Amarillo Air Force Base Radar Site

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Amarillo Air Force Base Radar Site (1954-1968) - A Cold War Air Force Radar Station first established in 1954 on Amarillo Air Force Base, Potter County, Texas. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of M-88, later a Sage ID of Z-88. Abandoned in 1968 and turned over to the FAA. Now known as Amarillo FAA Radar Site.

Amarillo Air Force Base Radar Site now Amarillo FAA Radar Site

History

Established and manned in the fall of 1954 as Amarillo Air Force Base Radar Site manned by the 688th AC&W Squadron. The station initially had both a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and early warning misssion. The early warnng mission involved tracking and identifing all aircraft entering their airspace while the GCI mission involved guiding Air Force interceptors to any identified enemy aircraft. Controllers at the station vectored fighter aircraft at the correct course and speed to intercept enemy aircraft using voice commands via ground-to-air radio.

Initial equipment included the MPS-7 search radar and a TPS-10D height finder radar. The search radar was upgraded to an FPS-20A and an FPS-6A height finder radar was installed. The FPS-20A search radar was upgraded to an FPS-67B in 1966.

Amarillo AFB radar site fed the Oklahoma City Air Defense Sector Manual Control Center (ADCC) designated P-86 at Oklahoma City Air Force Station, later redesignated Manual Combat Center (MCC-11) and later NORAD Sector Combat Center (Manual).

The main site with the radar towers and operations buildings was located in the northeast corner of Amarillo Air Force Base. Most of the support facilities were located on the base proper. By 1968 Amarillo Air Force Base had closed and with the support base gone the decision was made to close the radar station.

The site became an FAA/ADC joint-use site about 1965 and on 8 Sep 1968 the 688th Squadron was deactivated and the facility was turned over to the FAA. The FAA coninued to operated the FPS-67B search radar but the FPS-6A height finder was removed. This radar has been upgraded to the Common Air Route Surveillance Radar (CARSR).


Amarillo Air Force Base Radar Site Major Equipment List
Search Radar HF Radar Data Systems
Unit Designations
  • 688th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron (1953-1968)
688th AC&W Squadron Assignments
  • 1 Oct 1953 - Activated at Geiger Field, WA, as the 25th AD.
  • 26 Dec 1953 - Moved to Tinker AFB, OK and transferred to the 33rd AD.
  • Fall 1954 - Moved to Amarillo AFB, TX.
  • 1 Jan 1960 - Transferred to Albuquerque ADS.
  • 15 Sep 1960 - Transferred to Oklahoma City ADS.
  • 1 Sep 1961 - Transferred to 4752nd Air Defense Wing.
  • 25 Jun 1963 - Transferred to Oklahoma City ADS.
  • 1 Apr 1966 - Reassigned to 31st Air Division.
  • 8 Sep 1968 - Discontinued.

Current Status

Active FAA Radar Site in Amarillo, Potter County, Texas.


Location: Amarillo in Potter County, Texas.

Maps & Images

Lat: 35.24611 Long: -101.65694

See Also:

Sources:

  • Cornett, Lloyd H. & Johnson, Mildred W., A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization (1946-1980), Office of History ADC, Peterson AFB, Colorado, 31 Dec 1980, 179 pages, Pdf, page 99.
  • Winkler, David F., Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program, USAF Hq Air Combat Command, 1997, 192 pages, Pdf, page 156.

Links:


Visited: 29 Mar 2013


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