Air Weapons Controllers - Tyndall AFB, FL
3625th veterans, sign in the 3625th Site Roster
The 3625th Technical Training Squadron at Tyndall AFB, FL was located immediately across the street from the 678th Radar Sqdn radar site. The purpose of the 3625th was to teach people to become air weapons controllers. The basic functions of an Air Weapons Controller are: to direct, by radio and radar scope, fighter aircraft tointercept attacking bombers; to supervise operations of an aircraft and early warning system; toto commit and coordinate air defense forces. The objectives of the school are: to provide students with the basic principles and factors underlying aircraft control; to make students proficient in controlling aircraft from ground radar scopes; to make students in supervising aircraft control and warning operations. [Ed. note: the "Functions" and "Objectives" in the previous sentences from a 1954 vintage Tyndall yearbook]
One job in the 3625th was called a "T-4 Driver". The T-4 driver operated the AN-TPS-4 Target Generator. Utilizing the live radar from the radar site across the street, the T-4 driver would overlay simulated aircraft and other data for the students. It looked quite real; some of the students actually thought it was real. The T-4 driver would then act as pilots, talking to the students through an in-house radio system. The students would first start out just controlling the interceptor, after that they would move into a one-on-one with a target, and eventually work their way up to running on multiple targets. The training and exercises could be a lot of fun.
The following is from the 1954 Tyndall AFB yearbook, contributed by John Rosso
Aircraft Controller School has a filter center like operational warning systems. Plotting board is used to indicate position of hostile and friendly aircraft.
A vertical plexiglass plotting board is used with information marked up as it is picked up on the radar scopes.
A/C controller students are taken on a briefing tour of fighter operations.
Controllers take a minute off from the radar scope between them. Men in the background are plotting positions on plexiglass plot board.