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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2006

12/31/2006 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT earthlink.net

While surfing the web, I found an interesting site. www.cevp.com/docs/COLDWAR/1999-11-02132.pdf

It is a 178-page paper titled "COld War Infrastructure for Air Defense: The Fighter and Command Missions. It has lots of photos, mostly of aircraft hangers, but several photos of early Ground Observer Corps centers and also photos of various SAGE blockhouses under construction.


12/31/2006 00:00:00

Name: Jeff States
Email: psu68 AT psualum.com

Great post by John Tianen. The document referenced is 178 pages. For those interested in SAGE, BUIC and AC&W radar squadrons, interesting insights and information is to be found on pages 21 through 27. Apparently, we were all working with systems and installations (1960's and 1970's) that were considered obsolete by the Air Force thinking and planning of that time frame. Personally, I was rather surprised!


12/29/2006 00:00:00

Name: Michael Horne
Email: mdhorne AT cox.net

Thanks guys for the replies regarding the remote/isolated determinations for the sites. My three remotes were all at semi-major bases (King Salmon and Galena), all in the '80s and '90s, so no major problems with 'isolation'. By that time, the (now-sattelite) phone system was actually part of the civilian system rather than AUTOVON; anyone with a Class A number could collect call back to the states just about anytime. Also, re northern tier sites, in 1983 I was TDY with an RBS detachment to Simpson MT, about 10 miles NORTH of the old Havre AFS. You are DEFINITELY right about places like this NOT being where you'd want to go after an Alaska small-site tour!!


12/29/2006 00:00:00

Name: Fred Bock
Email: tddlb AT gctel.com

I was stationed twice at 739th Radar Sq, Wadena Minnesota and twice at 756th Radar Squadron Finland, Minnesota. Also did inspecting, modification and maintenance assist at all radar sites from western Montana to Upper Michigan. Most people stationed on these sites either loved the assignment or absolutely hated the duty. Some of these sites were fairly remote and if you liked hunting and fishing and snowmobiling you liked it and other sites were fairly close or accessable to medium to large population areas, i.e., Finland was 65 miles from Duluth Mn. Wadena was about 90 miles from Fargo or St. Cloud, Mn. Sites that were really remote in my view were places like Cutbank Mt., Fortuna, ND, Baudette, Mn., and sites in upper penisula Michigan. There was a reference to Finland AFS, Mn. and pollution problems on development efforts. I can relate to that situation. I was first assigned there in early 1965. At that time rules were just coming into play to ship PCB oils from high voltage transformers to a disposal site for destruction. Prior to that I was told the stuff was dumped over the back fence of the complex. GATR had high power Data Link and utilized these PCB laden oils in the three phase transformer and Radar both search and height also utilized these same oils in transformers. I do not know how much was dumped prior to 1965 but would guess it was considerable. I do not know about any diesel oil contamination. A further problem for this site was the fact that the site water well gave out in 1977 and the USAF started to "truck" water in from Duluth. We were told it was not feasible to replace the well. I do not know if that was because of cost and projected closure or if the water table had dropped that much. Any development on the civilian side will face some major hurdles in commercial development. We had many interesting activities at the site. One was we had a curling rink and tournaments were held with other norther sites and canadian sites participating in this activity. Often we would have people sleeping all over the barracks when tournaments were in progress. In 1976, request was made to rehab the curling rink and it was denied. Turns out that many years ago GIs had built the rink and it was not an authorized building and was not on the official records. Still it was a very popular activity for many years


12/29/2006 00:00:00

Name: Dick Konizeski
Email: rmk98 AT tscnet.com

I just read an article in the local newspaper about President Bush ordering that on December 31, 2006, all classified records more than 25 years old and of historical value "shall be automatically declassified whether or not the records have been reviewed." There are cetain exceptions to this, but for the most part, this creates a significant opportunity for researchers, historians, journalists, and just-plain-citizens to access previously classified information. It'll be interesting to see what new information will surface for our Radar Museum, and other Cold War research organizations.


12/29/2006 00:00:00

Name: Brian Coy
Email: bcoytac AT msn.com

Reference remote duty: I went from Murphy Dome, AK, to Dickinson, ND, to Kalispell MT, to Melville, Labrador, for a total of 5 years and 2 remotes in a cold climate. My next assignment was Luke. Imagine the shock of hitting AZ in July after those cold assignments. Luke was where I was able to retrain out of radar into computer programming, but I was still hit with another remote (King Salmon, AK) before I could drop the 27390 AFSC.


