630th Radar Squadron
|630th Radar Squadron|
Former emblem of the 630th Radar Squadron
|Active||1946-1948, 1953-1954, 1972–1977, 1988-1999|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Type||General Radar Surveillance|
The 630th Radar Squadron is a previous designation of a provisional United States Air Force (USAF) unit. It is assigned to Air Combat Command to activate or inactivate as needed. It was last stationed at Howard AFB, Panama. It was last inactivated on 1 June 1999.
The squadron was first activated in the Panama Canal Zone as an aircraft direction and control squadron, collocated with its parent group in 1946 when the Army Air Forces (AAF) assumed the radar detection mission previously performed by the Signal Corps. The group performed the aircraft detection, warning and control mission for the Canal Zone for Sixth Air Force (later Caribbean Air Command). The squadron was inactivated in 1948 as the USAF reduced the size of its forces in the Caribbean.
The squadron was redesignated and activated once again as an element of Tactical Air Command (TAC)'s mobile warning and control system when the 157th Tactical Control Group, a Missouri Air National Guard unit that had been federalized for the Korean War was returned to state control and its elements replaced at Alexandria AFB, Louisiana by elements of the regular Air Force 532d Tactical Control Group in late 1953. Moved with the 532nd to Otis AFB, Massachusetts in 1954, where the group was redesignated the 532nd Aircraft Control & Warning Group and transferred with its squadrons from TAC to Air Defense Command (ADC). The group and squadron were inactivated before the end of the year.
Activated a third time in 1972 as an ADC radar squadron, it was colocated with a Federal Aviation Administration control center in Houston, Texas as part of the Southern Air Defense System (SADS) In 1969, the inadequacy of the radar coverage to the south of the United States were dramatically illustrated whan a Cuban MiG-17 went undetected before it landed at Homestead AFB, and two years later, an An-24 similarly arrived unannounced at New Orleans International Airport. As a result, ADC established SADS with the squadron operating a manual control center at the Houston ARTCC and added radars to supplement the existing Federal Aviation Administration coverage in the area, which were manned by the Operating Locations of the squadron.
The squadron spent its longest active period when it returned to Panama under its earlier designation as the 630th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron in 1988. Once again named a Radar Squadron the following year, it focused on counter drug operations. In 1994, it was renumbered to its parent wing's number. It was finally inactivated when the USAF shut down its operations in Panama in conjunction with the turnover of the former Canal Zone to Panama.
- Constituted as 630th Aircraft Control Squadron on 11 September 1946
- Activated on 15 October 1946
- Inactivated on 16 April 1948
- Redesignated as 630th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron on 15 October 1953
- Activated on 1 November 1953
- Inactivated on 8 September 1954
- Redesignated as 630th Radar Squadron 18 July 1972
- Activated on 1 August 1972
- Inactivated on 31 December 1977
- Redesignated as 630th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron on 8 Jan 1988
- Activated on 1 April 1988
- Redesignated as 630th Radar Squadron on 1 December 1989
- Redesignated as 630th Air Operations Squadron on 26 July 1993
- Redesignated as 24th Air Support Operations Squadron on 1 July 1994
- Inactivated on 1 June 1999
- Redesignated 24th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron and converted to provisional status on 12 February 2009
- 530th Aircraft Control & Warning Group, 15 October 1956 - 16 Apr 1948
- Ninth Air Force, 1 Nov 1953 - 15 February 1954 (attached to 629th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron 1 Nov 1953 - 7 January 1954, 532d Aircraft Control & Warning Group, 8 January 1954 - 15 February 1954)
- 532d Aircraft Control & Warning Group, 15 February 1954 – 31 December 1954
- 20th Air Division, 1 August 1972 – 31 December 1977
- USAF Southern Air Division, 1 April 1988 - 1 January 1989
- 24th Composite Wing, 1 January 1989 - 15 February 1991
- Air Forces, Panama, 15 February 1991 - 11 February 1992
- 24th Operations Group, 11 February 1992 - 26 July 1993
- 24th Wing, 26 July 1993 - 27 July 1998
- 24th Operations Group 27 July 1998 - 1 June 1999
- Quarry Heights, Panama Canal Zone, 15 October 1946 - 16 April 1948
- Alexandria AFB, Louisiana, 1 November 1953 - 1 July 1954
- Otis AFB, Massachusetts, 1 July 1954 – 31 December 1954
- Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Texas, 1 August 1972 – 31 December 1977 (Headquarters Only)
- Operating Locations operated from:
- Odessa, Texas (Z-229) (Operating Location A)
- Olton, Texas (Z-242) (Operating Location B)
- Ellington AFB, Texas (Z-240) (Operating Location C)
- Lackland AFB, Texas (Z-241) (Operating Location D)
- Sidell, Louisiana (Z-246) (Operating Location E)
- Lake Charles AFS, Louisiana (Z-246) (Operating Location F)
- Dauphin Island AFS, Alabama (Z-249) (Operating Location G)
- Howard AFB, Panama 1 Apr 1988 - 1 June 1999
- Factsheet, 24th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron (accessed 26 Mar 2012)
- see Mueller, p. 168
- Cornett & Johnson, p. 83
- Radomes, Information for Houston ARTCC (accessed 28 Mar 2012)
- Leonard, p. 172
- see Abstract, History of 24th Wing CY 1992 (accessed 26 Mar 2012)
- Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946 - 1980 (PDF). Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center.
- Leonard, Barry (2009). History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missiile Defense, Vol II, 1955-1972 (PDF). Center for Military History. ISBN 978-1-4379-2131-1.
- Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
- Winkler, David F.; Webster, Julie L (1997). Searching the skies : the legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program (PDF). Champaign, IL: US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. LCCN 97020912.