Online Air Defense Radar Museum Guestbook

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Welcome to the Online Air Defense Radar Museum. We hope you enjoy your visit, and that we have contributed a little something in the name of those who served.  Gene.

Please consider joining our new radar museum organization, The Air Force Radar Museum Association, Inc. AFRMA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit Ohio Corporation. Our sole purpose is the creation and support of the National Air Defense Radar Museum at Bellefontaine, Ohio. Please visit our home page to join or donate to this cause. AFRMA, Inc. - The Air Force Radar Museum Association, Inc.. Follow the "Memberships" link on the AFRMA home page.



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2004

10/31/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ralph Rooney
Email: flt16051 AT yahoo.com

Basic training Sampson AFB 1951, Tech Training Ft Belvoire Va, 626th AC&W Sqd radar site F-10 (station power).Tour of duty 51 & 52. Any of you troops that have been there or remember it drop me a e-mail. I was one of the original (36) at the site. We lived in tents Oct,Nov,Dec. We moved into the barracks just before Christmas 51 and the temperature was 45 below zero. Wonder why I live in Florida now!


10/31/2004 00:00:00

Name: RR Phelps
Email: phjelpsrr2000 AT yahoo.com

hey anyone still out there that was in Radar Ops in Oregon ,CA, WA,NC, NJ,Iceland, or Germany (Wasserkuppe) 67-70, or in the Courier service in Bangkok Thailand 72-74 and site duty 56-72 ?


10/30/2004 00:00:00

Name: Michael Staton
Email: michael_staton AT msn.com

Any one hear anything about the Iceland lithograph? I email the LtCol but no word! Thanks.


10/29/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harold Booker
Email: Bookerharold AT aol.com

Hello, Any old DEWLiners out there??? I went up to Cam Sector in the central Canadian Arctic in 1959. I spent one hitch up there before going to DEW East in Greenland for two further hitches. After Greenland I returned to the Canadian Arctic at Cape Dyer (DYE Sector) for yet another hitch before going to the BMEWS Site in Fylingdales England. Are there any DEWLine reunions being planned??? DEW East Reunions??? BMEWS Reunions??? If this internet site is strictly for former military members of the Air Defence Team, then I will tell you that I was up there in the Arctic as a civilian. Harold.


10/27/2004 00:00:00

Name: Norman DeLamar
Email: normandelamar AT sbcglobal.net

603AC&W Squadron Langerkopf,Germany 1956-1959


10/27/2004 00:00:00

Name: Aaron Allen [551, 931] US-26
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

11 AF hist-items: Only WWII AF to be under NAVY theatre command [N. Pacific Fleet]...USN guys stationed at AK bases wore AAF uniforms & cold-wx gear [due to dirt and cold].SSG Charlton Heston [aka Moses, Ben-Hur, NRA Pres.] was a radio opr/gunner on a B-25( )in 11 AF...11 AF is one of few numbered AFs to keep its geographical identity intact for many years... Aaron.


10/26/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jerry Zettler
Email: zettlerj AT speakeasy.net

A Interesting artical from the A.F. portal History of the Eleventh Air Force Surveillance Advances The 1970s also marked a turning point in AAC’s air defense system. The sites built in the 1950s were aging and the replacement cost proved too expensive. The cost of operating the sites with military personnel was also rising at an unacceptable rate and proving to be an increasing hardship because of the unaccompanied one-year remote-tour requirement. Finally, the vacuum tube technology equipment had reached the point of obsolesce. General John D. Ryan, Chief of Staff, USAF made a personal inspection during July 1973 of the system. The following year, the Air Staff released its Saber Yukon study, which recommended that the system be modernized. As a result, AAC was included in the Electronic Systems Division-managed program to replace the SAGE system with a joint USAF Federal Aviation Administration joint use Region Operations Control Center/Joint Surveillance System (ROCC/JSS). The ROCC centralized air-defense management in one command and control system. Information was fed to it from the joint surveillance systems of radars. The Alaskan Air Command initiated another program, Seek Igloo, to replace the site radars with minimally attended radars. The concept called for radar that could provide both height finding and search information and require only a few personnel to maintain it. Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, Commander, AAC, and Senator Ted Stevens officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Elmendorf ROCC on June 13, 1980. The contractor completed construction in 1982, and work began on installing the AN/FYQ-93 computer system and training personnel in its use. The Alaska NORAD Regional Control Center ceased operations on April 22, 1983. Interim command and control of the air-defense system shifted to Murphy Dome. The ROCC began 24-hour operations May 16, and achieved initial operational capability June 14 and fully operational capability on September 15, 1983. The Canadian Forces helped man the ROCC as part of a joint agreement. On September 18, 1986, Brig Gen. Ronald Bell, Canadian Forces, became the first full time Deputy Commander, ANR with responsibilities for day-to-day operations. The duties had formerly belonged to the Vice Commander, AAC as an added duty. The ROCC or Top ROCC as it was referred to, eliminated the need for the large numbers of personnel at the sites. All military personnel were phased out by September 1983. The 13 aircraft control and warning squadrons were inactivated November 1, 1983, and the sites designated long-range radar sites. Civilian contractors took over the responsibility for operating and maintaining the sites. Contractors had already assumed partial responsibility in 1977 for site support functions as part of an Air Force effort to reduce remote tours. Initial implementation of the Seek Igloo program began with the installation of the AN/FPS-117 Minimally Attended Radar at Kotzebue in the spring of 1994. It achieved operational capability June 9, 1984. Sparrevohn became operational June 29; Galena, July 26; Fort Yukon, August 14; Tin City, September 24; Indian Mountain, October 10; Cape Newenham, October 16; Tatalina, May 24, 1985; Cape Lisburne, July 3; Cold Bay, July ; and Cape Romanzof, July 14. As denoted by the acronym MAR, the new radar required far less personnel than the old ones. Depending on the site location, it required from two to around 13 contract personnel to maintain it. Generally, those sites near communities required only two radar maintenance technicians while the remote sites with their airfields and infrastructure required more personnel. The Air Force elected to site the FPS-117 at Galena and close nearby Campion. The radar site at Grant Point, Cold Bay, was also closed, the radar tower moved to the airfield. The radar planned for Murphy Dome was loaned to another Air Force activity to be used for a demonstration project. Murphy Dome used the old radars until it was returned. With the military gone and only few civilian contractors present, Murphy Dome could no longer provide an alternate command center. Lieutenant General Lynwood Clark, Commander, AAC, at the time, and his staff had anticipated the need for an alternative. General Clark, in 1982, decided to accept the free offer of surplus rail cars from the Alaska Railroad. The Air Force renovated the cars, installed personnel accommodations and communications in them. The rail-based alternate command post functioned until 1993, when its use was no longer deemed necessary. One of the key factors behind the estimated $226.3 million Seek Igloo program had been to reduce manpower and costs. In 1975, when the program began, it cost $117 million in 1985 dollars to maintain and operate the sites with 1,500 military personnel. The base support contract in 1977 reduced the cost to $80 million and the number of military personnel to 450 with 370 contract personnel providing logistic support. By the beginning of 1984, the annual cost had dropped to $45 million and there were 370 contract personnel. By the end of 1985 the cost had dropped to $15 million and the number of personnel to 140 contract personnel. North Warning System The North Warning System added a new dimension. It was part of a North American air defense upgrade agreement reached by President Ronald Reagan and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on March 18, 1985. The agreement included replacing the obsolete DEW Line radars, improving the use of the E-3 airborne warning and control aircraft, and acquiring modern command, control and communications systems. The North Warning System consisted of 13 AN/FPS-117 Long Range Radars, four of which were in Alaska, and 39 AN/FPS-124 Unattended Radars, three of which were in Alaska. The long-range radars were installed during 1989-1990 at Point Lay, Point Barrow, Oliktok and Barter Island. The last installation was at Barter Island, which became operational on November 15, 1990. The FPS-124s were installed at Wainwright, Lonely and Bullen Point in 1994. They achieved operational capability June 15, 1995. The Alaska Radar System In order to better manage the air defense system and to comply with an ordered headquarters reduction, the 531st Aircraft Control and Warning Group was activated November 15, 1977. Headquarters, AAC had managed the air defense system without any intermediate headquarters since the inactivation of the 10th and 11th Air Divisions in 1960. The 531st was redesignated the 11th Tactical Control Group on July 1, 1981, and upgraded to wing status on January 6, 1989, in anticipation that it would assume responsibility for the Alaska Radar System. The Alaska Radar System was to have been part of a system of an over-the-horizon backscatter radar (OTH-B) network protecting North America from an air attack. The system used a transmitter site to bounce radar signals off the troposphere and a receiver site to receive the returning signals. Unlike conventional radar, which was limited to line of site, the OTH-B could acquire radar return signals over great distances. The Alaska Radar System was designed to cover the North Pacific and Bering Sea regions. Other systems were designed to cover the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico regions. The Air Force conducted a site survey during the mid-1980s, and the AAC public affairs office announced July 30, 1987, that Gulkana had been selected as the transmitter site and Tok as the receiver site. Elmendorf AFB was to be the location of the operations building. Negotiations for land rights in the Copper River Valley regions where the sites were to go took until January 1989 to complete. Construction of the transmitter power plant began shortly afterward. The end of the Cold War and rising cost of the OTH-B system prompted the cancellation of the program in 1991. The completed transmitter power plant and site was turned over to a joint Air Force-Navy agency for use in the High Frequency Active Aurora Research Program to explore atmospheric aurora conditions. In keeping with the force modernization, significant improvements were made in data automation and the use of personal computers proliferated. The implementation of the Alaskan Command and Control System Military Automated Network, an Alaskan-unique system, revolutionized command and control during the 1980s. It evolved into the Command Tactical Information Network (CTIS) during the early 1990s. The system allowed information to be viewed and exchanged electronically via computer terminals. However, since it was a non-standard system, it gave way in mid-1995 to the standard systems being developed by the Air Force.


