Yaak Air Force Station

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Yaak Air Force Station
Part of Pine Tree Line[1]

Located at
Hensley Hill[2] in Lincoln County, Montana;[1] 25.1 miles (40.4 km) west of Rexford

(eponym: the nearby Town of Yaak)
Coordinates 48°51′44″N 115°43′18″W / 48.86222°N 115.72167°W / 48.86222; -115.72167 (Yaak AFS P-11)
Type Air Force Station
Site information
Controlled by Airdefensecommand-logo.jpgAir Defense Command
Condition demolished
Site history
In use 1951-60
Garrison information
Garrison 680th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron

Unmanned Gap Filler radar annexes[3]

48°59′36″N 116°28′51″W / 48.99333°N 116.48083°W / 48.99333; -116.48083 (P-11A)
48°51′53″N 115°07′32″W / 48.86472°N 115.12556°W / 48.86472; -115.12556 (P-11B)
48°45′48″N 116°12′34″W / 48.76333°N 116.20944°W / 48.76333; -116.20944 (P-11C)

Yaak Air Force Station is a Formerly Used Defense Site that was an Air Defense Command general surveillance radar station. Built as one of twenty-eight stations in the second segment of the Permanent System radar network,[4] the 680th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was activated at the installation on 1 March 1951[5] for ground-controlled interception operating AN/FPS-3 and AN/FPS-4 radars in April 1952. An AN/FPS-6 was added in 1956, and the AN/FPS-4 was replaced by an AN/GPS-3 in 1957.[6] The station had an area with living quarters[7] for 172 people (including a 3-story barracks), 24 concrete trailer pads, motor pool building, plumbing/carpenter shop, paint house, mess hall, officers' club, office buildings, and dispensary.[1] The "Dirty Shame Saloon" was established in a metal hut during 1951 just outside the main gate.[8] Captain Robert Rice was the commander in 1954, and a recreation building, base exchange, and NCO club were available in 1955 (a Rod and Gun Club was established in 1956.)[9]

The 680th AC&W Squadron was inactivated on 1 July 1960--reactivated in 1961 as the 680th Radar Squadron (SAGE) at Palermo AFS, New Jersey (site Z-54)[5]--and Yaak AFS was converted into an unmanned gap-filler radar site in 1960 and redesignated SM-151E,[6] first operated by the 823d Radar Squadron at Mica Peak AFS, Washington, then[when?] the 716th Radar Squadron at Kalispell AFS, Montana (TM-179B). The radar station was declared excess by the Air Force to GSA in 1960 and 1961, and a 90.0 acre portion was transferred by special use permit in early 1962 to the Forest service for ingress and egress to the Yaak Mountain Lookout Tower (not located on the FUDS.) The main portion of the station was transferred by the Corps of Engineers to the Forest Service in 1965 (metal rubble from building demolition was located on the FUDS.)

In 2014 a small 0.19 acres (0.077 ha) parcel of "Yaak Air Force Base" surrounded by land of a single landowner was transferred.[10]

References[edit]