12/29/2006 00:00:00

Name: Jeff States
Email: psu68 AT psualum.com

Re post from Dick Konizeski...here is the article from the New York Times...www.nytimes.com/2006/12/21/washington/21declassify.html?ex=1324357200&en=282fb72dc92fd0d4&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss


12/29/2006 00:00:00

Name: r frame
Email: rfame AT otelco.net

I had an assignment to gettysburg s.d. right before it closed. It was a 12 month controlled tour, but could have been worse. When it closed i asked for St. Albans Vt. and everyone thought i was crazy. It was the best assignment i had in 26 years. we had camping trailers,free ski lift passes, free golf at a good golf course, a 2 lane bowling alley on site, our own private beach on lake champlain. we were 25 miles from burlington, about an hour to montreal. site was 3 miles from town , town of 8000. people were friendly, just the best assignment i ever had stateside. A lot better than some that was supposed to be good (north truro, tdy, hated it and mt laguna ca. Rode a greyhound bus 45 miles up a twisty road for 1 and 1/2 hr to go to work. That was the worst working conditions i had


12/28/2006 00:00:00

Name: Bob Caggiano
Email: rcaggian AT ptd.net

Interesting article regarding the Cold War and North Dakota!

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-12-27-ndakota-nuke-site_x.htm


12/27/2006 00:00:00

Name: JohnDaniel (Dan) Cameron Jr.
Email: john.cameron AT DBPR.state.fl.us

John Tianen 904th at Winslow was not so bad for single guys if you had a car. Being right on Route 66 Only 10 miles from Winslow 10 minutes, 35 miles from Holbrook 40 minutes & 65 miles from Flagstaff about an hour. Base had regular bus runs to Winslow prior to and after shift changes for guys without transportation & pick up supplies and new troops. There was Hunting and fishing in mountains south & west of Winslow. Had a couple of rock hounds on base while I was there. Historical Ruins and Monuments Indian Reservations. Oak Creek Canyon South of Flagstaff. Snow Bowl for sking in winter at Flagstaff. Plus all the girls in those towns close by. Several guys at Winslow married girls from there and went to work for Santa Fe Railroad when they got out of Air Force. Ajo was more isolated as it was only a few miles from Mexico. Gila Bend was closest then Yuma to west and Phoenix to the east. Ajo did have one advantage. According to the guys I talked to at Ajo the Air Force rented some Boats in Mexico at the Head of the Gulf of California just South of where the
Colorado River entered the Gulf for them to use for Deep Sea fishing. There was still water in Colorado River at that point then. My isolated tour was 922nd AC&W Cartwright AFS Labrador Canada. Then to my only PCS to a Big Base Tyndall AFB Panama City, Florida. There was some resentment in P. C. but with all the tourist from all over south especially Georgia,Alabama&Tennessee was great place to be stationed. My home was in Tallahassee Florida made it twice as good.
Home every week end in winter & on Beach spring & summer til Discharge Date

Dan Cameron
904th Winslow AFS 1958-1960
922nd Cartwright AFS 1960-1961
3625 TTG Tyndall AFB Weapons ControllerSchool 1961-6/4/1962


12/27/2006 00:00:00

Name: Wm. Shaw
Email: atfpapa AT yahoo.com

Michael Horne...I read your post concerning what constituted a remote assignment if posted to a Base here in the States. Officially, I don't know the criteria, but can give a few details about my first duty station out of tech school (27350B) in '61. I was sent to North Concord AFS (home of the 911th RADRON), which was located in the extreme northeast corner of VT. Because it was considered a remote assignment, they rotated us out after 12 months. Distance to St. Johnsbury was about 32 miles, although we had to pass through Lyndonville, by way of VT. 114 to get there. In fact, the Base name later changed to Lyndonville AFS. There was no way anyone could pass by our AFS by accident or otherwise because, after turning off of VT. 114, it was another 8 miles up the mountain, on a dirt/gravel road, through the forest before you reached the cantonment area. Then another 3 miles from there up to the operations area on topside. There was a phone placed on the road not far off VT 114 that connected straight into the A/P shack on the Base. Everyone had to ask if the road was clear (it was just one lane wide) before they started up. Our Support Base was Topsham AFB at first, then was changed to Plattsburg AFB which was about 130-150 miles away, give or take. Fresh food once a month, but lots of powdered eggs and milk when that ran low. We had NO medic or dental care. Had to go to the support Base for that. Our BX (laugh out loud) was open for about an hour, maybe, one day a week if memory serves me. We had movies shown in the "Rec. Hall" when they were available. The Motor Pool did make rec-runs on Friday evenings into St. J's. That was good for the non-shift workers but not us scope dopes or maintainence types. I hope this helps give you an idea of what constituted a remote assignment back then.