10/26/2004 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: Historian AT radomes.org

Thanks go to Jerry Zettler for citing the 11th AF history. The summary is fairly accurate, although it does contain a couple of minor inaccuracies, and is also a little out of date. For instance, the Alaskan OTH-B site was spelled ``Gakona`` (not ``Gulkana``); another reference lists that site as the OTH-B Receiver site, not the Transmitter site. (Admittedly, we ourselves are not sure.) The new Cold Bay Long-Range Radar Site (LRRS) is not actually at the airfield; it is just *closer* to the airfield than the site at Grant Point was. The present-day radar system in Alaska includes a joint-use FAA site at Kenai, A-14 (not mentioned by the 11th AF article); that site operates an ARSR-3 radar. The site at Galena Airport (A-04`), which replaced Campion AFS, has itself since been closed; its AN/FPS-117 radar was sent to Kokee AFS, HI. Likewise, the Point Lay LRRS (A-15) has been closed; its AN/FPS-117 was sent to the Punta Salinas Radar Station in Puerto Rico. Otherwise, that 11th AF article is a good history summary. -- Tom


10/26/2004 00:00:00

Name: Billy Brooks
Email: bdbrooks AT verizon.net

Wayne Setzer: We also had the GPA across the street at the 3625th, but it was removed before I even go a chance to see what it did. That was in mid-late 62. Another tube used vastly by this old unit was the 6al5............vacuum tube diode gate. Early Digital? Along with 15 tons of Air Conditioning to keep it cool. B


10/26/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jerry Zettler
Email: zettlerj AT speakeasy.com

Tom I apologise for any inaccuracies, I copied this from AIR FORCE portal of the 11th Air Force history. This site has some great stories and pictures. If you are working for the Air Force in any way, Active Duty, Cival Service, or contractor you gain access to this site. It is a great read. I reccomend it highly. I will Pass your info along to to the portal. We all served and served well Jerry Zettler


10/26/2004 00:00:00

Name: Michael Horne
Email: mdhorne AT cox.net

RE Seek Igloo: Believe King Salmon was the first operational site. I arrived there in March 84. All the other radars were torn out and the ops center completely gutted. The FPS-117 was located in the old height finder tower.


10/24/2004 00:00:00

Name: Wayne Setzer
Email: wsetzer AT hotmail.com

Hoping someone can help in refreshing my memory. In early 1959 I was assigned to the 678AC&W squadron at Tyndall AFB in Florida. Although I was a 30352 working with the FPS-20 and FPS-6 radar systems, we install what I thank was the AN/GPA-37 analog computer system using the AN/GPA-23 PPI display units. I was cross trained at Tyndall to work on this system. This system (as I remember) used drum memory and had a Data Link system which was used to transmit the data from the GPA-23 to the fighter plans (F-102) which would display on their indicator the course to fly, time to intercept, and some other data. Think there were 4 items it displayed as I remember 4 (2” displays on the GPA-23) PPI unit. I remember this system using tons of 12AX7’s and had a reference voltage for the analog computing of 40.00Volts which had to be checked and adjusted every 8 hours. Anyone remembering this system (may have the name wrong) and having any information on it would like to hear from you either by email or posting the information here. In late 1959 I was assigned to the 642nd AC&W squadron in St. Johns, Newfoundland and never heard of this system again. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~wlsetzer/usaf


10/24/2004 00:00:00

Name: Aaron Allen [551, 931] US-26
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

Attn: 931 ACWS [P-Mtn] and Dets 1&2 [Etah, Ice Cap... I have two free patches for you if you haven`t rec`d a msg from me yet...Trying to find and log-in [on Ra- domes Rosters] everyone before you leave us...Even if you were NOT a PCS troop there, I wanna give you a 931 patch as a souvenir of your stay there if you worked on the radar, comm, plant/facilities, road, etc. for at least 15 - 30 days or more. Email me at above handle... !Primus Eos Obtenimus! Qujanaq! Baaj... Aaron


10/23/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

Great stories! More!


