3. a. The prototype AN/FPS-24 search radar set, produced by General Electric, was installed at Eufaula AFS, AL (TM-199 / Z-199), home to the 609th Radar Squadron. This prototype model was the only AN/FPS-24 set where the 85-ton antenna assembly was installed on a steel-truss tower, not the typical concrete “fortress-like” tower used for other AN/FPS-24 (and AN/FPS-35) radar sets. This radar set operated until 1968 when its antenna bearing failed, heavily damaging the tower. The Air Force elected to close the site rather than to repair the AN/FPS-24 radar tower and replace the antenna bearing.
b. The first two production models of the AN/FPS-24 were installed at Almaden AFS, CA (M-96 / Z-96), home to the 682nd Radar Squadron; and Point Arena AFS, CA (P-37 / Z-37), home to the 776th Radar Squadron. The AN/FPS-24 at Point Arena AFS was replaced by an AN/FPS-93 (with a radome) in the mid 1970’s. The AN/FPS-24 at Almaden AFS, though, continued operating until the site closed in April 1980.
c. The last operational AN/FPS-24 radar was at Port Austin AFS, MI (P-61 / Z-61), home to the 754th Radar Squadron. It was removed in 1983, and replaced with an AN/FPS-91A for the JSS Program. [Port Austin AFS itself has since been closed, and replaced by an FAA data-tie site at Canton, MI, just west of Detroit.]
d. At Mount Hebo AFS, OR (M-100 / Z-100), several unsuccessful attempts were made (circa 1967 / 1968) to construct a geodesic radome over the huge AN/FPS-24 antenna, due to the very high winds continually plaguing operation of the radar antenna at this location. Special scaffolding was constructed around the tower to support the over-sized radome. However, each time the radome was roughly halfway complete, the winds would tear the radome panels apart. After several unsuccessful tries, the Air Force abandoned the idea altogether, and instead replaced the AN/FPS-24 with an AN/FPS-27 -- having a smaller, rigid geodesic radome. The AN/FPS-27 installation was successful, and this radar operated until the 689th Radar Squadron was deactivated in May 1979.