Lockport Air Force Station

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Lockport Air Force Station

Airdefensecommand-logo.jpg

Part of Air Defense Command (ADC)
Coordinates 43°08′25″N 078°50′05″W / 43.14028°N 78.83472°W / 43.14028; -78.83472 (Lockport AFS P-21)
Type Air Force Station
Site information
Controlled by  United States Air Force
Site history
Built 1950
In use 1950-1979
Garrison information
Garrison 762d Radar Squadron
Lockport AFS is located in New York
Lockport AFS
Lockport AFS
Location of Lockport AFS, New York

Lockport Air Force Station (ADC ID: P-21, NORAD ID: Z-21) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 0.9 miles (1.4 km) north-northeast of Shawnee, New York.

It was closed in June 1979 by the Air Force, and turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA moved to a new site near 42°38′18″N 077°39′10″W / 42.63833°N 77.65278°W / 42.63833; -77.65278 (Dansville J-56) near Dansville, New York as part of the Joint Surveillance System (JSS), designated by NORAD as Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) Ground Equipment Facility J-02.

History[edit]

Lockport Air Force Station was part of the last batch of twenty-three radar stations constructed as part of the Air Defense Command permanent radar network. It has its origins at Fort Niagara, NY, when a temporary "Lashup" radar station was established there in August 1950. The 763d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was activated with a World War II AN/CPS-6 radar set at Fort Niagara, the site being designated (L-19).

The 763d AC&W squadron moved to its permanent site at Shawnee, NY in September 1951 after enough construction was finished for beneficial occupancy, and initially the station functioned as a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and warning station. As a GCI station, the squadron's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes.

The Shawnee site was a joint United States Army/United States Air Force facility with Army personnel establishing Army Air-Defense Command Post (AAFDC) NF-17DC for Nike Missile air-defense system operations for the Niagara Falls-Buffalo Defense Area. The 763d initially began operating a pair of AN/CPS-6B radars, which it operated throughout the 1950s. Shawnee was renamed Lockport Air Force Station on 1 December 1953.

During 1959 Lockport AFS joined the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, initially feeding data to DC-03 at Syracuse AFS, New York. After joining, the squadron was re-designated as the 763d Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 1 February 1959. The radar squadron provided information 24/7 the SAGE Direction Center where it was analyzed to determine range, direction altitude speed and whether or not aircraft were friendly or hostile.

Lockport started operating an AN/FPS-7 radar in 1960. Height-finding chores were handled at that time by a pair of AN/FPS-6s. During 1962 United States Army Nike operations ended, and the Air Force added an AN/FPS-26 to replace one of the AN/FPS-7 height-finder radars.

In addition to the main facility, Lockport operated two unmanned AN/FPS-14 Gap Filler sites

Over the years, the equipment at the station was upgraded or modified to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the information gathered by the radars. Routine operations continued until 29 June 1979 when the 763rd was inactivated and Lockport AFS was closed as part of the phaseout of Aerospace Defense Command. Today the facility is being redeveloped for commercial uses. A few USAF buildings remain in deteriorated condition.

Air Force units and assignments[edit]

Emblem of the 763d Radar Squadron

Units[edit]

  • Constituted as the 763d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron on 14 November 1950
Activated on 27 November 1950
Redesignated as 763d Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 8 March 1959
Redesignated as 763d Radar Squadron on 1 February 1974
Inactivated on 29 June 1979

Assignments:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Cornett, Lloyd H. and Johnson, Mildred W., A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, [1] Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson AFB, CO (1980).
  • Winkler, David F. & Webster, Julie L., Searching the Skies, The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program, [2] US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories, Champaign, IL (1997).
  • Information for Lockport AFS, NY

External links[edit]