do you do?
Sometimes we were being trained by outside sources. You know, the Army would come in and hook up a trainer to our equipment and train us.
Sometimes, like I say, the Air Force would run missions.
Sometimes we'd find targets to track on our own. There was a U2 spy flight that left Eielson Air Force Base. We used to like to track until we were told not to do that, in no uncertain terms, again.
We would always deny we were doing it and what are you talking about, Colonel, but --
So there was always an opportunity to train and make ourselves better. And I think the results of that showed during our -- our -- both our announced and our unannounced evaluations.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So you said that there was an eight hour shift and the twelve hour shift. So how many people would be on working on a shift per time?
BOB RAICHLE: In both areas, the launch area, the control area, probably thirty people. Fifteen and fifteen.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And was it the same group all the time so you knew how to work together or -- ? BOB RAICHLE: Pretty much. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Okay.
BOB RAICHLE: Right. We had our -- our -- our basic crews. You know, you stayed on a crew because -- You got to see who would work together well and teamwork was a big part of it.
And the more experienced operators were on during those times when we were more liable to have an evaluation obviously. And the less experienced would be on on other times, but under the tutelage of, you know, the senior operators who were training them all the time so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So how was the teamwork? You said it relied on -- BOB RAICHLE: Very good. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: It was?
BOB RAICHLE: Very good. And I think that's what set us apart from the other batteries. And certainly in the -- in the Fairbanks defense and also maybe around the country.
Because we worked together all the time and because our attitude was, you know, let’s try to be the best we can be. And because we knew that we were almost to a point where we were hand selected for various positions at the battery.
We all recognized that and therefore wanted to hold up our end which was, you know, being the best we could be, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And so was there a lot of new people coming in like a revolving door center or because you said when you got there, people were leaving. BOB RAICHLE: Right.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So was that just a big chunk that was coming through for the next two years?
BOB RAICHLE: That is -- as I recall, we had maybe two or three at a time. And the best case was maybe one or two at a time, because then you could train the new person pretty quickly and get them up to speed very quickly.
We had, you know, the other experienced people already there who could, you know, backup the new trainee, so --
Officer-wise, because of the Vietnam situation, we were -- we had less officers than normally we would have. About half the number.
So that meant that we had to pull more duty and longer duty and -- and more training, in fact.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. So as battery commander, did you have people that you supervised or oversaw?
BOB RAICHLE: I did. Well, as battery commander, I was responsible for the entire battery, both areas launch and control area.
Within both areas, I had hopefully another officer who would, you know, have reporting to him senior non-commissioned officers, sergeants and what have you. And then down through the ranks to the various operators.
I also had a -- a number two guy in the -- in the -- in the battery. He probably was really number one, but that was my sergeant major. A very senior enlisted man who basically controlled the battery and took care of issues and problems and what have you, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. And he'd been there quite a while?
BOB RAICHLE: He had been there about a year and a half, yes. And he rotated out about a year into my experience there.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah. It seems like the rotations were about every two to three years.
BOB RAICHLE: Right, exactly. And it depended whether you had dependents up there or not. I think it was a two and a half year tour if you had dependents living on post. If not, it was a one and a half year tour.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. So that's a lot of responsibility for a 23 year-old?
BOB RAICHLE: It was at the time and but, you know, being a -- a young 23 year-old I never recognized how much responsibility it was until later in life when I said, wow, did I really have that much responsibility.
But, you know, I really learned a lot looking back on that experience as a young 23 year-old. I learned about teamwork, how to motivate people in a team, how to get the most from them in a team, what works and doesn’t work.
And I saw some things that didn’t work very clearly. Not so much against me, but against other people who try to really pound them into the ground.
So I -- a lot of leadership lessons came from that experience from the various people I dealt with. The warrant officers, the non-commissioned officers, even the troops themselves, you know.
You could see what would work and what would motivate it, and what didn’t work and was not motivating to them.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So give us an example of something that did work, that did motivate.
BOB RAICHLE: Well, just, you know, having the success as a team was a big motivator.
If we got a -- a -- an unannounced evaluation at three o’clock in the morning and, you know, being able to go in in a period of an hour basically go through all the steps very deliberately, launch a missile and complete the mission that gave -- gave you quite a high.