10/22/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jerry Sitzlar
Email: jasitzlar AT hotmail.com

The big black beasts, the UPA-35! Yep, you didn`t want to show that you knew too much about them or you were picked as the ancillary guy... been there, done that. Easy to trouble shoot if you just read the name and purpose of each tube in it, pulled one tube at a time (on a good scope) and observed what happened, and remembered what tube controlled the problem you were seeing when it went for real. Eighty percent of the problems were tubes burning out by being baked inside of the finger burning radiation shields. At Wallace Air Station we actually removed one scope from the ops room, took it outside, removed all vacuum tubes, washed the entire thing: box, chassis`, wiring harnesses, etc with soap and water! Then hosed it off with clean water let it dry all day (dry season)in the sun, put it back together, carried it back in, turned the power on (remotely as I remember) and it worked! We then did every scope, one at a time, the same way and they all came back to life. They ran for a long time after that without major problems. The UPA had the ability to vacuum all of the dirt from ops rooms and collect it inside the chassis especially the power supply. When I was stationed to the AC&W site at Eglin AFB (not the space track site) assigned to Headquarters Air Proving Ground to support and control the airspace over all of the test ranges at Eglin, we had one of our 30352 radar guys get punished for whatever reason. His punishment was having to tear down a UPA-35 completely and giving it an overhaul, new parts, wiring, etc. It took awhile and it included his days off. He got it finished, and it looked good. Our CE Superintedent got the honor of turning it on, whereupon it sparked really well and was in flames before the circuit breakers even closed down. After the smoke cleared out of the maintenance shop, and we returned to view what was left (blackened chassis inside, black CRT, things that maybe were wires, sub-chassis that didn`t look good, etc, etc, etc,) our bad boy was punished again.....by rebuilding the same UPA again. Three months later, it worked but smelled really bad. To really drag this story out, our bad boy (not me) redeemed himself in our eyes one day in the ops room. Since we supported an R&D outfit we would have plastic pocket protector engineer types over trying out new ideas, inventions, and other usually really bad news stuff, that, if it worked (in their eyes), then it possibly was forced onto all AC&W radars. Remember, all AC&W radar equipment was purposely designed to demoralize radar maintenance troops around the world. Anyway, these engineers had come up with a plan and equipment to save money by reducing the number of PPI`s required for long range surveillance. They placed a camera over one UPA-35 set at long range, and split the camera`s video signal to about six TV monitors with operators sitting in front of them, all viewing the same sweep. It looked good, the long range guys had no problems, and the engineers were glad handing all over the place. Enter our designated bad boy, who walks over to the UPA, kicked the power switch off, and wala! a whole row of blank TVs. In their gloom, the engineers packed up, and left, to design really nasty things for 303X2`s to maintain. I don`t think it was a coincidence that the UPX-14 showed up soon after. I still think it was payback time for showing them what common sense was all about. My apologies to any former maintenance guys who were lured to the dark side and became an engineer....Naw, not really!


10/22/2004 00:00:00

Name: Don Kerby
Email: wyldman2112 AT msn.com

I see a lot of discussion here about the UPA-35. We had a few of those. We also fed them with a GPA-30 mapper. Anyone remember THAT beast?


10/22/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Armstrong
Email: jackarm AT hotmail.com

Yes i remember the GPA-30 Video mapper very well also worked on the GPA-5 mapper which was a fore runner to the GPA-30. Both units would eat up synchro gears if they weren`t zeroed out completely. Used to make map plates for Christmas with Santa Claus and Playboy pinups for special occasions. If we got upset with the controllers we also had a map plate with a hand and a middle finger extended. When someone complained we told them it was a transmitter spectrum that we were testing.


10/22/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bob Cumby
Email: Bocum2 AT aol.com

Old Radar Site member of 871st AC&W Sq., Villatobas AS, Spain went to the reunion of Torrejon Air Base, Spain, Sept. 3-6, 2004 at Hope Hotel on Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. Jamie Silva, Bob Cumby and Bill Hickok. We were station in Spain in 1957 to 1960, I left in 1958, Silva and Hickok in 1960. It had been 44 years since we seen each other. 46 years for me. We were the first Radar site in Spain. Silva and Hickok were Operators and I was in Supply. This was my 5th AC&W Sq. When I got to Spain I was the only man in supply that had been on a radar site. The other were from SAC bases. At that time we come under 65th AD (SAC). I was a young SSgt at the time with only one with radar experience, I had to set up Tech Supply. Hickok was assigned to me until they went to operation. Go to Spain and to the 871 AC&W Sq. you can see the pictures I taken during construction. Any other 871 AC&W Squadron members out let us know. Bob Cumby


10/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Walt Martley
Email: bettyandwalt AT earthlink.net

Reading about exotic and strange devices reminds me about the @#$%^&*** AN/FSA-10, a monster that received gap-filler inputs, superimposed them on a Long Range Radar display by placing them on small CRTs in a giant black box, and capturing them all together on an image orthicon TV tube. Learned a whole lot about synchros and resolvers from attempting to maintain this cursed box. The external display had a numerical readout by means of `nixie` tubes, more literally called magnetron beam switching tubes. When the time came to remove this monstrosity to salvage, I remember it took less than two hours to get rid of all traces.


10/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Roy C. Schotland
Email: Texasroy AT aol.com

Served in 637th AC&W Sqdon (Othello Wash.) 1952 til 3/53 as Comm Officer


10/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Edward Franklin
Email: erfranklin AT hotmail.com

The year I was at the 705th AC&W, King Salmon, Alaska 10/57 - 1058 the USAF use to have SAC run a `Noah`s Ark` query with the various sites. Do any of you former Alaska `scope dopes` remember that particular duty that we were involved in? Does anyone know when it was phased out? By the way, The Sourdough Sentinel newspaper is still produced by Elmendorf Air Force Base and is good reading.


10/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Clark Cone
Email: cconess AT carolina.rr.com

Great site! Finally the radar guys get some recognition for all the time we spent at remote radar stations during the Cold War, usually at sites in cold climates... Thank you all for your service! A1C `65-`68 753 Radron, Sault Ste Marie, Mi


10/17/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: thudson AT houston.rr.com

Gene McDonald (10/15/2004): I worked on the AN/FYQ-9 SATDI at Campion AFS in Alaska in 1977. Do you remember the `Bina-View` display across the top of the scope? That was a neon-powered digital readout. How archaic! Also, remember the 25,000 RPM magnetic memory drum that required us to manually load 863,426,597,126,491,249,867,918,491,246 (give or take a few) individual punch cards when the drum bearings went out? If I remember correctly, that drum held less memory than today`s common cell phone! If the truth were told, the SATDI computer was probably ahead of its time when it was designed in the 1960s. I remember that it was made by Philco.