12/27/2006 00:00:00

Name: Aaron V. Allen
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

Pls check your addressbooks and headers: Rdr Mtr. Larry D. Whitten,
TSG-r, is changing his e-handle from flokboss@dmv.com to flokboss@mchsi.com effective tomorrow [28-Dec-06]...Tnx, Aaron.


12/27/2006 00:00:00

Name: Bill Wells
Email: bdwells AT suddenlink.net

The 767th AC&W was in northern NM on an 8500ft mesa top. closest town was Tierra Amarilla-pop about 200. Either the marrieds lived in a small trailer park or looked for sub-standard housing around the country side.Most had no indoor plumbing.Winters were very bad and when we got snowed in we ate 5in ones that were kept warehoused. When the roads were open U could order commisary good from Kirtland at Albuquerque.But it was a great hunting and fishing area. I was there from 54 til 56- anyone else stationed there around that time?


12/27/2006 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT earthlink.net

My remote assignment in Iceland was not all that bad. Rockville was less than 10 miles from a major NATO base with all its amenities. A shuttle bus ran there several times a day. We could go into town on a special pass, but it was not encouraged due to curfew restrictions and the hostile attitude of some of the locals. We did get local bands (with female soloists) to play at the NCO club and we did have an option to fly to Europe on special R&R flights. Because we were next to a major international airport, guys could take a leave and fly back to the U.S.

My duty at Saratoga AFS was great. The site was located in a resort area near major population centers. We were just 10 miles from a city of about 20,000. I had a car which helped a lot. Troops without a car often waited at the main gate to catch a ride into town. I wish I had a buck for every ride a gave a GI. If all the duty stations had been like Saratoga AFS, I might have stayed in the Air Force. But I had seen remote duty and the stress it placed on marriages (I had just married a local girl) and didn't think I wanted to deal with that. Plus, I had heard enough horror stories about some stateside assignments that I knew sooner or later I probably would draw one as well as do another overseas remote tour. I salute those of you who did stay in and put up with some of those not-so-choice assignments.


12/27/2006 00:00:00

Name: Stephen Weatherly
Email: lweatherly4 AT comcast.net

Teletype art work was not confined to just the comm center. Saw similar art produced on an 029 card punch. The resulting punched card deck was read into a mainframe computer, processed, and the results printed out on a high speed printer. This card punch art was not always well received when the cost and loss of computer time (e.g. IBM 360), and card and paper costs were factored in. Left unchecked, card punch art was a management problem for a computer center on a university campus. At Texas A&M in the late 60s, punch card art showed up not only at Christmas and New Years, but also during local events like the annual football game with the University of Texas. Personally, I liked the teletype art better than the punched card art since it was usually more detailed and involved pictures (images) rather than slogans. Working out of a comm center on a isolated radar site must have led to more creativity than working out of a card punch room on a university campus.


12/26/2006 00:00:00

Name: John Daniel (Dan) Cameron Jr.
Email: john.cameron AT DBPR.state.fl.us

I remember the the teletype Art work. I saw one at 904th at Christmas it was a Christmas Tree posted on bulletin Board in ops. My first roommate at 922nd was Crypto operator he showed me several including 1 X-rated for the time.


12/26/2006 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT earthlink.net

Regarding "remote assignments"....

Anyone who served in Alaska, Greenland, Iceland and along the northern Canadian Atlantic coast can relate to what "remote" means. I recall having bulls**t sessions in Iceland where the radar troops would discuss the pros and cons of various stateside assignments. As I recall, most agreed that duty in the northeast, south, and midwest wasn't too bad. The sites were never very far from population centers and duty in some of those small towns was great. Unlike very large bases where GIs were often resented, the small towns welcomed us and were glad to have us as neighbors. Many married local girls. Some assignments were downright fabulous. If you were stationed at Key West, Cape Cod, or Montauk Point, you were in a desirable tourist area. They might be expensive places to live in if you lived off base, but if you were single and living in the barracks, like most of us were back then, those assignments were terrific. But when it came to the western states, it was a different matter. I can always remember the name of Cut Bank, Montana coming up in the conversations as something of a hellhole for single guys as well as were some of the other sites along the Canadian border in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana. I've driven by some of the western sites. Ajo and Winslow, AZ come to mind. Small towns out in the middle of nowhere with little to do for the single airman. Imagine if you had just spent a year at an Alaskan site and got an assignment to Cut Bank, Fortuna, Opheim, or Ajo. Single or married, I'm sure it made many reconsider when it came time to re-up.


