Beginning in 1953, US Army Nike Ajax Surface-to-Air Missile Sites were established near dozens of major American cities, industrial areas, nuclear material production facilities and Strategic Air Command bases as protection against long range Soviet bombers. The Nike Ajax missile had a range of 25 miles, a ceiling of 75,000 feet, and was armed with conventional HE warheads. Ground radars tracked both the target and the missile inflight. Computer generated flight commands were sent to the missile by its tracking radar.
Because individual sites created many of their own procedures for testing and operating the Nike equipment, centralized command and control of the individual sites was virtually impossible. A standard set of procedures for all sites was desperately needed.
In late 1957, USARADCOM sent a three man Evaluation Team to evaluate many of the sites' procedures. The team, under contract with HUMRRO Project LOCK-ON at George Washington University, was made up of 1st Lt. Allan Lawrence, SFC Alfred Reed, and SP-2 Hugh MacDonald. In four months they visited more than 20 Nike sites, evaluating Fire Control procedures. The Team's findings were used to establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) for Integrated Fire Control Operations throughout the Nike Ajax system. In these 1957 photos of the team at work, the evaluators are wearing khaki uniforms, while those in fatigues are site operators and technicians. All photos are the property of the late CW3 Alfred Reed, USA Retired. Chief Reed wrote all photo text.