10/16/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jimmy Jackson
Email: jnj10spd AT hotmail.com

I was stationed at Murphy Dome from Oct 1968 through Oct 1969, I have some very fond memories of the Dome. There was Pete Barmer, Larry Jones, Richard Dogface Lewis, Stanley Mayo, and Rick Hendricks, I remember the football games on the helicopter pad, I remember Bob Shea from CT. Guys thanks for the memories


10/16/2004 00:00:00

Name: Roy C. Schotland
Email: Texasroy AT aol.com

Was in 637th AC&W Sqdn 1953 - 1954 Call Sign Igloo 4


10/15/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Armstrong
Email: jackarm AT hotmail.com

Actually Harvey they took all of the moving and bad environment quite well. They didn`t have that many more problems than usual for a UPA-35 which was relatively easy to fix once you learned their bad habits and put the fixes in your little bag of tricks. The gear trains were always fun a good way to get shocked on the servo motors. Also have many stories about the UPX-14 which was areal nightmare.


10/15/2004 00:00:00

Name: Billy Brooks
Email: bdbrooks AT verizon.net

UPA 35. 3625th TechTngGrp at Tyndall AFB. Ya had to love`em---not much choice. `nough said.


10/15/2004 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: historian AT radomes.org

We received this information today via e-mail from LG Woodworth: NAME CHANGE HERALDS NEW ERA FOR AIR FORCE MUSEUM 10/14/2004 - DAYTON, Ohio (AFPN) -- A dramatic era of change and growth continues to unfold at the Air Force`s national museum with the institution launching a formal name change. Officials announced the name change from the U.S. Air Force Museum to the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE during a ceremony Oct. 14, 2004. `The Air Force museum is a national treasure,` said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper, who gave the keynote address. `The museum tells the story of our proud legacy and preserves our unique heritage so that all can learn about the history, mission and capabilities of America`s Air Force.` The museum`s new name underscores its status as the official trustee of the Air Force story, confirms the museum`s national character and world-class collection, and signals its rapidly growing facilities and global visibility, officials said. `We have always been the Air Force`s national museum, but the Air Force saw this name change as a necessary step to raise the institution to its rightful place,` said retired Maj. Gen. Charles D. Metcalf, museum director. `This new name places the museum at a level of its peers, such as the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Naval Aviation and the planned National Museum of the U.S. Army.` The name change comes at a historically and strategically pivotal time of growth for the world`s largest and oldest military aviation museum, officials said. Currently, it encompasses more than 300 aircraft and 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Recent additions to the museum include a 200,000 square-foot Eugene W. Kettering Building housing a Cold War gallery and a 12,500 square-foot missile and space gallery. The missile and space gallery will house the museum`s unique collection of intercontinental ballistic missiles, satellite launch vehicles and other elements of the institution`s space collection. Future expansion phases include a center to house the museum`s presidential aircraft collection, a space gallery, collection management facility, education center, parking and other facility enhancements. `The combination of our growing collection, events and expansion has significantly raised the profile of this institution,` General Metcalf said. `Last year, we attracted nearly 1.4 million visitors. This name change further positions us to continue to expand awareness of the museum and the Air Force both nationally and globally.`


10/15/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Armstrong
Email: jackarm AT hotmail.com

The RHI for the FPS-90, which was an OA-929 was far worse then the UPA-35 to troubleshoot and maintain. It had a sampling switch which rotated brushes over brass contacts and sampled the voltages continually. The sample was then used as feedback as part of an elaborate voltage control and regulator system. Needless to say this switch caused more problems then it ever solved. Another problem was the large wiring harness that sent the voltages and signals back and forth to the front panel. After a while whenever you moved this panel problems would come and go based on its position. The syncros in the antenna control unit were also maintenance intensive and were difficult to keep aligned. It was alwaqys great fun trying to guess the actual height of an aircraft because of the sweep movement between up and down due to excessive play in the angle mark generator arm on the antenna. Getting rid of all of the Height Finders in 1988 was a welcome event.


10/15/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gene McDonald
Email: Marmac AT a=znet.com

Enjoying stories of UPA-35s, but at least the Hazeltine built ones wer ruggered. Duting the installation of the SATTI (spelling ?)systems in Alaska in 64/65, a `new` UPA was provided, BUT not built by Haziltine. We came to the conclusion that the it was so cheap that if you had a 200 V DC Cap, it would explode at 205 Volts. Adding to these scopes antics was the fact that some UPA voltages were sent to and from the Q-9 and some Q-9 voltages came to the UPA. Following one mod program to the Q-9, which was a number of mods, and power on to all equipment, we found about 9 (or was it 12) tiny sweeps, each with all the videos, angle and range marks, etc. After considerable T/Sing, we found that one of the mods adding more muffin fans interferred with operation. Just one of many teething problems with this system.


10/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ron Larson
Email: Antiqueronkaz AT webtv.net

I had an istructor who worked on early radars while serving in the British Army. He told stories about improving the maggies spectum by pounding on the magnet with a hammer and measuring power output by radiating into a container of water and monitoring temperature rise.Separate Tx and Rx antennas circled around on railroad tracks as no duplexors had been develoed yet.Some early Commando raids on German radar sites tried to obtain any technology in use by them.


10/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: John L. Robertson
Email: robzymurg AT numail.org

MSgt Harvey Hartman`s tale of the AN/UPA-35 radar scope brought back memories of my struggles with those monsters. I had graduated from the AC&W course at Keesler AFB and was assigned to the 2875 GEEIA Sqdn at Chanute AFB, IL. After 7 months there I was transferred to the 2865 GEEIA Sqdn at Tachikawa AB, Japan. On my first day there I was assigned to the Ancillary Section and given a stripped metal scope frame and a couple boxes of parts and told to reassmble it and make it work. It was an AN/UPA-35 at one time and was from a radar site in Vietnam. It looked as though it had been at the bottom of the Mekong river for a few months. Well, the make a short story long, I finally got it cleaned up and assembled and with the help of a stack of T.O.s I finally got it operating well enough to pass a quality control inspection. From that time on I was considered the UPA-35 specialist of the squadron. Like Sgt Hartman said, it was a monster to maintain and an even worse piece of machinery to overhaul and repair. But I came to love that piece of machinery and was disappointed when the Air Force started replacing them with the AN/UPA-48. I had come to know the UPA-35 so well that I could tell which tube or mechanical unit was malfunctioning just by symptoms it displayed. I always felt like a doctor diagnosing a familiar illness. My tour of duty at Tachikawa was one of the highlights of my Air Force Career.


