Continental Divide Air Force Station
Continental Divide Air Force Station (1951-1961) - A Cold War Air Force Radar Station first established in 1951 as Gonzales Air Force Station near Thoreau, McKinley County, New Mexico. Initially assigned an ID of LP-7. Renamed Continental Divide Air Force Station on 1 Dec 1953 and assigned a Permanent ID of P-7. Abandoned in 1961.
History of Continental Divide Air Force Station
Established in 1951 and became operational in 1951 as Gonzales Air Force Station manned by the 769th AC&W Squadron. The station initially had both a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and early warning misssion. The early warning 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.
The physical plant of the site was divided into an upper main site, a lower cantonment area, a housing area and a radio site. The main site housed the operations buildings, the radar towers, and the backup generators. The cantonment area housed the enlisted barracks, the bachelor officer's quarters, the orderly room, the dining hall, the motor pool and other support buildings. Apart from the main site was a small 27 unit housing area for critical married personnel. Separate Ground to Air Transmitter/Receiver (GATR) radio sites housed the radio equipment for directing aircraft intercepts.
Abandoned site near the town of Thoreau in McKinley County, New Mexico. Nearly all traces of the site have been removed and the site has been restored to a natural condition but the roads remain.