And we would celebrate as a team after we were reviewed and, you know, the evaluation team left.
They usually were very supportive in our, you know, in our success and wanted to let you know that we had done a good job.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So they let you know immediately? It's not like --
BOB RAICHLE: Absolutely. Well, you pretty much know immediately if something breaks or it doesn’t work, but we had an immediate debriefing after the -- after the evaluation and knew whether or not we were in trouble or whether we were, you know, good again for the next time, so --
And then every year they had annual service practice where we actually went to another battery, Battery B, and launched -- actually launched a missile.
And in my case, I got the opportunity one year to fire two missiles. One was surface to air and one was a surface to surface missile. And that was pretty exciting, as well.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Do you actually hit -- you actually have a target then that you have to hit? BOB RAICHLE: Yes, we did.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And they weren’t nuclear at that time? BOB RAICHLE: No, no. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Were they? BOB RAICHLE: They were high explosive.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So talk about that for a little bit then. That must've been really exciting?
BOB RAICHLE: It was. It was. You know, you pack everybody in a bunch of trucks and you drive over to the other site.
And the exercise, basically, you have to put together a missile, check it out and make sure it's working. And this is over a period of two or three days.
And then you actually run an exercise where they run in a target against you. You acquire the target, you track the target, fire the missile and are evaluated how close you came to that, obviously.
If it was blown out of the sky, you win. If not, there was a problem.
And the -- and the evaluation of the other aspects of putting the missile together and all the procedures, of course, was part of that.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: What's used as the target? That might seem like a silly question, but what is used as the target?
BOB RAICHLE: Towards the end, towards the middle of my tour, they used an electronic target which showed us exactly if a real target was coming in. But they had an electronic device they could hook up to the system and --
But you actually fired a real missile at the target and based on all the electronics you could tell whether or not you hit the target.
In terms of the surface to surface mission, where you actually shoot from us to the surface down range, they had a pile of rocks about eighty miles down range.
And I'm told that our warhead exploded about ten feet from that pile of rocks. So, you know, with a nuclear warhead that would've been close enough.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: That’s right. And so they used these -- come in for evaluation and assessments, they would just like literally turn up at three in the morning?
BOB RAICHLE: Yes, they would or, you know -- They typically wouldn’t show up, you know, at ten o’clock just after the coffee break. They try to make it as stressful and as challenging as they could.
Every now and then they fly in in a helicopter, but that was rare. They usually had to drive up to the site.
And after a couple of three o’clock exercises, we -- we determined that they drove up through the small town of Fox.
And we had our -- our road grader, the fellow that ran the road grader who lived in Fox, so we bribed him and said, "If you see them coming, give us a call."
And that seemed to work pretty well, because for the next few evaluations they would arrive and for some reason we would be all sitting at the equipment ready to go.
They could never figure that out. I think we finally told them at the end that was -- we had a spy, you know, looking for them, so --
But obviously, when you have that much advance warning, that was about half an hour advance warning, you could do pretty well.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: That’s right. BOB RAICHLE: Take care of any problems that may exist.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah. So did you work on the actual missiles themselves too or you were just -- ? BOB RAICHLE: Not really. I was directly responsible for them. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right.
BOB RAICHLE: I obviously had responsibilities in terms of their safety and what type of warheads were installed, and the actual installation and change out of warheads which happened frequently.
We would, on a regular basis, get brand new warheads in so we had to take the old ones out and put the new ones in. And very carefully account for everything.
Everything would be under, you know, armed guard, obviously, and all the way up from Fairbanks and on the way back, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So how did the nuclear warheads actually get to Fairbanks?
BOB RAICHLE: On truck, back of a truck, with armed guards. Usually, three or four armed guards. Unmarked, but in a convoy.
So unless you were really dumb, you could probably figure out what was coming out of the missile site. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah.
BOB RAICHLE: But never had any problems with it. You know, they were -- they were trucked down to the Air Force base where they were then flown out.
And sometimes we had evaluators there doing the actual changeover, sometimes we didn’t. But we always had to make sure that everything was accounted for and everything was guarded very closely.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. And were there sheets to count everything that you had -- BOB RAICHLE: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Definitely.