12/25/2006 00:00:00

Name: Aaron V. Allen
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

For ALL of you who are 'net-served' by Cox: Pls check your server
to see if your email address has changed from xxxxxx@cox.net to
xxxxxx@suddenlink.net--pls check for a msg or bulletin advising
you of this: You may have a few months or up to a year to change
your email address to show the 'suddenlink'...Pls try to change
your email address here on Radomes if necessary. If you have trou-
ble doing so, pls msg me for help [ aaron.nancy@verizon.net ]

Those of you who have "Book Headers" [Headings with email addres-
ses in blocks to send msgs to many recipients] should keep an eye
on any of your addressees who are cox-served--you may have to cor-
rect your headers to avoid msgs 'bucked' for invalid addresses...
Thank you for watching this one--many or few may be affected but
I suspect most of the cox-served folk may have to change to
'suddenlink' [don't forget your paperwork, stationery, bizcards,
etc. if you are indeed affected...Happy Holidays--Aaron.


12/25/2006 00:00:00

Name: Gary Satterlee
Email: satt4647 AT aol.com

Began training at Lackland AFB, TX; then to Keesler AFB, MS, for Radar Operater's School; then to Gunter AFB, AL, for SAGE scope dope duty; then on to 623rd AC&W Squadron, Det 3, Yoza Dake AFS, Okinawa (1967-69); then to Gunter AFS, MI, for Sage scope duty again; then to Luke AFB for Sage scope dope duty again; then to 708th AC&W Sqdn, Indian Mountain AFS, AK (1970-71); then back to Luke AFB for Sage scope dope duty again. Finally got out of AF after 7 years. Had orders to go back to remote Alaska. Had a family and just didn't want to leave them again. Been a civilian ever since. Miss the old days, though. Many good times, few bad times, but all memorable times. Would love to hear from others who remember me somehow.


12/24/2006 00:00:00

Name: Bill Wells
Email: bdwells AT suddenlink.net

Was in Security and watched over the Genie at Great Falls.Mont--Malmstrom and KI Sawyer in Mich--Seems I rememeber a 101 burning up in the alert hanger with genies onboard.That was almost 50 years ago and trails grow dim!


12/24/2006 00:00:00

Name: Buck Brennan CMSGT RET
Email: burtonb AT centurytel.net

Michael question about semi remote radar sites can be answered by saying the main 2 reasons to classify a site semi remote is housing availability and the distace to that housing. Take Santa Rosa Is,it was semi remote other conus sites when first came on line before they built site housing was semi remote. lets face it troops the radar career field was not an easy tour in the 50/60's


12/24/2006 00:00:00

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

During this Christmas season, are there any old Teletype Operators who remember message traffic that was sent out on Christmas eve. I remember messages that included works of art that were prepunched on paper tapes and fed through the optical readers. They included Detailed drawings of subjects like the Madona and child, done by teletype keystrokes.

Does anyone still have hard copies of any of these messages?


12/23/2006 00:00:00

Name: Ronald D. Rounds
Email: ronaero AT citlink.net

Great site! I served 822nd ACW Cottonwood, Id 59-60


12/23/2006 00:00:00

Name: Tom page
Email: historian AT radomes.org

News Item (23 December 2006):

U.S. missile defence base in Europe to help ensure security: U.S. official

Source: http://english.people.com.cn/200612/23/eng20061223_335295.html

Establishing a U.S. missile defense base in Europe would help ensure the security of the U.S.'s European allies, Henry Obering, head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, told the Czech daily Hospodarske Noviny on Friday.

Without a base in Europe, the United States would not be able to provide the same protection to its European allies, its own citizens and military forces stationed in Europe as in the United States, Obering said.

The United States plans to deploy a missile defense radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland. The operation is going to start in 2011 and the location of the base would be decided early next year.

The Czech Civic Democratic Party (ODS), which won the most recent elections, supported the deployment of the base on Czech territory, while the election runner-up, the Social Democrats called for a referendum on the issue.

Obering said that the United States wanted to earmark 600-700 million U.S. dollars for the project, one third of which would be destined for the radar in the Czech Republic.

...


12/22/2006 00:00:00

Name: Stan Brown
Email: stoshb55 AT msn.com

Served at several stateside, Alaska, AEW&C, NORAD, and overseas "radar sites" and truly enjoyed them all.

Stan Brown
CMSgt, USAF (Ret)
276X0
Greenwood Village, Colorado


12/22/2006 00:00:00

Name: john olivieri
Email: olivierij AT comcast.net

one of the original 674 ACW people .T/Sgt Arrived Dec 1950?


12/22/2006 00:00:00

Name: Jim Varco
Email: jvarco AT dc.rr.com

I was one of those cook's on the hill at Mirphy Dome from Nov.1954 to Jan. 1956.