10/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Armstrong
Email: jackarm AT hotmail.com

Cotinuing the UPA-35 Saga we also used them in Mobile TAC Units until the UPA-48 and 62 came out. Since the UPA`s weren`t really intended to operate in a mobile environment they required a lot more maintenance and all the hardware had to be in place and secured. Keeping them clean was a real task especially in dusty areas. On one particular deployment to Bisbee, AZ, during Nixon`s futile attempt in 1970 to close the Mexican Border to drug smuggling by air, we had troubles due to the dust. In spite of our best efforts the scopes would act up and we knew where to `tap them` for repetative minor problems. After seeing us do this the controllers thought they could do the same thing. On one occasion one kicked the power front panel and the whole scope went down since the panel guard was down and he dislodged a fuse. Not being one to pass up a chance to make a point or two I immediately said that you just have to know when, where and how hard to `pat` the unit not kick the crap out of it. Needless to say he didn`t do it again.


10/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Harvey Hartman
Email: thudson AT houston.rr.com

John L. Robertson (10/14/2004): Thanks for the kind words about my UPA-35 article. I had fun writing it because it brought back some good memories for me. I`m glad it did for you, too. Such is the purpose of this Radomes website and all of the postings in this Guest Book, including yours now. Part of the UPA-35`s charm (besides being all-tube) was its electrical and mechanical complexity. This was a marvelously engineered piece of equipment and was actually quite ahead of its time when it was originally produced. Since the old paper-based printed circuit boards back then couldn`t take the massive amount of heat that all of those tubes gave off, the only choice was to hand wire that whole scope! And all of those noisy moving synchros and gear assemblies contributed to the `Frankenstein`s laboratory` feeling! What cherished memories!


10/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: Msgt Harvey Hartman
Email: thudson AT houston.rr.com

Jack Armstrong (10/14/2004): I spent 6 years in TAC`s Tactical Control Squadrons as a TPS-43 radar maintenance technician and I shudder at the thought of mobilizing a UPA-35 and expecting it to work! All of those tube and relay contacts to jostle and get dirty and all of those gears to get gritty makes me wonder if you ever got a scope to stay up for a whole shift!


10/13/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

Got my “Radomes” newsletter. Spiffy new format, an innovative editorial direction, what’s not to like? Another benefit of being a Radomes member, not to mention supporting this site. I recall watching Echo One and Two in the skies at night, about as bright as Venus. I think there was also one called “Pegasus(?).” No claims here about Sputnik, though I can recall people going out to look for it. I have a grumpy ham radio operator friend who says he an expert on electronics. He said a German came up with the idea for the magnetron, but even earlier Tesla had outlined a sketch for radar, and essentially invented radio. (I seem to remember a guy named Marconi, but he was on a roll.) He says Tesla was a far bigger genius than Edison, but Edison had better PR, but one day Tesla will get his due if there`s any justice. I said I thought the British had much to do with the early days of radar? I knew Tesla from the coil name and AC power, but radar? I didn’t say this to my friend, but didn`t Tesla have a reputation for being (saying it nicely) eccentric? Perhaps sometime there should be nominations for best and worst radar assignments. Like beauty, these will be in the heart of the beholder. “Lots of good hunting and fishing” meant “in the middle of nowhere,” and “a girl behind every tree,” explained itself.


10/12/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ed Hatley
Email: Hatleye AT yahoo.com

I was stationed at Pt. Austin, 754th Radar Squadron, from 1977 - 1979 - just reminising and came across your web site - Hi to all


10/12/2004 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: tepage AT hotmail.com

Okay, okay, a number of people have written in to say that they did in fact see Sputnik as it circled the earth. I guess even an object that small (about the size of a basketball), near sunrise or sunset when the sun hit it just right, would be visible to the naked eye. So, I stand corrected. Thanks to all who wrote. -- Tom


10/12/2004 00:00:00

Name: Sgt. Johnie W Morris
Email: jmorris AT jeffco.us

I, too, had the distinct pleasure of spending a year remote on a mountain top in a very cold climate where Radar Domes were king. Coming from a cottom plantation in eastern Arkansas, it gave a whole new meaning to the word `COLD`! After basic at Lackland and a brief stint at Keesler AFB where I had a `Major Disagreement` with a `Pain in the Butt Major`, which resulted in a transfer for both of us, I spent 14 months at McHord AFB with the 325th CE Squadron. Then I was sent on my merry way to Tatalina Air Force Station AC&W RON located between Takotna and McGrath, Alaska, where I was a heavy equipment operator and helped to rearrange a lot of snow on site, maintain the 3700 foot runway, keep the road open to Takotna all winter long, and use my old HD16 Allis Chalmers Bulldozer and Hough Payloader to butt heads with more than one ornery bull moose. I will also gladly take credit for being the person who installed the four `Glass Beaded Day-Glow Orange Plywood Tents`, two at each end of the bright white snow-packed runway after the first big snowfall of `66. These `Tents`, when first installed, sitting about 3200 feet apart, were spotted immediately by the crew of a C130 supply plane as they crossed the Alaskan Range. From that distance, they appeared to be bright orange objects floating in the air. With nothing showing up on radar and us being in the midst of the cold war, the pilot reported the bogeys and fighters were scrambled from both Eilson and Elmendorf. We lowly equipment operators along with the weather man were treated to quite an airshow. I left Alaska bound for Bergstrom AFB in warm and sunny Texas where I thankfully and graciously accepted my discharge in Sep of `68 and never looked back. After 22 years as a Structural Ironworker traveling all over, I became a county building official in Colorado and am happy as a clam. I wasn`t cut out to be a lifer but I actually enjoyed my 4 years in the military and still use the skills I learned there and I wouldn`t trade them in for anything. I also hold many of those `Lifers` in very high esteem and know that we owe a debt of gratitude to them. Seeya around the dome. jm


10/12/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ron Larson
Email: antiqueronkaz AT webtv.net

Tom is correct about viewing the Sputnik. Actually what I saw was the reflection of the sun off of it under ideal conditions.


10/11/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bernie Radigan
Email: bradigan AT alionscience.com

For anyone who might be interested, the Texas Tower 4 story is being presented in a two part article in the November and December 2004 issues of Sea Classics magazine. The article, entitled `Mayday! Mayday!`, is written by Chuck Zimmaro a member of the team that dove on and produced the documentary for the History Channel. Also of note, are two other articles from previous issues of the magazine. In the April 2002 issue of the magazine you will find `The DEW Line Patrol: Ocean Radar Station Ships` and the September 2004 issue contained `Cold War Curiosities: Radar Picket Submarines.`


10/11/2004 00:00:00

Name: John Breidford
Email: johnanna AT gci.net

Hi Tom Page On a cold clear night in 1957, at the good old 637th AC&W Squadron, Othello, Wa., we were on alert and many of us who were patrolling the area, did indeed see sputnik as it travelled across the sky. At least, that was the story we were told. Hope it wasn`t a hoax, as It is one of the only war stories I have to tell them. John


10/10/2004 00:00:00

Name: joe kotok
Email: rettak AT wiktel.com

Can`t believe the years have gone by so fast. I am retired from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and enjoying retirement with a summer home in Canada. My last few years in the Air Force was at the Brookfield, Ohio and Willow Run, Michigan. Would be fun to hear from friends in that time period.