BOB RAICHLE: Well, there weren’t that many of them so you could easily count. You know, if you had one too many or one not enough, you were in trouble.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. Very interesting. So you had mentioned that your wife -- you did get married?
BOB RAICHLE: I got married after my -- in the middle of my first year I got married.
And then she came up and joined me that summer -- the following summer. And for the second year of my tour, we lived in the Fairbanks area and I basically commuted.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And what -- how did she find Fairbanks?
BOB RAICHLE: She came from a small town, as well. Fairbanks was a very small town at that point, maybe 10,000, 12,000. So she adjusted pretty -- pretty easily.
And she got a job at the local paper and did some advertising work for them. And really got into the swing of activities for some of the local activities, obviously some of the military activities, as well. So we both adjusted pretty well.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And did you have much contact with just regular people in Fairbanks or were you mostly with your military family?
BOB RAICHLE: It was a combination of the two. Living off base as we did, you know, we weren’t confined to just military contacts.
We had friends outside the military, as well as inside. More inside the military than outside, but on both cases.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Did you partake in any activities then in town?
BOB RAICHLE: We took part in some of the cultural activities, some of the university offered activities. You know, the local outdoor activities certainly. The dog races and the fishing and hunting and what have you.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. You mentioned that your wife had had an opportunity to do a dog mushing race.
BOB RAICHLE: She was actually in a dog mushing race and finished in the top five or six as I recall behind Zippy the clown.
No, we were -- we were avid outdoors people, so we did a lot of hiking and -- and fishing. Found some interesting ghost towns and cabins back in the -- back in the wilds.
I actually did quite a bit of gold panning down at the dredge in Fox and found quite a bit of, not quite a bit, but I found, you know, some gold.
And enjoyed that very much, until I was shooed off a number of the claims by people with menacing looking weapons. But it was fun to get out and do some gold panning.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah, I was just going to say, so being the battery commander did you find it stressful at the time?
BOB RAICHLE: You know I really didn’t. You know, most of the stress I found was from all the -- all the military rules and regulations. A lot of control.
A lot of people thinking they should come up and evaluate you even though they were not required to.
I can understand all the evaluations that we were subject to and that these were appropriate, but at times it just seemed like there was too much.
And if you didn’t do well in an evaluation, so you corrected the situation and were re-evaluated, then you were criticized for over-correcting or under-correcting.
And sometimes it got tedious with all the military forbearance in that regard, so --
But we knew what we were doing and I think we proved it when we had to and then because of that I think they left us alone.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Well, that was going to -- maybe, leading into my next question and so how did you relieve any stress? But you had mentioned that you were outdoors and --
BOB RAICHLE: Yeah. And I was a 20 year-old kid so, you know, stress was really pretty foreign to me at that point.
You know, had I really understood what I was doing and what I was responsible for and how people were depending on me, I might have been more stressed out. I don’t know. But I wasn’t.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: When did that realization actually happen with you? When did you realize?
BOB RAICHLE: About twenty years after leaving I started to get back into, you know, studying Nike Sites and the mission and the equipment and the people and so forth.
And as I toured around the country on business I would visit sites that had been shut down or were being shut down. Different locations.
And just got more interested into it and that’s when I started to do some research and really learn of the importance of the mission, the importance of the teamwork to get the job done correctly, and what could have happened had we not done the job correctly, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So in a way, although you're working as a team, you were kind of working isolated because you didn’t know what the bigger picture?
BOB RAICHLE: That’s correct. We were -- we were limited to just our sector, if you will, of the Fairbanks defense.
You knew what was going on, because you could hear all the other batteries responding to the control center, but we were just responsible for a certain sector and beyond that we really had no responsibility at all.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Or probably didn’t even know, right?
BOB RAICHLE: Probably. You know, we -- You know, again not much goes on that you don’t know about because we had talked to each certainly.
But in the overall picture it was really tough to know exactly where we fit other than, you know, we were the last line of defense, so -- But we knew that.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So was there much contact between the various batteries then?
BOB RAICHLE: There was, yeah, there was. We went back and forth. We went to B Battery, like I say for our annual practice and firings.
We -- we got to meet people at the officer’s clubs from the other batteries and when we were -- just around, so --
Not real heavy friendships, but, you know, just enough to talk shop and know what was going on. And if somebody failed an evaluation, we certainly knew that very quickly.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And were the other batteries -- you said yours was the most successful. What were the rates -- the reports like on the other batteries, do you remember?
