b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEThe Idaho hangar reflected equal atten- It had been fifteen years since the end But the old coalition of doubters hadtion to detail. The shielded locomotive of World War II, and as the Lexington heard such promises before, and theywould tow the airplane inside on the Report had predicted, $1 billion had had the ear of the new president.fou -rail track. Using remote controls been spent on the project. But the air- Besides, Kennedy had ideas of his own.rfrom a bunker next door, operators plane had not materialized. Supporters Eisenhowers years of budget cuttingwould draw the plane abreast of a cou- said reactor experiments were on the had eroded conventional defense capa-pling station similar to the one at the test threshold of significant new progress; bility to the point that the Army hadpad. The crew would slip from the cock- all the program needed was less than only eleven combat-ready divisions, apit through a hatch shielded with lead one-fifth of one billion dollars and a shortage of ammunition, and low airliftbricks and descend to the basement plane could fly in 1963. At the same capacity. In order to provide tactical airbe o w. They would make their way time, the range and accuracy of guided support for the Army, the Air Forcelthrough a maze of tunnels to a changing missiles had greatly improved. 25 admitted it would have to borrow ord-room, shed their contaminated clothing, nance from the Navy. Kennedy wantedshThe JCAE still felt the sting of Sputnik, more flexibility to take the initiative,o we r, and submit to medical examina-tions and mission debriefings. the Soviet Unions successful realizing that a Third World existed,Eve n t ua l l y, they would emerge in the September 1957 launch of the first where the struggle against communism control room. Back on the hangar floor, satellite to circle the globe. Putting an required political and economic initia-remote manipulations would lower the atomic plane into the air before the tives. The nation needed a capacity toentire power plant to the floor of a plat- make limited responsesmore missile-form elevator and it too would go below, firing Polaris submarines, moreits first stop before remote transport Minuteman rockets, more guerrilla-to the Hot Shop. Ashielded win- warfare capabilitynot just adow gave visual access into the massive atomic arsenal. 27h a ngar, and a side door lead-ing to the control room was On March 28, 1961, Kennedyprotected against accidental canceled the entire airplaneexplosions or criticalities by a project, saying, the possibilityshadow shield, a concrete of a militarily useful aircraft inbarrier four feet thick intended the foreseeable future is still veryto block gamma radiation from remote. He also canceled thepassing into the control room hall- Armys Nike-Zeus anti-missile missiley.wa 23and the Air Forces B-70 bomber, bothunproven technologies. 28In January 1961 John F. Kennedy Soviets could do so offered great psy-became president. Eisenhower already chological appeal. The JCAE was under Kennedy made the cancellation effec-had suggested that either the direct or no illusion that the promised 1963 air- tive instantly. Stunned, southeast Idahoindirect approach to the airplane be plane would be combat worthy. It flooded Senator Henry Dworshak withcanceled, greatly alarming the ANP would be a slow-flying subsonic show- telegrams. Idaho Governor Robertcorner of the military-industrial com- piece with no function but to be the Smylie wrote directly to Presidentplex. He never said which approach, first. 26 Kennedy, warning him that the loss ofand everyone expected Kennedy to ANPs 500 jobs would be a blow tomake the choice. 24 Idaho of disastrous proportions and1 2 6'