12/21/2006 00:00:00

Name: Alfred D. Bradley
Email: granddad72120 AT yahoo.com

For any one that served with the 647th AC&WSqdn, Manassas or Quantico Marine: I was at the 647th from 12-54 until 1956 when they transferred me to the 4710th GOC, squadron, Andrews AFB, Wash 25, D.C. From there, I was assign to JUSMAG, Madrid, Spain and later, SAC, Combat Support Group. From there, to Forbes AFB, Topeka, Ks. and then back to the world. If anyone remembers me, please write using the above address. Thanks.


12/21/2006 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: historian AT radomes.org

An on-line news item with a video clip about the former Almaden AFS and its ''monolith'' (i.e., the old AN/FPS-24 radar tower) may be viewed at http://cbs5.com/seenon/local_story_341001122.html. Thanks go the Ron Plante for pointing this one out.


12/21/2006 00:00:00

Name: Jeff States
Email: psu68 AT psualum.com

Sign of the times---The old radar sites keep fading away!!
______________________________________________________________

Radar base could become vacation homes

By Stephanie Hemphill
Minnesota Public Radio
June 7, 2006

The North Shore vacation home market is booming. Now a developer wants to convert the former Finland Air Force Base into vacation homes. But the project has been beset by problems, including pollution left by the Air Force.

"There's a lot of contamination," Abazs says. "Diesel contamination, PCBs. So this is now a Superfund site."

The Air Force sold the property. The current owners want to redevelop this land and turn it into vacation homes and affordable housing. They plan a total of 68 houses.


12/21/2006 00:00:00

Name: Jeff States
Email: psu68 AT psualum.com

Post below refers to Finland AFS, MN...P-69


12/19/2006 00:00:00

Name: Michael Horne
Email: mdhorne AT cox.net

I need to ask if any of you older site troops could tell me: What was the OFFICIAL criteria used to determine if a CONUS base was considered 'isolated '? The reason I'm asking is because I was TDY to Wurtsmith AFB MI in the mid '70s. The main gate was located at the far east end of the base (right by the town of Oscoda). However, about a mile to the west, a major north/south street ended at a fence that was obviously an abandoned, cut-off gate. One of the permanent party troops there told me that this used to be the main gate, but that it's location put it just a mile beyond the line for the base to be considered isolated, so 'they' (SAC, AF, ?) moved the gate to the new location a mile east so they would not be considered an isolated tour. Urban legends and possible leg pulling aside, would a full-service base like this ever be considered CONUS isolated? Was there a particular distance involved, and what was this distance from (another base, major airport, etc)? Also, what would be the upshot if the base WAS considered isolated (personnel management problems, 'bogus' remote credits, ?) Interested to hear some answers!


12/17/2006 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

From Wikipedia (edited from a longer article): The Douglas Genie (MB-1, AIR-2) was an unguided air-to-air rocket with a 1.5kt W25 nuclear warhead. It was used by the United States Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force from the late 1950s to the 1980s during the Cold War. Production ended in 1962 after over 1000 were produced, with some related training and test derivatives occuring later. A live Genie was detonated only once, in Operation Plumbbob on 19 July 1957. It was fired by an F-89J over Yucca Flats Nuclear Test Site at an altitude of 4,500 m (15,000 ft). A group of USAF officers volunteered to stand underneath the blast to prove that the weapon was safe for use over populated areas. Whether this affected the health of the officers is unknown. The Genie was cleared for being carried on the F-89 Scorpion, F-101B Voodoo, F-106 Delta Dart, and F-104 Starfighter in U.S. service. However the Starfighter never carried it in operational service. Convair offered an upgrade of the F-102 Delta Dagger that would have been Genie-capable, but it was not adopted. Genie was finally withdrawn from service in 1985. It was never used in combat. The F-89J used to launch the only live test is on static display at the Montana Air National Guard in Great Falls, MT.


12/17/2006 00:00:00

Name: Gene Hellickson
Email: genehellickson AT yahoo.com

A picture of the Genie nuclear missile can be seen at: http://www.swiftview.com/~ormilmuseum/projects.html
It's listed under the heading "Main Display"


12/17/2006 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: historian AT radomes.org

More on the ''Genie'' rocket / missile (whatever) may be viewed at www.petemuseum.org/GenieRocket.html/, www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/r-2.html/, and www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1007/.

Thanks to all who wrote for all the additional facts and clarification. (Me, I think I'll be sticking to *radar* history.)