10/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: Carl Johnson
Email: carlfjohnson AT bellsouth.net

608th AC&W Det 4 near K18 Kangnung east coast of Korea from 8/52 to 8/53. Please contact me for information on our website and Yahoo Group.


10/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: j hoy
Email: jhoy36 AT sbcglobal.net

I am looking for anyone who was stationed at Wadena,Mn at the 739th.sqd. in 1954-55-56. I am trying to find best friend John C.Carver, who was from the Minneapolis area. He was a radar operator or radio operator, and an airman firstclass. Would appreciate any help on how to go about finding him. Thanks J.Hoy


10/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: j hoy
Email: jhoy36 AT sbcglobal.net

I am looking for anyone who was stationed at Wadena,Mn at the 739th.sqd. in 1954-55-56. I am trying to find best friend John C.Carver, who was from the Minneapolis area. He was a radar operator or radio operator, and an airman firstclass. Would appreciate any help on how to go about finding him. Thanks J.Hoy


10/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: j hoy
Email: jhoy36 AT sbcglobal.net

I am looking for anyone who was stationed at Wadena,Mn at the 739th.sqd. in 1954-55-56. I am trying to find best friend John C.Carver, who was from the Minneapolis area. He was a radar operator or radio operator, and an airman firstclass. Would appreciate any help on how to go about finding him. Thanks J.Hoy


10/08/2004 00:00:00

Name: Aaron Allen [551, 931] US-26
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

Harvey is right: The FAA, NORAD or DHS might need to know who the gen aviation VFRers are and there is a way to do it at little cost to anyone or real bother to VFR pilots: If you`re interested, email me for a copy of what I`ve sent to 1stAF and DHS... Aaron Allen PS/ Any 931 ACWS who haven`t heard from me, pls email for a free gift...[P-Mtneers only, pls]...


10/08/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Armstrong
Email: jackarm AT hotmail.com

I am not trying to take sides on any issue. I have no hidden agenda. I am just trying to provide information on systems that I am knowlegable on. The original discussion was on the USAF getting data links to the FAA radars. What is different from what we used to have 20+ years ago beyond technology and aircraft advancement. Prior to 9/11 FAA ATC was trying to do away completely with Search Radar Coverage and rely on beacon only. The staffing, funding and support of the Enroute Radar Sites was being rapidly minimized. Now they have to regenerate a system that was allowed to decline. As we all know this can only be done with adequate funding.


10/08/2004 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: tepage AT hotmail.com

Jack Armstrong, thank you for bringing the discussion back to reality. In case other readers have not noticed, this web site is an ``Air-Defense Radar Museum.`` What more needs to be said?


10/07/2004 00:00:00

Name: Kenneth W. Leoutsacos
Email: leoutsac AT mindspring.com

Question: Are the JSS Radar facilities employing civilian Radar TechReps and if so from what companies? With more of these sites being activated for Homeland Security I wouldn`t mind such a job.


10/07/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Armstrong
Email: jackarm AT hotmail.com

The JSS Sites are Owned and operated by the FAA with some AF funding. There will be no new sites added to the best of my knowledge just tie-ins to the existing facilities that were not already coonected to the AF Control Centers. This is for our own safety and not another conspiracy or example of big brother. The plane that crashed in Penn. was not under AF Radar Coverage but the FAA had radar contact with it. To my knowledge all unknown Aircraft will be physically ID`ed by a fly by when possible.


10/07/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: thudson AT houston.rr.com

The USAF doesn`t have enough fuel to send an F-16 out to identify EVERY radar return on a scope. On any given Saturday, there are many thousands of little planes flying and no controller, no matter how sharp he or she is, can tell which one MIGHT be hostile. Therefore, the next logical step is to require that every plane, big or little, be on a flight plan and under positive control by ATC and/or the USAF. While this might be `for our own safety`, the automobile-driving public wouldn`t tolerate it for a second if the government required every car owner to notify the military of our purpose of the trip, name of the driver, route, times, etc every time we went out for a drive. That`s what I fear might be on the horizon for aircraft owners. All `for our own safety` of course!


10/07/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: thudson AT houston.rr.com

Okay, now that I`ve dropped that bombshell on you, you`re probably thinking: `Harvey`s crying that the sky is falling` and I hope you`re right and I`m wrong. But think about this - Other countries have had total control (also called positive control) of their airspace for many years and many of our own citizens and politicians have wanted to do the same in this country (all `for our own safety`, of course) even before 9/11. Per my earlier posting, our military will soon be monitoring not just our perimeter (border) airspace but also our INTERIOR airspace. Right now, aircraft crossing our borders must be on a flight plan with an assigned transponder code and under full ATC control. A controller KNOWS exactly who that particular track on his scope is and where he is going. However, few pilots flying VFR in the U.S. interior are on a flight plan or talking to ATC. The controllers (neither military nor civilian) don`t have the faintest idea of who that unidentified 1200 squawk is or where he is going because our current regulations don`t require that VFR aircraft, flying on the outskirts of Class B or C airspace, identify themselves. (I think that this is what is called `Freedom.`) Up to this point, the civilian ATC sector didn`t worry too much about it but how long do you think the military is going to accept it??? The military won`t rest until it can positively ID every blip on their scopes. The next step will be to require that EVERY one of those pilots be in communication with a controller somewhere. After that, we`ll all have to submit a flight plan 48 hours in advance (to allow time for our pilot`s license number to be compared to a National Terrorist Database) before we`ll be allowed to do simple touch and goes at our favorite country airport on a Saturday afternoon. Any cross-country flight plan will probably require that we land at each state line to have our papers examined. Okay, THAT last one was probably a little far fetched but is the rest of it? Not at all! Do I hope that I`m wrong? Gawd, I hope so! But is there a chance that it could happen? Yep! Still think my line of thinking is absurd? Then answer these few questions: 1. Who`s aircraft were used in the 9/11 attacks? (Airlines.) 2. What aircraft were NOT involved in the 9/11 attacks AT ALL? (Private aircraft.) 3. Who was immediately grounded in the days immediately following the attacks? (Both.) 4. Who was the first to be allowed to resume flying? (Airlines.) 5. Who was STILL grounded a week later? (Private aircraft!) If you don`t understand my point, re-read questions 1, 2 & 5. I don`t expect too many non-pilots to take sympathy with this issue. However, don`t forget that terrorists could use ANY form of transportation to deliver their weapons and if America`s paranoia is allowed to ground my airplane, then your Harley or RV might be next! Of course, these are just my personal opinions and I could have my head up and locked. Your rebuttals are solicited!


10/07/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: thudson AT houston.rr.com

Oops, I forgot one important point: For those of you who think that forcing ALL aircraft, both airline and private, to fall under a nationwide requirement of positive control will stop terrorism from the air, let me remind you that the airlines are already required to be under `positive control` from pushback at their departure airport to their arrival at the gate of their destination airport. Yet, three airliners were successfully used for terrorist attacks three years ago this past September! Every one of them took off under positive control!


