Santa Rosa Island Air Force Station

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Santa Rosa Island Air Force Station

Airdefensecommand-logo.jpg

Part of Air Defense Command (ADC)
Coordinates 34°00′26″N 120°03′01″W / 34.00722°N 120.05028°W / 34.00722; -120.05028 (Santa Rosa Island AFS P-15)
Type Air Force Station
Site information
Controlled by  United States Air Force
Site history
Built 1951
In use 1951–1963
Garrison information
Garrison 669th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Santa Rosa Island AFS is located in California
Santa Rosa Island AFS
Santa Rosa Island AFS
Location of Santa Rosa Island AFS, California

Santa Rosa Island Air Force Station (ADC ID: P-15) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 5.8 miles (9.3 km) southwest of the Santa Rosa Island dock, California. It was closed in 1963.

History[edit]

Santa Rosa Island AFS was one of 28 stations built as part of the second segment of the Air Defense Command permanent radar 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 permanent network. Receiving the Defense Secretary’s approval on July 21, the Air Force directed the Corps of Engineers to proceed with construction. Santa Rosa Island AFS was one of two offshore radar stations built off the Southern California coast, the other being on San Clemente Island.

The 669th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was initially assigned by the 27th Air Division to Santa Rosa AFS on 11 February 1952. The squadron initially used an AN/CPS-6B radar which allowed for the shutdown of the temporary Lashup sites at Camp Cooke (L-41) and Port Hueneme (L-42), 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. Later in 1952 the squadron received two AN/FPS-10 radars at this island location. In 1955 the Air Force added an AN/FPS-3 search radar to the facility. During the following year, an AN/GPS-3 search radar was also added. 1958 saw the addition of an AN/MPS-14 long-range height-finder radar.

In 1958, plans were made to relocate the 669th AC&W Sq from Santa Rosa Island to the mainland. Operations ceased on 31 March 1963 due to budget reductions, and the 669th moved to Lompoc AFS (RP-15), where support could be provided to the site by Vandenberg AFB. Today the site of the former Santa Rosa Island Air Force Station has been obliterated, the land returned to its natural state by the National Park Service.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Winkler, David F. (1997), Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program. Prepared for United States Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command.
  • Information for Santa Rosa Island AFS, CA