12/17/2006 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

Virginian Pilot newspaper, 12/17/06: WALLOPS ISLAND - Minutes before sunrise Saturday, an Air Force Minotaur I blazed into space, becoming the first rocket to launch from the Eastern Shore's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The four-stage launch vehicle, with two experimental satellites tucked inside its upper stage, thundered away on schedule at 7 a.m., leaving a twisting trail of exhaust that glowed pink, blue and yellow against the predawn sky."It went about as smooth as you could possibly imagine," said Air Force Col. Sam McCraw, the mission director, in a media briefing. Both satellites, he said, "are alive and kicking." They will gather intelligence for troops and further efforts to send human explorers back to the moon. About $60 million went into the launch, including construction of the two satellites and the rocket. The Air Force paid NASA Wallops around $1.8 million, with about $621,000 of that going to the spaceport. After launching, the Minotaur I performed better than expected during its nearly 21-minute voyage. It reached speeds of 18,000 mph as it was propelled into space by 70,000 pounds of rubbery solid rocket fuel. A minute into its flight, the rocket's first stage - the recycled motors of a retired Cold War-era Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile - dropped off in a fiery trail and fell into the ocean south of Bermuda. The satellite appeared to be operating with no problems after it was released into orbit 254 miles above the Earth, said Neal Peck, TacSat-2 program manager for the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico. The estimated $38 million TacSat-2 is the first in a series of experimental satellites that the Air Force has launched. It is equipped with 11 onboard experiments - one of which is a telescope-turned-spy-camera designed to send photos to military troops on the ground. If it works, a field commander in a Humvee will be able to order photos of enemy activity and download them over a secure radio network. "This is really a huge step," said Peter Wegner, the Air Force Research Laboratory's lead for its "responsive" space initiative. "The first one is the keystone to make all this stuff happen." Already, the Air Force has scheduled two more Minotaur launches for next year. NASA and a Maryland aerospace firm plan to try out a new rocket.


12/16/2006 00:00:00

Name: Buck Brennan CMSGT RET
Email: burtonb AT centurytel.net

Gene one small correction The Genie was a MB1 Rocket not a missile,It had a crud launch system but effective. The weapon was droped from the AC 2lines attached to the weapon, when launched ,one egnited the rocket the other sent the finial guidence to the weapon.The F106 carried one,F101 carried 2on rotating bay doors. F89J carried two out side on the wings.


12/16/2006 00:00:00

Name: Buck Brennan CMSGT RET
Email: burtonb AT centurytel.net

MY EMAIL ABOUT THE GENIE WAS MEANT FOR TOM SORRY GENE.


12/16/2006 00:00:00

Name: G. Wickert
Email: gwickert AT twcny.rr.com

Ref. Designation of GENIE primary weapon for F-106, F-101B & F-89. I beleive the weapon was refererred to as AIR 2A (Airborne Intercept Rocket). Thats if my memory serves me right.
G.Wickert old SAGE & Manual Radar Tech.


12/15/2006 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

WASHINGTON TIMES, 12.15/06: The Air Force has come out with a new Airman Battle Uniform. Its permanent press wash-and-wear, less expensive and comes in 236 sizes for men and women. The Air Force will start issuing them next spring. “The Airman Battle Uniform will replace the current woodland pattern Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniforms and will feature a distinctive Air Force digitized tiger stripe pattern, which shares three colors with the Army Combat Uniform and one additional color of slate blue,” according to a message to the troops Tuesday. “We will treat the ABU like any other weapon system by continually upgrading our capabilities in blocks as we learn from the emergence of new technologies,” the Air Force says. Airmen will save money on cleaning because the uniform cannot be starched, hot-pressed or dry-cleaned.


12/15/2006 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: historian AT radomes.org

Re Arnold Hooper's post, here is a copy of the ''Letter to the Editor'' that I sent after reading that article a couple of weeks ago (the purposes being *only* to clarify the facts ... as well as to publicize the existence of our website) --

To the Editors:

Re the article in the Smithsonian Air & Space magazine titled, ''The Thin Aluminum Line,'' by Mr. Carl Posey, December 2006 / January 2007, pp 60 - 67 --

The subject article is well-written and very informative. I enjoyed reading it, as I am very into Cold War air-defense history. However, I feel I must point out a few *minor* errors contained in the article.

The primary errors I wish to point out are the identities of the DEW-Line radar types. In the day, the long-range radar type employed across northern Canada and in Alaska was the AN/FPS-19 (as correctly stated by Mr. Posey). However, the intermediate, Doppler radar type was the AN/FPS-23 (not AN/FPS-124). Also, in Greenland, the DEW radars were type AN/FPS-30 (not AN/FPS-20).

When the DEW Line was modernized in the 1980s and became the North Warning System (NWS), the AN/FPS-19 radars were replaced by AN/FPS-117 long-range radars, and were supplemented with AN/FPS-124 short-range radars at auxiliary sites. Many of today's NWS sites are former DEW-Line sites, but not all, and some new NWS sites have been built. The NWS covers only Alaska and Canada, with no sites now in Greenland.

