When I was stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico one of my jobs was to prepare the training resources, develop response plans, and implement the training for the Kirtland Underground Munitions Storage Complex (KUMSC). At the time this was a one of a kind facility that combined physical and electronic security systems coordinated with a computer based system. Of course, this would mean unique issues would arise.
The first issue reared its head during a tour of the almost completed system. The facility contains storage areas and maintenance rooms. Each of these rooms are separated by a huge blast door. How huge? I can’t tell you…lets just say…Huge. The engineers for the system were proudly demonstrating the way the door could open and close for a group of high-ranking officers. I was there to film the procedure for training.
The engineer called the control room and asked for the door to be closed. Slowly the door began to move and in about 5 minutes finished its journey. Then there was a loud click as the locking mechanism slid into place. After a few minutes of bragging about his door, the engineer called the control room for the door to be opened. On command…the door…began to squirt hydraulic fluid all over the floor.
For the next 8 hours, we all sat on the floor waiting for another group of engineers to fix the door.
This would not be the last glitch by any means…I would spend many hours waiting to be rescued in the coming months.