BOB RAICHLE: They were very good, too. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Okay.
BOB RAICHLE: I don’t think as successful as we were, But, I think as an overall group of five batteries, I think we did very, very well compared to -- compared to the criteria and compared to everybody else.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. Did they have like annual statistics of every Nike Site in the United States published perhaps every -- BOB RAICHLE: They did not, no. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: They didn't? No.
BOB RAICHLE: That was not something they would've publish certainly.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. Well, I meant internally published, which within -- BOB RAICHLE: Not even that. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Not even that? BOB RAICHLE: Not even that. That I'm aware. I never saw it, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. Just be interested to know where all five ranked -- BOB RAICHLE: Uh-huh. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: -- in the overall of all the Nike sites in the -- in the United States.
So did your duties change over the -- like they changed as soon as you got here? Did they change over the two years that you were stationed?
BOB RAICHLE: As new officers came in, I got rid of some of the more onerous duties I had. But I kept a lot of them, as well.
I was very, very sensitive to security, so I was -- I was the custodian of all the secure documents, and there were a lot of them.
I was very attuned to being prepared to take on whatever we had to take on as a -- as a unit, so I continued to emphasize the training to the point where people could almost do it, and in some cases probably did do it, in their sleep.
I trained new officers who came in.
I think I -- I got the reputation in the battalion from all five that, you know, I was probably the best -- and I'm bragging here, but the best battery control officer there was because every evaluation we had, I mean, we did very, very well no matter what they threw at us.
And so the training was the emphasis. Teamwork was the emphasis. Getting the mission complete was the emphasis with what we had, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. Right. These leadership qualities that you're talking about, you probably have taken these for the rest of your life and career?
BOB RAICHLE: Absolutely. I think, you know, it was an excellent leadership university, if you will, because, again, you have 100 to 125 individuals from all kinds of different economic strata all around the country.
I think in most cases most of the troops I had had worn shoes before they got in the Army, but in some cases that was not the case.
Every -- everything from a -- a black 18 year-old kid from Chicago who was my computer operator to a white 25, 26 year-old electronics technician who was my mess sergeant.
And I said to myself, that doesn’t seem right. So I switched them and put the computer operator in the kitchen and the electronics guy on the computer, and that seemed to work fine. But whenever you came up for the evaluation, I had to switch them back because they were not allowed to do that, so --
But -- and I just saw what worked and what didn’t work in a -- in a very high pressure laboratory. And I saw -- I saw battery control officers who had been trained who, you know, if the -- if the other people did not want them to succeed, they didn’t succeed.
And that's not the way it should be, that's the way it was, so -- I was -- I was, you know, proud to know that I had trained the guys correctly and that they could do the job, you know, when they wanted to.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And properly trained. Do you think that that helped? Did some people really feel a high stress and pressure load or were they trained so well that --
BOB RAICHLE: I think they were trained so well really. And the teamwork was such that, you know, one -- if one fell over dead, the one guy next to him could do both jobs and so forth, so --
And we tried to train them to be like that because we, you know, we wanted to have equal training throughout the battery. So that when one crew was off and they'd be down in Fairbanks partying, the second crew, who may not be as experienced or as expert, could come in and do an equal job.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. So you were here for two years then? BOB RAICHLE: Two years.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: You just decided that you didn’t want to stay for a longer term or -- ?
BOB RAICHLE: Well, I was coming up for my next assignment where I had to stay in the Army, and in pursuing that alternative I decided that I did not want to stay in the Army for a number of reasons.
It looked like an inviting possible career, but I -- I looked at the outside, you know, non-Army career itself, and that looked a little bit better to me. So I decided to get out at that point.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So we can slip into that if you want or we can keep talking about your experiences in the battery. Which way did you want to veer right now?
BOB RAICHLE: Let’s take a break, so I can get some more water. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Let's take a break. I will do that. Okay, thanks. BOB RAICHLE: Okay.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So we're back. Thanks, Bob. Can you walk me through what a typical engagement was? The steps involved and just what came into being a typical engagement.
