Beausejour Air Station
Beausejour Air Station (1953-1986) - A Cold War U.S. Air Force Radar Station established during the Korean War. Located near Milner Ridge, Manitoba, Canada. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of C-17, a Sage ID of C-17 and a JSS ID of R-25. Transferred to the RCAF in 1961 and became RCAF Beausejour. Canadian Forces unification resulted in the station being renamed CFS Beausejour in 1967. Closed in 1986.
The station was constructed in 1952 and became operational in November 1953 as Beausejour Air Station manned by the 916th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron.
Initial equipment included the FPS-3 search radar and two TPS-502 height-finder radars.
Manual System Operation
By 1 Dec 1952, the 916th AC&W Squadron had moved to Beausejour Air Station and was assigned to the 31st Air Division and the Snelling Manual Direction Center at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. The 31st AD(D) provided command and control over subordinate radar stations. The Direction center was connected to Beausejour via telephone lines and data could be passed from Beausejour Operations to Snelling MCC via voice and teletype.
The 916th Squadron will operate and maintain a Direction Center, (except when reported as a surveillance station under CADF 55-24), part of the integrated air defense system of the 31st Air Division (Defense) for the purpose of conducting air defense operations within the area of responsibility assigned, and to conduct training required for the effective accomplishment of this mission.
USAF to RCAF Transfer
On 27 Sep 1961, the documents were signed to transfer the "Beausejour Air Force Station" from the U.S. Air Force to the Royal Canadian Air Force. "The change of command to be effective 1 October 1961." The transfer came about because of the Canadian Governments decision to cancel their Avco fighter aircraft and choosing to lease 66 F-101 fighters from the U.S. to support NATO operations. As a part of the deal, Canada agreed to take over operation of eleven Pinetree line radar sites from the U.S. Air Force who had built and manned them.
At the time of transfer, Beausejour was preparing to join the SAGE System as an automated site but had not yet completed the SAGE Annex to house the FST-2 or the GATR building. The site had just received the plans for the SAGE-Telco building, SAGE Annex and the GATR building in the first quarter of 1961. Two FPS-6B height-finders had just been installed but the FPS-3C was still in place on 31 Mar 1961.
SAGE System Transition
The transition of the manual GCI system to the automated SAGE system began with the installation of the FST-2 coordinate data transmitter and search radar upgrades. The FST-2 equipment digitized the radar returns and transmitted the digital returns to the SAGE direction center. Under the SAGE System, interceptor aircraft were directed to their targets by the direction center computers and controllers, greatly reducing the need for local controllers and equipment at every radar station.
The FST-2 was a very large digital system using vacuum tube technology. Over 6900 vacuum tubes were used in each FST-2 requiring 21 air-conditioned cabinets, 40 tons of air conditioning, 43.5 kva of prime power, and usually a large new addition to the operations building. The FST-2B modification added two more cabinets but with newer solid-state (transistor) technology to process coded responses from aircraft transponders.
SAGE System Operation
The site began operation as a SAGE site on 1 May 1963 initially feeding the Duluth SAGE Direction Center DC-10. On 14 Nov 1969 the site came under the operational control of the Malmstrom SAGE Direction Center DC-20 and remained so until the SAGE System shut down in 1983. CFS Beausejour joined the CAN-West ROCC in August 1984 and remained so until the site was deactivated on 31 Jul 1986.
Indications that the site would close came in January 1985. The height-finder radar was decommissioned in June 1985 and the Search radar in January 1986. The site itself was deactivated as of 31 Jul 1986.
Now Milner Ridge Correctional Centre.
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