10/06/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jef States
Email: psu68 AT psualum.com

A passing of note...Gordon `Gordo` Cooper died yesterday. Cooper was one of the Mercury 7 astronauts who, as a group, blazed the trail for the American space exploration program. Cooper was the last American to fly into space alone. The `New York Times` sensing the historical importance stated in part: `Cooper`s death means that of the original group of seven astronauts named in 1959 to take America into space, only three survive -- John Glenn, Scott Carpenter and Wally Schirra` For those who remember, the other 3 that preceded Cooper in death were...Gus Grissom, Deke Slayton and Alan Shepard.


10/06/2004 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: tepage AT hotmail.com

Re the Target Data Extractor, TDX-2000, this news release was found on-line at http://www.sensis.com/docs/180/ -- ``U.S. Air Force Awards Sensis Contract to Expand Radar Coverage DEWITT, NY – January 25, 2003 – Sensis Corporation today announced that it has been awarded a $5.9M contract by the U.S. Air Force for the installation of TDX-2000 Target Data Extractors. With the implementation of these high performance radar processors, the Air Force in conjunction with the FAA can leverage the country’s existing interior analog radar systems to provide comprehensive surveillance of the interior Continental United States (CONUS) airspace. In order to secure our domestic airspace from terrorist attacks, the role of the Air Force has expanded from monitoring the perimeter of the U.S. to also monitoring the interior. “The continental U.S. has an enormous number of radar systems – unfortunately, many of the older ones are not compatible with our air defense systems and the TDX-2000 ensures that compatibility,” said Major Tony Burris, Chief CONUS Air Defense Communications. “Utilizing the TDX is a rapid and cost-efficient way to achieve the surveillance coverage now required.” To expand the radar coverage of CONUS airspace, Sensis and the Air Force will deploy 17 TDXs, transforming the analog signals from short-range radars into high quality digital target reports suitable for integration into the Air Force’s command and control centers. The Air Force will receive TDX systems in a redundant configuration to ensure high availability of target reports. Additionally, the deployment – expected to be completed in September 2004 – will provide the Air Force with contiguous CONUS air surveillance. “Since our founding, Sensis has supported military organizations around the world with technology solutions to satisfy ever-changing surveillance needs,” said Marc Viggiano, president of Sensis Corporation’s Air Traffic Systems Division. “The Air Force has used our TDX system for many years to monitor the U.S. perimeter. We are pleased that when their mission changed, they again turned to Sensis to find a solution.” Since introducing its Target Data Extractor in 1994, Sensis has delivered over 75 TDXs for use by numerous government and military agencies around the world. The United States FAA, Air Force and Navy are Sensis’ largest TDX customers, deploying TDXs for projects such as the Surveillance Tracking and Radar Program (STRAP). For STRAP, the Air Force and Navy utilize TDXs for various surveillance applications including aerostats, helium balloon-borne analog radar, to track potential drug-trafficking planes flying below traditional radar surveillance, as well as ground based radar applications, including short-range systems as planned for the current Homeland Security effort. Through STRAP, the U.S. Department of Defense supports federal agencies involved in the country’s drug interdiction program. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY On November 25, 2002, President Bush signed the “Homeland Security Act of 2002” into law. The Act restructures and strengthens the executive branch of the Federal Government to better meet the threat to our homeland posed by terrorism. In establishing a new Department of Homeland Security, the Act for the first time creates a Federal department whose primary mission will be to help prevent, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism on our soil.``


10/06/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: thudson AT houston.rr.com

Tom, I`ve never been the type to go around claiming that Big Brother is upon us but I find the news release on the Target Data Extractor scary. While all of us want to do everything that we can to stop terrorism in the U.S., this `turning the radars to look INSIDE of the U.S.`, if you will, won`t be nearly as effective at stopping airborne terrorist attacks as it will at strangling personal aviation. The Target Data Extractor mentioned below, will allow the military to access all radar data from FAA radars throughout the interior of the U.S. and monitor everything that flys. Will the terrorists conveniently squawk a discrete transponder code or will ALL non-airline traffic be suspect??? After this system is in place, will Congress start efforts to outlaw VFR airtcraft? Will your family`s dentist be blown out of the sky some afternoon because some NORAD controller couldn`t ID his Beechcraft as it approached Ft. Worth? Meanwhile, the terrorists are laughing at our stupidity as they plan their next attack by packing the trunk of a Toyota full of explosives; knowing full well that not a damn thing will stop them because America is narrow-mindedly convinced that aircraft are the ONLY weapons that the terrorists will ever use! (Don`t worry about me. I`ll be fine. The Vallium should be taking effect soon...)


10/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ron Larson
Email: Antiqueronkaz AT webtv.net

Oddly enough, by sheer chance, I saw the Russian Spudnick pass by.It was in the evening and I just happened to look up and spot it. Pretty much ideal conditions but it wasn`t that hard to see. After the dog orbits and the importance of manned flight was under discussion, there was a new popular expression-`Nervous as a midget in Moscow`!


10/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Errol Wayne
Email: Batcave911 AT aol.com

DAYTON, Ohio - The Air Force expects planes will be able to fire non-lethal microwave rays at enemy ground troops with the help of a new superconducting generator system developed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base after about 25 years of research. Heavy, inefficient generators have been a hurdle to the development of airborne microwave weapons, which create a disabling burning sensation. Microwaves could be used to control large groups of enemy fighters without killing them or disable electronics-dependent enemy weapons, said Philip Coyle, senior adviser for the Center for Defense Information. The Air Force is preparing to award a $22 million contract to a private contractor to construct and demonstrate the new electrical generating system by 2009. Microwaves could be used to control large groups of enemy fighters without killing them or disable electronics-dependent enemy weapons, said Philip Coyle, senior adviser for the Center for Defense Information. The Air Force is preparing to award a $22 million contract to a private contractor to construct and demonstrate the new electrical generating system by 2009.


10/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: tepage AT hotmail.com

Sputnik 1 and 2 were way too small to be seen with the naked eye. What many people saw back then was Echo 1, essentially a large metallic balloon in low-earth orbit used to reflect radio waves. I recall seeing it back in the early 1960`s -- my dad and my uncle pointed it out. Take a look at http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Dictionary/Echo/DI55G2.htm/.


10/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jery Zettler
Email: zettlerj AT speakeasy.net

Here is a follow up to Errol Wayne`s last posting. WPAFB, Ohio -- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has developed a system that will let the military put weapons on airplanes that shoot paralyzing microwave rays at people on the ground. The rays are not lethal but cause a burning sensation severe enough to temporarily disable enemy troops. The military has spent 25 years trying to find a way to carry the weapons on airplanes because the electrical systems to power the weapons are too heavy. Engineers at Wright-Patt have developed a superconducting generator that`s light enough to mount on aircraft. The Air Force is preparing to award a $22 million contract to a private contractor to build and demonstrate the new superconducting system by 2009. Microwaves and other directed-energy weapons could help in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, where U.S. troops have had to deal with hostile but unarmed crowds as well as insurgents. Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


10/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Hank Brand
Email: hankb16 AT att.net

Tom - I was able to see Sputnik - in spite of it`s grapefruit size - shortly after sunset, moving south to north across the eastern sky. It was about 30 degrees elevation. This was viewed from Long Island. It`s location was announced on TV.