BOB RAICHLE: Okay, well, our -- our radars could see out about a hundred miles. So we could pick up a lot of -- a lot of stuff coming directly from, you know, the Soviet air space fairly easily.
These were called acquisition radars and they intentionally looked out pretty far.
Once they got within the range of our tracking radars, again a different radar, the acquisition operator would designate a target electronically by putting a little X on it. And basically send it over electronically to the tracking radar operator who would then pick it up fairly easily, because it's already been designated electronically.
And as we would say, start tracking it and -- and lock it up as a radar lock.
As battery control officer, I'm tracking all this because I have all the various statuses -- status buttons in front of me by pieces of equipment, so I know when something's been acquired and something's been designated and something's been tracked.
At the same time, the people in the launch area are starting to push missiles into place. Getting them on launchers, moving the launchers out to prepare the missile for launch.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And is there some sort of communication going back and forth -- ? BOB RAICHLE: Yes, there is. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: -- so that you -- everybody knows exactly what everybody's doing?
BOB RAICHLE: Yes, there is. I'm talking to the launcher. I'm also talking to the other -- to the operator operations, as well.
Based on the threat coming at us -- and let’s -- let's use a flight of bombers, a flight of Soviet bombers. We were told by the control command post what type of weapon to use.
If it's a flight of bombers, we were probably going to use our largest nuclear warhead. And since we had those basically at our easy disposal, we would push that out and get that ready to launch.
And there're all kinds of checks going on in the launch area about the missile and hooking it up and making sure things are safeguarded and what have you.
So at some point, somewhere between the time the target's being tracked and the missile was ready -- and we know that because we have a missile tracking radar which would lock on to the missile and guide it to its final explosion point.
Based on the readiness of all those devices -- and I can see that because my lights go from red to green. Target track goes from red to green. Missile ready, red to green. And a few other red to greens.
And we used to call it the green light build up. So as it built up, you knew that things were moving along slightly -- nicely.
At some point, after doing all the required authentications for the right kind of missile and that was opening the safe and two man control and making sure we agreed that we had the right authenticated weapon in place, we would be called to battle stations.
And that would move us to the final -- the final point at which time I would get final permission to fire. Or if I'm not hearing anything, because maybe they bombed the ADCAP, I HAD final permission to fire.
I would wait until it got to an optimum point in the tracking and then I’d do a countdown and I'd push the fire button.
The missile would take off and go up in an arc and come down and explode right in front of the formation of bombers. And either through damage from the nuclear explosion or because of the electronic pulse it generates, put those bombers -- And, but more importantly, what they're carrying out of action.
And that all happened in a period of two or three minutes in terms of initial acquisition to launch.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So you didn’t actually hit the planes? It was a bomb going off in front of the planes?
BOB RAICHLE: In front of the plane. Over and in front. Above and in front of.
So then I would find a second target. And the acquisition operator say, I have a second target and we'd go through the whole process again, again.
Again, two or three, sometimes four minute, depending on how far out it was -- the range was, activity until I had used up all my missiles
And at that point, I had nothing to -- nothing to do, because they were all gone and hopefully the threat had been blunted now.
Typically, if I were the Soviets, the first thing I would do is take care of the Nike sites. And as I said earlier, we all learned that there was quite a bit of ordnance targeted in our sites and that would probably be something we would have to deal with as well, in terms of an inbound target.
One thing the Alaskan sites had that nobody else had, I don’t think, in the continental United States was we could -- we had the capability of taking down an incoming ICBM, as well.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And what's an ICBM?
BOB RAICHLE: Intercontinental ballistic missile. Typically, launched, in this case from the Soviet Union or even Korea these days, into the atmosphere into space and then coming in as a warhead coming down.
We had specific radar equipment with specific capabilities that could track these things. Detect and to track them.
So we actually tracked electronically some of these things and launched against them, but we had that capability with the missiles.
In this case, it would -- we would send up as far as we could in anticipation of the incoming missile and blow it up, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Did this happen often then?
BOB RAICHLE: We were trained towards the latter stage of my invovlement more often than we were with the bombers because the ICBM’s were becoming more of a threat, the bombers less of a threat.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. Huh. So quite the -- quite the coordinated --
BOB RAICHLE: Right. So that was -- that was a typical engagement. That’s what we were evaluated on for our midnight to three a.m. evaluations and our annual service practice.
