Kingman Air Force Station
Kingman Air Force Station (1955-1958) - A Cold War Air Force Radar Station first established in 1955 near Kingman, Mohave County, Arizona. Named Kingman Air Force Station after the location. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of M-128. Abandoned in 1958.
History of Kingman Air Force Station
Established in 1954 and opened on 23 Jun 1955 the site became operational on 27 Oct 1955 as Kingman Air Force Station manned by the 659th AC&W Squadron. The station initially had both a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and early warning mission. The early warning mission involved tracking and identifying 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.
Kingman AFS was responsible for the maintenance of two remote unattended gap-filler radar sites. The unattended gap filler sites were placed in locations where the main search radar lacked coverage. These sites were equipped with short range FPS-14 or FPS-18 search radars and FST-1 Coordinate Data transmitters that sent digitized radar target data to a SAGE direction center and to the main radar site. Both the radar set and the FST-1 were dual channel to increase site up time. Maintenance teams were dispatched for regularly scheduled maintenance or when fault indicators on the FSW-1 remote monitoring equipment suggested the site had problems. The FSW-1 also allowed remote operation of specific functions such as channel changes for the radar and for the FST-1, it also allowed remote operation of the diesel generators at the gap filler site. The Kingman AFS gap-filler radars were located at Topock, AZ and Poston, AZ. Little is known about the actual installed equipment at these two sites. Several other gap-filler sites were planned but not constructed.
Kingman AFS was placed in standby status in February 1958 and the 659th AC&W Squadron was deactivated on 15 Aug 1958.
The physical plant of the site was divided into the main site, a cantonment area, a housing area and a radio site. The main site was located on a small mesa overlooking Kingman and housed the operations buildings, the radar towers, and the backup generators. The cantonment area started as a small leased civilian housing area known as Vista Solana. The cantonment area came to housed the enlisted barracks, the bachelor officer's quarters, the orderly room, the dining hall, the motor pool and other support buildings. Part of the cantonment area included a small dependent housing area.
A separate Ground to Air Transmitter/Receiver (GATR) radio site housed the radio equipment for directing aircraft intercepts.
Main site repurposed as a Wecom, Inc. cell tower in Kingman, Mohave County, Arizona.
Visited: 4 Mar 2016