Havre Air Force Station
|Havre Air Force Station|
Simpson, Montana; 26 miles (42 km) northwest of Havre, Montana
|Controlled by||Air Defense Command|
|Garrison||778th Air Defense Group
778th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (later 778th Radar Squadron)
|Unmanned Gap Filler radar annexes
Havre Air Force Station (site designator P-25, Z-25 on 31 July 1963) is a Formerly Used Defense Site that was used as a Cold War USAF general surveillance radar station. In addition to radar facilities and a NORAD Control Center (NCC), the site had support services: NCO club, bowling alley, hobby shops, library, movie theater, barber shop, exchange, commisary, grade school, and housing for officers and senior NCOs.
In late 1951 Air Defense Command selected Simpson, Montana as a site for one of twenty-eight radar stations built as part of the second segment of the permanent radar surveillance network. 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 second segment of the permanent network. Receiving the Defense Secretary’s approval on July 21, the Air Force directed the United States Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with construction.
On 1 March 1951 the 778th Aircraft control and Warning Squadron was activated at Simpson and began operating AN/FPS-3 and AN/FPS-4 radars. 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.
Air Force Station
Havre Air Force Station was designated on 1 December 1953 and the USAF added an AN/GPS-3 c. late 1958. In 1961 a Burroughs AN/FST-2 Coordinate Data Transmitting Set was installed to transfer radar track data to the Malmstrom AFB Air Defense Direction Center (the squadron was redesignated the 778th Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 1 March 1961.) In the early 1960s AN/FPS-6 and AN/FPS-6B radars took over height-finder duties. The AN/FPS-6B was upgraded to an AN/FPS-90 in 1964; it was deactivated in 1969. In 1965 an AN/FPS-27 replaced the AN/GPS-3 as the search radar.
NORAD Control Center
The 778th Radar Sq was inactivated 1 March 1970 when the 778th Air Defense Group activated for the station's NCC with Backup Interceptor Control--the group was replaced by the 778th Radar Squadron on 17 January 1974 (the inactive group "disbanded" on 21 September 1984.) Havre AFS was assigned to Malmstrom Air Force Base on 17 June 1974. Prior to the December 1979 break up of Aerospace Defense Command during the Base Realignment and Closure of "40 obsolete air defense radar stations, 95 military and 25 civilian positions were lost when Havre AFS closed on 1 July 1979 (the 778th inactivated 28 September 1979.)
The Anchor Academy, a school for troubled teenage boys, operated at the station in 2001, and a few homes in the former military housing area are private residences.
- Mueller (1982). "Malmstrom Air Force Base". Air Force Bases as of 1982 (Report).
- Winkler, David F; Webster, Julie L (June 1997). Searching the Skies: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program (Report). Champaign, IL: U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. LCCN 9720912. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA331231. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- Lonnquest, Dr. John. Havre Air Force Station, Montana: Life (Report). p. 130 sidebar in the Winkler/Webster 1997 Searching the Skies: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program .
- compiled by Johnson, Mildred W (31 December 1980) [February 1973 original by Cornett, Lloyd H. Jr]. A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980. Peterson Air Force Base: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. [verification needed]. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- [full citation needed] This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
- Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 575q, 27 Sep 1984, Subject: Disbandment of Units