Standard Operating Proceedures - Operation Grapple

joseph Pasquini made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Defence

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Ministry of Defence did not have the information requested.

joseph Pasquini

Dear Ministry of Defence,

On Christmas Island 1958, before each nuclear detonation took place, an extensive and comprehensive set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
where promulgated for every critical task required to complete each phase of the Royal Air Force operation. Reference GRA/TS.8/6/AIR. 1958.

These SOPs were issued by the RAF Air Task Force Commander, Task Force Grapple. Undoubtedly similar SOPs were issued for Army, Navy, HMNZS
and AWRE personnel. In many instances there would have been a considerable overlap between each of the services. However there remained
a certain commonality on similar functions, tasks and activities.

More than 50 years after the completion of Operation Grapple, these SOP papers are now Historical Documents. They record events, which
hopefully will never occur again, and describe precisely how each and every function was to be performed. The SOPs were the 'How to' handbooks
that brought the combined services task force, plus AWRE to culminate the mission that put the United Kingdom at the Nuclear Table.

At the time, these SOPs were classified CONFIDENTIAL. Fifty years later many of the 'Confidential' and 'Top Secret' documents have been
declassified as unrestricted. Only documents and information pertaining to the Nuclear Weapons themselves are still considered 'Secret'.
This information was transmitted by MoD to BNTVA sometime ago.

Under the Freedom of Information Act I would like all these Standard Operating Procedures released.
This request excludes all SOPs related to the nuclear weapons, such as SOP for assembling the Bomb,
SOP for handling Bomb components, SOP for loading Bomb on aircraft, etc.

It is realized that the release and issuance of ALL other documents would be impractical, because of the quantity involved.
Therefore, I would like to 'Cherry Pick' for a few documents now - and reserve the right to return at a later date to request more.

Please provide me with the Standard Operating Procedures for:

1. Issuance of Radiation recording/monitoring devices to personnel, and the recording of device type and serial number.

2. Collection of Film Badges and Quartz Fibre Electroscopes (QFE) from exposed personnel.

3. Development and assessment of film badges radiation doses and QFEs, and recording of the doses received by individuals.

4. Decontamination of personnel.

5. Decontamination of RAF aircraft involved with the nuclear tests.

6. Removal of Radioactive Samples from the 76 Squadron Sampling Aircraft.

7. Cloud sampling operations.

9. Processing and transfer of Radioactive Samples to the UK (AWRE).

10. Decontamination of Balloon detonation sites.

The title of the SOP may not read exactly as shown above, but it is the inference, not the exact wording that matters.
While MoD may not have this information readily available, it is known that AWE maintains a substantial database
regarding radiation levels, and very accurate personnel data, recorded at Christmas Island during 1958.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Joseph Pasquini

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Thank you for your email of 1 March 2012 requesting the following
information;

 

On Christmas Island 1958, before each nuclear detonation took place, an
extensive and comprehensive set of Standard Operating

Procedures (SOPs) where promulgated for every critical task required to
complete each phase of the Royal Air Force operation.    Reference
GRA/TS.8/6/AIR.1958.

    

 These SOPs were issued by the RAF Air Task Force Commander, Task Force
Grapple. Undoubtedly similar SOPs were issued for Army, Navy, HMNZS and
AWRE personnel. In many instances there would have been a considerable
overlap between each of the services. However there remained a certain
commonality on similar functions, tasks and activities.

    

More than 50 years after the completion of Operation Grapple, these SOP
papers are now Historical Documents. They record events, which hopefully
will never occur again, and describe precisely how each and every function
was to be performed. The SOPs were the 'How to' handbooks that brought the
combined services task force, plus AWRE to culminate the mission that put
the United Kingdom at the Nuclear Table.

    

At the time, these SOPs were classified CONFIDENTIAL. Fifty years later
many of the 'Confidential' and 'Top Secret' documents have been
declassified as unrestricted. Only documents and information pertaining to
the Nuclear Weapons themselves are still considered 'Secret'. This
information was transmitted by MoD to BNTVA sometime ago.

    

Under the Freedom of Information Act I would like all these Standard
Operating Procedures released.  This request excludes all SOPs related to
the nuclear weapons, such as SOP for assembling the Bomb, SOP for handling
Bomb components, SOP for loading Bomb on aircraft, etc.

    

It is realized that the release and issuance of ALL other documents would
be impractical, because of the quantity involved.   Therefore, I would
like to 'Cherry Pick' for a few documents now - and reserve the right to
return at a later date to request more.

    

Please provide me with the Standard Operating Procedures for:

    

1. Issuance of Radiation recording/monitoring devices to personnel, and
the recording of device type and serial number.

    

2. Collection of Film Badges and Quartz Fibre Electroscopes (QFE) from
exposed personnel.

    

3. Development and assessment of film badges radiation doses and QFEs, and
recording of the doses received by individuals.

    

4. Decontamination of personnel.

    

5. Decontamination of RAF aircraft involved with the nuclear tests.

    

 6. Removal of Radioactive Samples from the 76 Squadron Sampling Aircraft.

    

7. Cloud sampling operations.

    

 9. Processing and transfer of Radioactive Samples to the UK (AWRE).

    

 10. Decontamination of Balloon detonation sites.

    

 The title of the SOP may not read exactly as shown above, but it is the
inference, not the exact wording that matters.      While MoD may not have
this information readily available, it is known that AWE maintains a
substantial database regarding radiation levels, and very accurate
personnel data, recorded at Christmas Island during 1958.

 

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act and will be answered within 20 working days. We will,
therefore, write to again by 29 March 2012 with either as substantive
response or an update on your request.

 

If you have any queries about this request, please do not hesitate to
contact us. Please remember to quote reference number
01-03-2012-150550-008 in any future communications.

