Moriarty Air Force Station

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Moriarty Air Force Station (1951-1961) - A Cold War Air Force Radar Station first established in 1951 near Moriarty, Torrance County, New Mexico. Named Moriarty Air Force Station after the nearby location. Initially assigned an ID of LP-51 and later a Permanent ID of P-51. Abandoned in 1961.


Established in 1951 and became operational in September 1952 as Moriarty Air Force Station manned by the 768th 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.

Initial equipment while the site was designated as LP-51 included the CPS-5 search radar. As site P-51 the search radar upgrades included an FPS-3, FPS-5 and an FPS-20. The FPS-6 provided a height-finder capability.


Moriarty AFS and the 768th were deactivated 1 Jun 1961.

Physical Plant

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 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 19 unit housing area for critical married personnel. A separate Ground to Air Transmitter/Receiver (GATR) radio site housed the radio equipment for directing aircraft intercepts.

Moriarty AFS Major Equipment List
Search Radar HF Radar Data Systems
Unit Designations
  • 768th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron (1951-1961)
768th Assignments
  • 1 Jan 1951 - Assigned at Moriarity AFS, NM, as the 540th AC&W Group.
  • 1 May 1951 - Transferred to 34th Air Division.
  • 1 Jan 1960 - Transferred to Albuquerque ADS.
  • 15 Sep 1960 - Transferred to Oklahoma City ADS.
  • 1 Jun 1961 - Discontinued.

Current Status

Abandoned site near Moriarty, Torrance County, New Mexico.

Location: Moriarty in Torrance County, New Mexico.

Maps & Images

Lat: 35.02917 Long: -105.81667

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 6,657'

GPS Locations:

See Also:


  • 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 101.
  • 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 139.
  • USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 2089513


Visited: 4 Aug 2019

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