It was -- it was a process. It was a methodology, which, you know, we used. Certainly, there were a bunch of people involved. You know, 20, 30, 40 people, working at all ends of the spectrum.
But once, as you say, what's your training, go through a number of them and I went through probably hundreds of them, you know, you got pretty proficient and then could carry it out pretty easily.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. I'm just going to stop the camera for a minute, Bob. If you don't mind. BOB RAICHLE: Go ahead.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Bob, we’re back. Can you just explain to me how the guided missiles actually worked? I find that fascinating.
BOB RAICHLE: Yes, I can. Well, there're basically two kinds of missiles. There's a missile you just shoot up in the air and it blows up randomly. Hopefully, in front of the target or on the target.
And there's the Nike missile, which is a guided missile. That is, through the missile tracking radar we -- we tell it where to go, how high to go, what distance to go, and when to explode.
And that is all determined by the speed and the altitude of the incoming target. The computer tells the missile what to do and matches the two up so that the Nike missile actually explodes above and in front of the incoming target so they have to fly into it.
Obviously, into the nuclear cloud if there is one. And thereby rendering the planes and the weapons useless, hopefully, at that point.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So I'm assuming the -- that the Soviets had very similar type of weapons? BOB RAICHLE: Missiles? LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah, at the time.
BOB RAICHLE: They did. And in fact, a lot of their surface air missiles, not nuclear, but surface air missiles were used very effectively in Vietnam against our forces over there. Very similar missiles. To a certain extent.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. That's interesting. I didn’t realize that they were exploding in front of -- BOB RAICHLE: Correct.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Or on top of. I always thought that they would have hit the actual target.
Was there a sense of impending doom when you were working on the sites? BOB RAICHLE: Because of what we were doing? LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah. BOB RAICHLE: Or what the outcome would be? LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
BOB RAICHLE: No. Again, we were a well-trained, very capable group of people. Intentionally.
And when you have one vision as a group of people, as a team, and everybody's working together and making sure you're completing the mission, you know, you -- you filter out all the extractions -- distractions and you just go on and do the mission.
Afterwards, you know, there's a sense euphoria or if you didn’t do as well, you know, disappointment, but once the mission is accomplished, you're -- you're glad to have it over with.
But never impending doom. Or "Gee, why are we doing this?" Or be that’s -- that's bad. We knew that we were there for a purpose and that was our purpose, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Interesting. We've briefly talked about relationships with other employees at the site, but you were saying the teamwork and the leadership is really what made your -- BOB RAICHLE: Correct.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Your battery really outstanding.
BOB RAICHLE: Yes, you know, we had, as I say, about 120 people at the site. Maybe half a dozen civilians, as well, which we work with very closely. They did communications and other things.
Plus, we had people coming up to help us with warheads and various other activities.
But on site, obviously, you're -- you and -- I was closer to the crews that I had trained and who I, you know, went into battle with, either simulated or real.
So, you know, we could almost anticipate each other’s actions and so forth and did.
And the other people -- the other crews, although I worked with them, were not as good so we were not as close.
It was really tough when a -- when a tenured member of the A-team left and was replaced with somebody else, to rebuild that confidence in each other and that sense of teamwork.
But it happened, because you just made sure that everybody did their job. And there's probably quite a bit of stress on that person knowing that he had to fit in and do -- do a good job.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah. You change one person, you change the dynamics of a team.
BOB RAICHLE: Correct. But in terms of impending doom or, you know, reluctance at our mission, I sensed nothing on the part of the people that were nor on my part at all.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: How did the weather affect your equipment? The cold weather or the snow?
BOB RAICHLE: Pretty insignificantly. We were high enough where it wasn’t as brutally cold as it was in Fairbanks, but it was still cold. And we had the snow and what have you. Snow and frost and ice.
We had clam shells over the -- over the tracking radars, so we could close them and do maintenance on them. But, you know, when we weren’t doing maintenance, it was open. They were open to the -- to the elements.
Our acquisition radars were under -- in bubbles with little golf balls and so they were protected all the time, because they were really the first thing that we would use in detecting an incoming target.
Weather in the launching area. We had to get the snow out of the way so that we could move the missiles around. Pretty rarely, but once that was resolved the greatest threat was probably making sure that the electricity went to the right places.