10/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Carl Wenberg
Email: zoombag AT comcast.net

Just had a look at the what`s new link saw the Control & reporting center at Kev. Iceland as an old AC&W troop ( Scope Dope) of the 50s and early60s all I can say is WOW!!! noticed female troops there I wonder how it would have worked out with them back at the Iceland H2 and H4 sites back in the old days another WOW!!!


10/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Carl Wenberg
Email: zoombag AT comcast.net

Just looked at the Reporting and Control Center at Kev. Iceland on the what`s new link as an old AC&W scope dope of the 50s and 60s all I can say is WOW!!! also noticed female troops at center wonder how that would have worked out at the H2 and H4 sites in Iceland back in the old days WOW!!!


10/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: thudson AT houston.rr.com

Hey Tom (10/4/2004), as a pilot and aircraft owner, I have to disagree about the new (false) sense of security that America now has as a result of increased domestic airspace vigilance since 9/11. While what the terrorists did to us with our own civilian airplanes was, without a doubt, a tragedy beyond compare, the focus that the TSA has put on `little airplanes` since 9/11 is absurd. The kid who commited suicide by flying a Cessna 172 into a Tampa office building in 2002 proved that a small airplane is hardly a threat to our society. And yet, the TSA has gone to great lengths to make personal flying a headache these days with increased rules and regulations that automobile owners wouldn`t stand for. Let`s face it folks, the next terrorist attack isn`t going to come from the skies. The next terrorist attack will probably be from a weapon in the trunk of a common automobile which, at this time, still has unlimited access to 99.99% of the United States.


10/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Armstrong
Email: jackarm AT hotmail.com

In reference to Tom Pages message about the AF being tied into mall of the Enrout Radar Sites and most of the Terminal Radars. I teach the Sensis Digitizer which the FAA refers to as the TDX-2000 which is a main part of this data tie in. It converts all of the analog radar data into digital and puts in in a standard message format for transmittal over either land lines or microwave links. The AF has the capability of looking at the data when it is needed.


10/04/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

Another Cold War anniversary today, (Mon., Oct. 4), 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, into orbit. `Sputnik` means `fellow traveler` in Russian. In military terms, the launch was a sign the Russians were ahead in intercontinental ballistic missile development. The fear was they would set up a military base on the moon. Russians sent the first probe to the moon, and took the first photographs of its far side. They put the first man in space, first woman, first dog (called Mutt-nik in some circles) and took the first spacewalk. Sputnik inspired educational reforms. The claim was American teachers were focused too much on their students` feelings. Russian teachers were presumably cranking out little scientists. A book entitled `Why Johnny Can`t Read` became a best seller. President Eisenhower signed into law the National Defense Education Act. It funded public school laboratories and textbooks. I recall taking “New Math” in which it was said the right answer wasn’t as important as understanding what you did (!). I remember going into the backyard with my father to look for Sputnik in the night sky. People claimed to have seen it, but I think it was too small for the naked eye. Perhaps others out there know for sure? Candidate John Kennedy ran for President in part on an alleged `missile gap.` Missiles would later play a role in an October crisis involving Cuba, as well as making our radar air defense network obsolete.


10/04/2004 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: tepage AT hotmail.com

For Gary Jacobs: Well, I think it would be more accurate to say that the US radar air defense network was not made ``obsolete`` per se by the perceived Soviet missile threat -- rather, it was merely relegated to secondary importance and then greatly reduced in scope. Then, in the early 1980`s, the Cold War was deemed over, and the radar air defense network was further reduced in importance to ``peace-time surveillance`` only. Until 9/11 (2001), that is. Today, every FAA long-range radar and certain airport short-range radars in the CONUS are reportedly tied into the Joint Surveillance System, providing coast-to-coast radar coverage that has not been seen since the late 1960`s or early 1970`s! If nothing else, the terrorist attacks served as a vital wake-up call! The air-breathing threat never went away; it has been here all along, just in the shadow of the missile threat. Hopefully our Government now realizes that if you`re going to protect your house by locking the front door, you have to lock the back door, too! Your enemies will always look for a weakness to exploit, and then do so if the opportunity presents itself. On the other hand, look at all the money that was saved during the period of ``peace-time surveillance`` only. Ah, what is the price tag for national defense and security? Sleep well tonight, America -- somebody is finally (hopefully) watching our skies again!


10/03/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

Today (Sun., Oct. 3) is the anniversary of the 1990 reunification of East and West Germany, divided since the end of World War II. The most visible sign of this division was the Berlin Wall that split the former capital for 28 years. I recall on one deployment looking at grease-pencil lines on a radar scope that showed the air traffic lanes for aircraft heading in or out of West Berlin. One place we went had an abandoned wooden tower. When you climbed to the top, you could see a grand view into the east. Very few lights over there at night. I thought at the time perhaps in a few generations that East and West might reunite.


10/03/2004 00:00:00

Name: Aaron Allen [551, 931] US-26
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

For anyone in Greenland [or at NORAD]Dec `65 til mid- 1980s: Can you pls tell me anything you know about the 4683d Air Def Wg [and the 4683d AB Gp]? This was, for a while, the `sweep-up` outfit which took over TAB, the [327?] FIS, P-Mtn, etc. and kept `em until the es- tablishment of Space Command? Yhank you!.. Also, if YOU were at Pingarssuit [or, Pingorssuit] aka 931, P-Mtn, The Hill, etc. from `52-65 and I haven`t contacted you already, pls msg me with your USPS address and I`ll send you a FREE 931st patch or two for your wall or a jkt/ blazer? A year or so ago, USAF added to the AFI [replaces AFR] con- cerning USAF awards: All persons who served above the Arctic Circle at remote, unacompanied sites are authorized the `A` bronze appurtenance upon their AF Overseas Svc Ribbon [Short Tour--less than 3 yrs]...Guess we can retire our `VO` ribbons! Aaron/US-26.


10/02/2004 00:00:00

Name: George Bulatowicz
Email: Geobul AT comcast.net

I was stationed at Mt Laguna AFS from 1971 til 1973, and at Opheim AFS from 1973 til 1975. I`d sure enjoy hearing from other people from those sites.


10/01/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ron Larson
Email: antiqueronkaz AT webtv.net

IBM support for the Sage system ceased about 1985.Dick Brown, IBM Rep. was on site in Arizona. At IBM Westlake Ca facility, Paul De Nublio, Harold Cook and Ken Doran were in support. They all came from tthe Santa Monica site that had closed.