by Jack E.
In 1974, I left the Saturn/Apollo program in Florida to join Lockheed Aircraft as part of a group of mechanics destined to assemble, test and package Fleet Ballistic Missiles (FBMs) for the United States Navy. My career began with a ticket to Sunnyvale, California, for a three-month orientation into the FBM program. Following that, I arrived at the Polaris Missile Facility Atlantic (POMFLANT) in Charleston, South Carolina. Here, I worked as a lead mechanic assembling the two-stage C3 Poseidon missile. At that time, it was a state-of-the-art nuclear weapons delivery system derived from earlier A3 Polaris missiles, both being launched from Navy FBM submarines.
By 1977, Lockheed began to expand its presence at POMFLANT to coincide with delivery of components of the new three-stage C4 Trident missile. During this time, I worked as a quality control inspector and began a period when both C3 and C4 missiles were being processed. By the late 1980s to early 1990s, work on these missiles was being phased down with emphasis now on the new D5 missile and the Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic (SWFLANT) at Kings Bay, Georgia. POMFLANT was eventually shut down as an FBM facility around 1994, at which time I was working as a technical writer. I then transferred to Cocoa Beach, Florida, to work with a technical publications group, which had just relocated from Sunnyvale to Florida. It was here tending to D5 technical publications that I finished a wonderful career with Lockheed Martin.