There's something called a stray voltage, which could easily set off a missile if you’re not careful. So we were very careful about that.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And what is a stray voltage? Just too much voltage?
BOB RAICHLE: It's electricity that gets into the system that comes from somewhere. Obviously, we don’t do any work on them when there's lightening or threat of lightening even nearby, so --
So we, you know, a lot of precautions were taken. But the weather, while it took its toll more so than in the United States, I’m sure, you know, we dealt with it and it was not a problem.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. And then the summers are so hot. BOB RAICHLE: Summers were fairly hot, as well. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah, so one extreme to the other. BOB RAICHLE: Right.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: For equipment. Which is really taxing for equipment.
You were up here in 1967, and that's when the flood happened in Fairbanks. BOB RAICHLE: Correct. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Can you tell me about that?
BOB RAICHLE: Well, we were very high up in the mountains, so, you know, we were unaffected by the actual flooding.
But we got some calls, I believe from either the State or the city, saying they had a number of displaced people whose houses were flooded obviously. Could we take some people and put them up for a week or two up at the battery?
And that was kind of a ticklish situation, because we did have a lot of classified secret or above equipment, documents around the site which were protected, put away and protected.
Obviously, we would not give them access to the missiles or the warheads, but we did take about a 100 to 120 people up for about two weeks.
We moved the troops outside and had them sleep in a tent for a while and we put the civilians upstairs in the sleeping areas. And we fed them in the mess hall and entertained them as much as we could with their kids and everything.
Tried to keep the troops away from the, you know, the younger female survivors of the flood. It worked out pretty well and -- but we had to be, you know, very, very careful that no security breaches happened. They didn’t wander off in the wrong area or there were any problems at all, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah, because earlier you were saying that security was such an issue. And today, of course, you’d have to have everybody security clearanced and everything. BOB RAICHLE: Correct. Correct.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Was there anything like that at that time for security clearance of actual people or is it just --
BOB RAICHLE: Not of the people from the flood, no. Everybody that was at the site, especially those that had to work with the radars and the missiles and the warheads had a -- at least a secret clearance.
I, because I was responsible for authenticating and launching nuclear weapons, had a top secret crypto clearance which meant that there was a certain level of clearance that I was, you know, signed up for.
I know they did a very thorough background check on me. Even talked to my neighbors and so forth, you know, wondering if I was a stable guy and all that. I guess I was, because I ended up there, but --
But, you know, certain parts of the battery were off limits to the civilians, and we had to be very careful that we just kept them in one area and -- and watched them.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Did they realize -- the people when they were there that there was nuclear warheads?
BOB RAICHLE: I doubt it. I doubt it to this day. There were people that were around there -- around other sites, you know, in the continental United States didn’t even know -- don’t know it.
These were sites that were in downtown Chicago and ringing San Francisco and -- and -- and Los Angeles, New York City, Baltimore. All the big cities, so -- all with nuclear warheads.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah. So did you see Fairbanks under water then or were you pretty well out?
BOB RAICHLE: I did. I lived -- I lived in Fairbanks up by the college, University of Alaska. And as it turned, out my mother was here visiting and had to leave. They wanted everybody out of town. Obviously, to get all the tourists out of town.
And the only way we could get her to the airport was with an Army "Duece and Half" truck which was high. So they picked her up and we waved goodbye. They took her to the airport and gave her a cot for the night and she took off the next day, so --
That was really the only impact for us. Nothing at all at the battery, at the missile site, because again we were high enough. Other than maybe people were unable to get there.
One issue I had was there were packs of dogs running around looking for food and attacking people, so I actually went and got a shotgun and carried it with me just in case I had to, you know, fend off some attacking dogs or the case may be or come to somebody’s aid. But that was the extent of it.
And it took a while for the water to recede, but once it did, you know, everybody went back, so --
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: You were on College. I know the water sort of came up to the bottom of the steps at the university. You were in a basement apartment. You didn’t get flooded at that time?
BOB RAICHLE: We did not get -- we were high enough that we didn’t get flooded, right.
LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. Huh. I'm just going to change the tape, if you don't mind. BOB RAICHLE: Okay. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Okay. It will take a moment.