MY LOGISTICS MANAGER comes by at 9 a.m. to discuss his plans for procurement of additional components to increase the total number of ready Sparrow missiles in the Navy's inventory. It appears the logistics folks have persuaded Congress to add some extra money to our budget request to buy spares. These will substitute for missile guidance and control sections being repaired.
At 1:30 I go to Andrews Air Force Base to hear my Air Force deputy's quarterly program status presentation to the commander, Air Force Systems Command. The Sparrow project is a joint service show, and my office is staffed with both Navy and Air Force personnel. Since Navy is designated as the executive service, I am the project manager, and all procurement (about $185 million this year) for both services and foreign military sales is done on Navy contract. The Air Force guys are key players in the decision making, technical management and program execution process, in addition to doing unique things for their own service. Tuesday
After the weekly 8:30 meeting with my assistant project managers and key staff, the program manager from Raytheon arrives to discuss results of the first three firings of the AIM-7M Sparrow, the new model in development. He brings his technical manager with him and we spend a fascinating hour and a half looking at telemetry records of the three shots. The records display important functions of the missile in the form of electrical voltages which are radioed to a ground station and there written on a moving strip chart as the missile is in flight. They look like electrocardiograms.
We are trying very hard to start production on the 7M in fiscal year 1980, but our test program is moving too slowly. As a result, we have already decided to reduce the planned 7M buy, substituting additional numbers of the in-production AIM-7F. I spend the afternoon preparing a letter and a briefing for congressional staffers explaining to them why our plan has changed. I leave the briefing charts with a note to my trusty secretary, Debbie, to have them ready for Thursday morning. Wednesday
I take a day's leave to drive my daughter Jeannie and five of her eighth-grade friends to King's Dominion. My older daughter, Ann, comes too, and keeps me company. One of the mothers loans me her station wagon so that one car can handle the group. She admires my bravery. I'm not brave, I just like roller coasters.
Jeannie and her friends go off together once in the park, but spending the day with Ann is delightful. She has been so busy with D.C. Youth Orchestra (she plays clarinet) and homework that I really don't see that much of her, and she'll be at music camp for eight weeks this summer. We do all the rides with a slight easing off in the middle of the day -- foot-long hot dogs with cheese and onions for lunch don't mix well for either of us with the Rebel Yell. The day is beautiful and the lines are short.
I didn't plan it this way, but I manage to comb Great Falls returning children to their dwellings at day's end. Thursday
I'm off early to brief a House staffer in the Capitol basement with my Air Force colleague, a legislative liaison guy, and my program sponsor from the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. The staffer is very friendly and asks basic, but penetrating questions. He mentions midway through our discussion that he had been an engineer; clearly he knows what's going on. I think he accepts what I've told him and hopefully the budget request remains in good shape with the committee.
The General Dynamics program manager for Sparrow is in at 2 p.m. and we discuss our production plans for the next several years. I spend the remainder of the day with mail, stuff some in my briefcase, and am home at 5:30.
The question is, shall we picnic at Wolf Trap before the opera or eat at home? My wife, Jane, is too tired to spend the evening there but is willing to go for the picnic. We compromise and picnic on the back patio.
Over supper Jane delights in telling of her experiences of the day. She graduated from Wesley Seminary last year and is working as a chaplain at Sibley Hospital this summer. She enjoys meeting many different kinds of people; one of the groups she particularly enjoys is the Jewish patients and their families. Once it's established that she's not going to proselytize them, they are marvelously warm and congenial with her.
We always sit on the lawn at Wolf Trap, but for this opera I got orchestra seats to give the girls (and me) the experience of a little closer interaction with what's happening on stage. Little is right! I am chagrined to find us two rows and $30 in front of the lawn. But "Aida" is magnificent and we all enjoy it thoroughly.
Home at midnight, and since I've already crossed my lost sleep threshold, I do another hour of work from the briefcase before going to bed. Friday
Nine o'clock briefing for a staffer in the office of the assistant secretary of the Navy. I have put together a presentation on modifications we're making to the AIM-7F, and he has asked to see it before he schedules me to give it to the folks down in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). As usual, he has a fire drill ongoing, so I get 15 minutes to give my pitch.
From there I drop down to see the Navy captain who's responsible for monitoring test and evaluation of the AIM-7M in OSD. He wants to review the likely test accomplishments which will have occurred when OSD reviews the program. I leave a copy of a schedule I had discussed the previous Friday with my flight test engineers at the Pacific Missile Test Center in California. If all goes well, we should have 12 to 14 firings completed by mid-August.
I walk to and from the Pentagon. When I was promoted to captain, the only perk I got was the privilege of calling a Navy taxi for local official business trips (I can hear Jack Anderson now: "Pentagon Brass Ride in Luxury . . . etc.") It really was handy on a busy day. But, in a fit of energy consciousness, the Navy has knocked it off for all but admirals and Senior Executive Service civilians.
Back to the office around noon, and I finish mail and phone calls, trying to get as much cleaned up as possible before leaving for Spain Sunday. I'm taking a team over to determine what the Spanish Air Force will need to operate and maintain the AIM-7F, which they're buying for their F4 fighters.
Buy the Star on my way home. How can the reviewer give last night's opera such a mediocre review?
For dinner I cook pepper steak and the family raves -- music to my ears. At bedtime, I decide to take my second look at "Dallas." Jane is asleep immediately, J.R. is only modestly vicious tonight, and I'm asleep halfway through. Saturday
I make the barber shop soon after opening and get a chair almost immediately. When I was a boy growing up in Minnesota, Saturday morning haircuts were a grand experience. I was a person, engaging in a wide-ranging discussion of politics, fishing and especially local high school and University of Minnesota sports with the barbers and other patrons. Today no one in the shop knows anyone else, so no one speaks; I guess the old days are gone forever. At least in McLean.
My judgment is affirmed! Paul Hume in the Post says Thursday night's "Aida" was the best seen in Washington in 30 years.
Between loads of the wash I try to take a nap in the quiet house (my ladies are at sewing lessons), but I am just asleep when the phone rings -- a suburban newspaper wants me to subscribe. Thank you, no.
Supper is hamburgers on the grill for the family and trout for me surrounded by the ambiance of a lovely summer evening. After supper I pay bills and manage to arouse myself so that I don't fall asleep until 2 a.m. But the hours awake are well spent with Mary Soames' biography of her mother, Clementine Churchill. It is a fascinating book, revealing so much of the Churchills' unique life and marriage (Winston was "pig" and she was "kat" in their correspondence). Sunday
Although time is limited because my flight leaves at 3:35 p.m., we go to Cunningham Falls State Park north of Frederick. It turns out to be a great outing -- the park is beautiful and cool. We hike to the falls and back, swim in the fresh water lake and picnic amid much merriment.
On arriving home we just have time to share the apple pie Ann baked at 6 a.m. before setting forth to deliver the Post. Delicious! I inhale my quarter pie together with a large slab of cheddar.
Off to National and a 727 to New York, where we are to change planes. The stew welcomes us to New York. How can someone traveling on the same plane welcome me to the place we have both just reached?
The scheduled three-hour layover there is extended to eight hours because the airplane needs an engine change. The airline gives us a lovely dinner in the JFK greasy spoon, and the airplane finally leaves the chocks at 1 a.m. Such are the joys of business air travel.