Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 Cuba Soviet Union nuclear weapons combat configuration naval quarantine naval blockade radar ships aerial photography surveillance reconnaissance The Grozny radar defenses Strategic Air Command (SAC) electronic intelligence Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
U.S. forces have been placed on worldwide alert status on three different occasions in the nuclear age. This higher stage of readiness is designed to emphasize to the other side the seriousness of the situation. A film produced by the U.S. Armed Forces highlights the Strategic Air Command's (SAC) military preparedness during the Cuban missile crisis. In this video segment, President John F. Kennedy addresses the nation on October 22, 1962, warning that any nuclear missile launched from Cuba would be seen as an act of war by the Soviet Union. While President Kennedy was delivering his speech, American forces moved up to an alert level known as Defense Condition-3 (DEFCON-3). ICBM launchers were prepared to fire, Polaris submarines hurried from their ports, bombers dispersed, and battle staffs went on round-the-clock duty. This segment also shows that on October 24, SAC moved to an even higher alert status-the only time that U.S. forces have ever been placed on this footing, just one level below deployment for combat. The final portion of this segment shows SAC's reconnaissance campaign to monitor the naval quarantine designed to stop Soviet ships carrying missile supplies and fuel to Cuba.
“SAC Alert ,” Digital Commonwealth , accessed March 12, 2014, http://digitalcommonwealth.org/items/show/70436.