Re the Genie interceptor missile, it is my understanding that this nuclear-tipped missile was carried by three different aircraft, none of which was the F-102 Delta Dagger. The three types that carried the Genie, reportedly, were the F-89 Scorpion, the F-101 Voodoo, and the F-106 Delta Dart. The Genie was retired from duty, reportedly, in 1986 (I believe I read somewhere).

The author mentions the SAGE system, and indicates 23 control centers with AN/FSQ-7 computers. This is correct, as there indeed were 22 SAGE direction centers in the lower 48, plus one in Canada (an underground, dual operation). In addition, from circa 1959 until Dec. 1966, there also 3 SAGE combat centers operating AN/FSQ-8 computers. More were planned (as well as more direction centers), but funding shortages and the shift in emphasis to missile defense caused cancellations of the remaining facilities.

Finally, the photo at the bottom left of page 62 actually shows the prototype SAGE blockhouse operated by MIT Lincoln Labs at their facility next to Hanscom AFB, MA. That facility was used in the early / mid 1950s in the Experimental SAGE Subsector (ESS) to demonstrate the feasility of the SAGE system, but was not one of the operational SAGE facilities.

For further information about air-defense radars and related command-and-control facilities, please visit our website, The Online Air-Defense Radar Museum, at www.radomes.org/museum/. Thank you.

Sincerely,

-- Tom Page

Cofounder & Historian, The Online Air-Defense Radar Museum
www.radomes.org/museum/
The Air-Defense Radar Veterans' Association


12/14/2006 00:00:00

Name: Arnold Hooper
Email: hooru_ AT midmaine.com

Air Defense Article. The January 2007 issue of Smithsonian Air & Space magazine has an 8 page article on NORAD. A lot of it concerns interceptor aircraft but it also discusses and has photos of radar sites and Sage. On bewsstands or www.airspacemag.com
Article is titled The Thin Aluminum Line


12/14/2006 00:00:00

Name: Jeff States
Email: psu68 AT psualum.com

Thanks for the post Arnold. Good article about the "system" that we were all part of.


12/12/2006 00:00:00

Name: Alfred D. Bradley
Email: granddad72120 AT yahoo.com

I worked in the Orderly room as a file clerk and also in the mail room until I was assigned to the office duty in GCI ops. Then I went to the 4716th Ground Observer squadron, Andrews AFB Washington, D.C. From there, I went to the 7600th JUSMAG, Madrid, Spain. During my time at 647th and just before I moved, the first sergeant was a staff sergeant who was also the chief clerk. I would welcome any one that was there. The commander was a Captain Driscoll.


12/11/2006 00:00:00

Name: Les Derstein
Email: les AT windheaven.com

I was assigned to the 36th Air Div. Hdq's in Topsham,ME. in Jan. 1966 through May 1968. Worked as a Sage operater and in manual inputs. Then I was reassigned to a year in Viet Nam. I have always felt very prividged to have been part of the Sage system and it is great to be able now to find sites and organizations like this to bring back those important times in our history.


12/11/2006 00:00:00

Name: Jack Pearson
Email: keakap AT hawaii.rr.com

Great site! Imagine my excitement when I happened upon it via a link to Tin City Alaska, where I was stationed (U.S.A.F.) March 1967 to March 1968, Upper Camp, as a radar technician (working on the old FPS-20, etc.). I'll continue browsing the site and see what turns up. I'd like to participate as well, perhaps with the many pictures I still have from my 'stay'. I viewed the pictures and saw many of them were dated 1971. I'm now extrememly curious to find out, if possible, what happened to our 'mascot' Murphy- a Malemute/Alaskan Husky mix puppy given to us at Hilltop after we made a "Christmas" visit to their village of Wales in winter '67-'68. Onward into the cyber void! My many thanks to the owners/operators of this site!


12/10/2006 00:00:00

Name: Ronald H. Coy, Msgt, USAF, Retired
Email: roncoy AT buckeye-express.com

Been a visitor to Radomes before and really enjoyed it. My career started at Lackland AFB like most and then to Keesler AFB. From Keesler to the 753rd Sault Ste Marie, MI. Then 748th Kotzebue, AK, 727th Det1,TacConSq, Seymour-Johnson AFB,NC, and then the 727th Det1 moved to Luke AFB, AZ in 1965. After a year I hung it with eight yrs behind me. Waited a few years and joined the 180th FTRGRP,now the 180th FTR WNG, Ohio Air National Guard. Spent over 23 yrs. in TeleCommunications and retired in 1994. Would like to hear from anyone out there who has been at any of the above radar locations.