 

Regards

 

DE&S Policy Secretariat

 

 

  

 

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    20120329 FOI 01 03 2012 150550 008 Pasquini SOPs at Operation Grapple holding response FINAL u.pdf

    31K Download View as HTML

Please find attached an update on your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat - Submarines

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    20120430 FOI 01 03 2012 150550 008 Pasquini SOPs at Operation Grapple holding response2 FINAL u.pdf

    29K Download View as HTML

Please find attached an update on your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat - Submarines

 

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (our
reference: 01-03-2012-150550-008) regarding Standard Operating Procedures
is currently at the final stages of consideration of the public interest
test.  A response shall be emailed to you shortly, with an aim to
providing you with a substantive response by the end of the week. 

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

I very much regret that your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act (our reference: 01-03-2012-150550-008) regarding Standard
Operating Procedures will not be with you by the end of this week.  We
have encountered an issue which we are working on resolving.  We aim to
provide you with a response after the bank holiday weekend. 

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

 

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From: DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER)
Sent: 28 May 2012 17:53
To: '[FOI #107916 email]'
Subject: 20120528-FOI_Request_01_03_2012_150550_008_Pasquini_SOPs-U

 

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (our
reference: 01-03-2012-150550-008) regarding Standard Operating Procedures
is currently at the final stages of consideration of the public interest
test.  A response shall be emailed to you shortly, with an aim to
providing you with a substantive response by the end of the week. 

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Please find attached part two of two with regards to our response to your
request for information, regarding the Standard Operating Procedures, our
reference 01-03-2012-150550-008. 

 

Regards,

 

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

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From: DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER)
Sent: 26 June 2012 14:09
To: '[FOI #107916 email]'
Subject:
Release-Authorised:20120626-Response_to_FOI_01_03_2012_150550_008_SOPs-U

 

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Please find attached response to your request for information regarding
the Standard Operating Procedures, our reference 01-03-2012-150550-008. 
This is the first email of two regarding your request, the file size of
the documents enclosed exceeds what can be sent in one email.   

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

As stated in my email below, attached are the further four attachments. 

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER)
Sent: 26 June 2012 14:42
To: '[FOI #107916 email]'
Subject:
Release-Authorised:20120626-Response_to_FOI_01_03_2012_150550_008_SOPs_Email_Attempt_2-U

 

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

I received a delivery receipt stating my email below has failed to deliver
to your inbox; I therefore try again, this time with less attachments.  I
shall send another email with the remaining four attachments. 

 

There should be nine attachments in total, one being the response letter
and the other eight being items released in relation to your request.  If
you have not received all the attachments relating to your request, please
do reply to this email to let us know. 

 

Regards,  

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER)
Sent: 26 June 2012 14:09
To: '[FOI #107916 email]'
Subject:
Release-Authorised:20120626-Response_to_FOI_01_03_2012_150550_008_SOPs-U

 

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Please find attached response to your request for information regarding
the Standard Operating Procedures, our reference 01-03-2012-150550-008. 
This is the first email of two regarding your request, the file size of
the documents enclosed exceeds what can be sent in one email.   

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    20120626 Substantive Response FOI 01 03 2012 150550 008 Pasquini SoPs Operation Grapple FINAL U.pdf

    62K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Following on from my previous attempts to forward you the response to your
Request for Information regarding the Standard Operating Procedures, our
reference 01-03-2012-150550-008, I now attempt to send you the information
that has not uploaded onto the Whatdotheyknow website.  I have placed each
attachment into a separate email, hopefully this will work.  You should
have an additional four attachments (Substantive Response, Item 1, Item 2,
and Item 3). 

 

Enclosed: Substantive Response

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER)
Sent: 27 June 2012 16:15
To: '[FOI #107916 email]'
Subject:
Release-Authorised:20120627-Response_to_FOI_01_03_2012_150550_008_SOPs_Email_Attempt_3-U

 

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Following on from my previous attempts to forward you the response to your
Request for Information regarding the Standard Operating Procedures, our
reference 01-03-2012-150550-008, I now attempt to send you the four
documents that have not uploaded onto the Whatdotheyknow website. 

 

 

Regards,

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Following on from my previous attempts to forward you the response to your
Request for Information regarding the Standard Operating Procedures, our
reference 01-03-2012-150550-008, I now attempt to send you the information
that has not uploaded onto the Whatdotheyknow website.  I have placed each
attachment into a separate email, hopefully this will work.  You should
have an additional four attachments (Substantive Response, Item 1, Item 2,
and Item 3). 

 

Enclosed: Item 1

 

Regards,

 

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Following on from my previous attempts to forward you the response to your
Request for Information regarding the Standard Operating Procedures, our
reference 01-03-2012-150550-008, I now attempt to send you the information
that has not uploaded onto the Whatdotheyknow website.  I have placed each
attachment into a separate email, hopefully this will work.  You should
have an additional four attachments (Substantive Response, Item 1, Item 2,
and Item 3). 

 

Enclosed: Item 2

 

Regards,

 

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

DES SEC-PolSecShips and Subs (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Pasquini,

 

Following on from my previous attempts to forward you the response to your
Request for Information regarding the Standard Operating Procedures, our
reference 01-03-2012-150550-008, I now attempt to send you the information
that has not uploaded onto the Whatdotheyknow website.  I have placed each
attachment into a separate email, hopefully this will work.  You should
have an additional four attachments (Substantive Response, Item 1, Item 2,
and Item 3). 

 

Enclosed: Item 3

 

Regards,

 

 

Policy Secretariat Submarines

Defence Equipment & Support

 

Recipients should note that email traffic on MOD systems is subject to
monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the effective operation of
the system and for other lawful purposes. 

 

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