Cut Bank Air Force Station

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Cut Bank Air Force Station

Airdefensecommand-logo.jpg

Part of Air Defense Command (ADC)
Coordinates 48°56′32″N 112°48′21″W / 48.94222°N 112.80583°W / 48.94222; -112.80583 (Cut Bank AFS P-34)Coordinates: 48°56′32″N 112°48′21″W / 48.94222°N 112.80583°W / 48.94222; -112.80583 (Cut Bank AFS P-34)
Type Air Force Station
Site information
Controlled by  United States Air Force
Site history
Built 1952
In use 1952-1965
Garrison information
Garrison 681st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Cut Bank AFS is located in Montana
Cut Bank AFS
Cut Bank AFS
Magnify-clip.png
Location of Cut Bank AFS, Montana
Emblem of the 681st Radar Squadron

Cut Bank Air Force Station (Perm ID: P-24, SAGE ID: Z-24) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 30.4 miles (48.9 km) northwest of Cut Bank, Montana. It was closed in 1965.

History[edit]

The facility was hosted by the 681st Aircraft Control and Warning (AC&W) Squadron, Air Defense Command between April 1952 and June 1965. Cut Bank AFS replaced an earlier radar site at Del Bonita, Montana (LP-24) which had opened in March 1951.

The 681st AC&W Squadron started operating AN/FPS-3 and AN/FPS-4 radars in April 1952, 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. In 1958 an AN/FPS-20 search radar replaced the AN/FPS-3 at this site. In the following year two AN/FPS-6B height-finder radars superseded the AN/FPS-4.

In 1961 this site was integrated into the SAGE system, the squadron being re-designated as the 681st Radar Squadron (SAGE). 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. In 1962 the AN/FPS-20A was further upgraded and redesignated as an AN/FPS-66. In 1963 one AN/FPS-6B was removed and on 31 July, the site was redesignated as NORAD ID Z-24. In 1964 the other AN/FPS-6B was upgraded to an AN/FPS-90, and an AN/FPS-26A height-finder radar was installed.

In addition to the main facility, Cut Bank operated an AN/FPS-14 Gap Filler site:

The station was closed on 1 March 1965 as part of a general reduction of ADC. Today it is largely intact, and abandoned.

Air Force units and assignments[edit]

Units[edit]

  • Established as 681st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Activated 1 March 1951 at Del Bonita (renamed Cut Bank Air Force Station, Montana on 1 December 1953)
Redesignated as 681st Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 1 March 1961
Discontinued and inactivated on 25 June 1965

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 Cut Bank AFS, MT

External links[edit]