12/10/2006 00:00:00

Name: Richard Gossett
Email: richard AT flashbackmotorworks.com

I was assigned to the 753rd radar in Saulte Ste Marie from 1967 to 1970 and worked on the AN/FPS-35. It was great to find the site. Hope there are a few others from the 753rd still around.


12/09/2006 00:00:00

Name: Gene Hellickson
Email: genehellickson AT yahoo.com

Looking for material.
I am building a web site devoted to Mobile Military Radar. It will be documenting units, equipment and personal information. I am currently focusing on Air Force units, but I do have some information on Army units, and plan to expand it and to include Marine Corp units as well. Anyone with stories, manuals, articles or photos that would like to share them are encouraged to contact me. I can scan and return, if desired, or can accept digital copies of any information submitted. Please include the source of the material, so I can properly credit any donars.
Thank You


12/07/2006 00:00:00

Name: David Kearney
Email: Gloriandavid AT ne.rr.com

Hi every one I'm Looking for Ken Oyer From the 551st it otis AF Base On Cape Cod Mass. From 1956-1958 I found Chuck But not Ken We all used to go to Boston togeather David


12/03/2006 00:00:00

Name: Kenneth L. Wachtel
Email: WKwach AT aol.com

From 1958 to 1962, I was a Field Engineer with the Western Electric Air Defense Engineering Services. My specialty was Heavy Ground Search and Height Finder Radars and peaking those systems prior to inclusion in the SAGE Network. I worked with the AC&W Squadrons on the East and West coast.


12/01/2006 00:00:00

Name: GAJ7702@AOL.COM
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

NY Times, Dec. 1: The stark insignia of civil defense — a C and D forming a red circle in a white triangle on a blue disk — died yesterday after a long eclipse. It was 67 years old and lived in the mind’s eye of anyone who remembers air-raid drills, fallout shelters and metal drums filled with what had to be the stalest biscuits in the world. Its demise was announced by the National Emergency Management Association, the group that represents state emergency managers. The CD insignia, which the association called “a relic from the cold war,” was eulogized by Richard Grefé, the executive director of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. “The old mark fits in the same category of simplicity and impact occupied by the London Underground map,” Mr. Grefé said.Tom Geismar, a principal in Chermayeff & Geismar Studio, a design firm, said the insignia was “authoritative and appropriate for the serious work” of civil defense.The insignia was born in 1939, said Michael Bierut, a partner in the Pentagram design firm. Its father was Charles T. Coiner, the art director of the N. W. Ayer advertising agency, who also designed the National Recovery Administration’s blue eagle.The CD insignia was called anachronistic in 1972 by the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency, successor to the Office of Civil Defense. “The image was World War II vintage,” the agency said. The EM symbol was endorsed by R. David Paulison, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, successor to the civil preparedness agency. He attended the announcement in Washington. The new image was developed by Morrie Goodman, an emergency communications specialist and the managing director of AGG International, a marketing firm. Mr. Goodman said he first tried to update the classic triangle, using EM initials, but wound up with something that looked like the America Online logo. He was then directed by the association to take a fresh approach. In it, the letters EM and the words Public Safety and Public Trust are wreathed in blue and gold arcs, symbolizing movement, and three gold stars, standing for the local, state and federal levels of disaster preparedness and response.“We now have a new symbol of what our profession is all about,” Mr. Goodman said.Mr. Geismar sounded less sure. He said the stars and swooshes seemed “more appropriate to an upstart airline.” The CD insignia is survived by countless metal drums, still languishing in school basements, with biscuits that have grown even staler.“I will now go cry for Charles Coiner,” Mr. Bierut said.


12/01/2006 00:00:00

Name: Aaron V. Allen
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

The story about the end of the triangular Civil Defense logo does
not completely erase it from the US. The basic "CD" was the [over-
all] Office of Civil Defense. Several triangle CD badges, patches,
other insignia had symbols for firefighting, road repair, first aid,
forest protection, transportation, dispatch motorcyclists, and a
group of private and commercial volunteer pilots organized in each
state, initially under its 'Aviation Bureau' and Civil Defense Dir-
ector. This group of volunteers, the Civil Air Patrol, became the civil auxiliary of the Army Air Forces in 1943, flying forest, US-
boundry, and anti-submarine patrols. CAP became a Congress-charter-
ed, non-profit corporation in 1948 and the official auxiliary of USAF. The triangle with its propellor is still a part of the crest of CAP and some CAP 'corporate' [CAP-owned] aircraft show the logo inside the bars of the US national insignia on the wings...CAP member-owned aircraft, vehicles and equipment may display the trad-
itional [older style] triangle/prop insignia. CAP officially began
on 1 Dec 1941--a week before Pearl Harbor. [Aaron]