Snow Mountain Air Force Station

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Snow Mountain Air Force Station
Airdefensecommand-logo.jpg
Part of Air Defense Command (ADC)
Snow Mountain AFS is located in Kentucky
Snow Mountain AFS
Snow Mountain AFS
Location of Snow Mountain AFS, Kentucky
Coordinates 37°53′50″N 086°00′00″W / 37.89722°N 86.00000°W / 37.89722; -86.00000 (Snow Mountain AFS P-82)
Type Air Force Station
Site information
Controlled by  United States Air Force
Site history
Built 1952
In use 1952-1968
Garrison information
Garrison 784th Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron

Snow Mountain Air Force Station (ADC ID: P-82, NORAD ID: Z-82) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 1.9 miles (3.1 km) west-southwest of Godman Army Airfield, Kentucky. It was closed in 1968.

History[edit]

Snow Mountain AFS was one of twenty-eight stations built as part of the second segment of the Air Defense Command permanent radar network, primarily to provide air defense radar coverage for Fort Knox. Prompted by the start of the Korean War, on July 11, 1950, the Secretary of the Air Force asked the Secretary of Defense for approval to expedite construction of the permanent network. Receiving the Defense Secretary’s approval on July 21, the Air Force directed the Corps of Engineers to proceed with construction.

On 16 April 1951 the 784th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was initially activated at Godman Field, KY (LP-82) on Fort Knox[1] where it operated a World War II-era AN/TPS-1C radar, 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. It was moved to the new Snow Mountain site, also on the Fort Knox Reservation on 30 April 1952. This site became a separate Air Force installation, Snow Mountain Air Force Station in the summer of 1956.[2] At Snow Mountain it began operating AN/FPS-3 and AN/FPS-4 radars at Snow Mountain. In 1958 these radars were replaced by AN/FPS-20 and AN/FPS-6 sets. A second AN/FPS-6 height-finder radar was added in 1961. In 1962 the search radar was upgraded to become an AN/FPS-67.

During 1962 Snow Mountain AFS joined the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, feeding data to DC-22 at Truax Field, Wisconsin. After joining, the squadron was redesignated as the 784th Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 1 May 1962. 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. On 31 July 1963, the site was redesignated as NORAD ID Z-82. In 1965 the search radar was again upgraded to become an AN/FPS-67B.

In addition to the main facility, Snow Mountain operated four unmanned AN/FPS-18 Gap Filler sites:

The 784th Radar Squadron was inactivated on 18 June 1968 with the closure of Snow Mountain Air Force Station due to the perceived remote threat of an aircraft attack on Fort Knox.

Air Force units and assignments[edit]

Emblem of the 784th Radar Squadron

Units[edit]

  • Constituted as the 784th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Activated at Godman Field (LP-82), Fort Knox, KY on 16 April 1951
Moved to Snow Mountain, Fort Knos, KY on 30 April 1952
Redesignated as 784th Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 1 May 1962
Discontinued and inactivated on 18 June 1968

Assignments[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cornett and Johnson, A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, p. 168
  2. ^ Ibid.

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