Dr. Rankin A. Clinton

Dr. Rankin A. Clinton served four years active duty in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. After discharge, he finished his B.S. degree and accepted a civil service appointment to work for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Redstone Arsenal working on the Redstone; Juno (space launch vehicle); Jupiter; Pershing; Saturn I, II, III, IV; and the Jupiter target vehicle in support of early Nike-X and Nike Zeus Ballistic Missile Defense interceptors. During this period, he designed a special miss distance indicator and was the lead in the design of a radar-assisted guidance system that flew on the first western world satellite.

During the 1960-1962 timeframe, while in the ABMA, Dr. Clinton began to support military and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) evaluations of Soviet missile programs. He used his understanding of U.S. missile guidance signals to explain Soviet missiles. In response to the growing foreign missile activity, the ABMA established the Missile Intelligence Office (MIO) staffed with engineers from Redstone Arsenal. Dr Clinton became the chief of the technical branch of this new organization.

Under Dr. Clinton's leadership the MIO handled several strategic issues for the U.S. The first strategic issue for the new group was the assessment of the "strategic missile gap". Dr Clinton led the team that established the Army position and concluded there was no missile gap. The second strategic issue for this group was the evaluation of a possible Soviet 1 DO-megaton Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Led by Dr. Clinton, MIO and the CIA demonstrated that no ICBM existed large enough to mount a 100-megaton nuclear weapon. The third strategic issue was the Cuban Missile Crisis. The CIA Director, Mr. John McCone, chose the Army missile intelligence team to lead the national team effort to evaluate the technical aspects of the Cuban missile problem. From 1962 to 1985, Dr. Clinton guided MIO, - soon to become the Missile Intelligence Agency (MIA)'s technical depth in Soviet and other foreign missile technologies and helped led MIA to have a national and international reputation for technical excellence. In 1983 Dr. Clinton was named director of the Missile Intelligence Agency (MIA) serving until 1985.