Army Air Defense Command (United States)

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Army Anti-Aircraft Command, previously Army Anti-Aircraft Command, was a major command of the United States Army, which existed from 1957 to 1974. The previous ARAACOM was created in 1950 and was redesignated ARADCOM in 1957. The Army formed it to command the Army units allocated to the air defense of the Continental United States. ARAACOM was also charged with becoming the Army component of a joint continental defense force, if and when the joint force was designated.

Army Anti-Aircraft Command (ARAACOM) was created on 29 June 1950. Eastern and Western Army Antiaircraft Commands were established with HQ at Stewart AFB, New York, and Hamilton AFB, California, on 1 September 1950. Anti-Aircraft Command moved to Mitchel Air Force Base, New York on 1 November 1950.

On 10 April 1951, the Commanding General assumed command of all AAA units allocated to continental air defense—six AW, nine 90 mm gun and eight 120 mm gun battalions plus four brigade and seven group headquarters, eight AAA Ops Dets and 15 Signal Corps radar detachments. On 24 April Central Army Anti-Aircraft Command (CARAACOM) was established with HQ at Kansas City, Missouri. It was organized 1 May 1951. By 31 December controlling formations had grown to six brigade and 13 group headquarters. On 31 May 1955 Eastern ARAACOM was disestablished and personnel assigned to the 1st AAA Region.[1]

In 1955, numbering started to replace geographic locations to designate regions.[2] The 1st, 2nd and 5th Regions (plus the 53rd Artillery Brigade) now covered the area once called Eastern ARAACOM. In 1956, Western ARAACOM became 6th Region, and the following year, Central became the 4th Region. Areas of responsibility between regions and brigades continued to shift throughout the life of the command.

On March 21, 1957, ARAACOM was renamed to U.S. Army Air Defense Command (USARADCOM).

On 26 July 1960, ARADCOM activated a sixth region.

By 1966 the ARADCOM regions and headquarters were as follows:

The NORAD-CONAD History for the first part of 1965 says that the 53d Brigade Headquarters was to move from Maxwell AFB to McChord AFB and the personnel of the discontinued 7th Region transferred to it. The personnel of the 53rd at Maxwell AFB were to be transferred to the 5th Region. The 1st Region Headquarters was also moving from Fort Totten, NY, to Stewart AFB, NY, because Fort Totten was being closed (this may have been in 1974).

On 1 August 1966, Lieutenant General Robert Hackett assumed command of the United States Army Air Defense Command at Ent Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, an assignment he held until he retired 30 June 1968.

In 1957 the Combat Arms Regimental System organized the battalions under regiments again. In 1968 the Air Defense Artillery Branch was created.

ARADCOM strength peaked in 1963, with 184 firing units (134 Regular Army, 50 National Guard). However, beginning in September 1968, the command was reduced in strength. On February 4, 1974, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that ARADCOM would be inactivated, apart from the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, which had been activated during the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962) and would remain on duty in southern Florida. By December 31, 1974, ARADCOM's remaining regional headquarters, eight groups, 13 battalion headquarters, and 48 Hercules firing batteries were closed out. ARADCOM headquarters was inactivated January 4, 1975.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Volume 1, 232
  2. ^ Vigilant and Invincible
  3. ^ Morgan and Berhow, 160.
  4. ^ Rings of Supersonic Steel, 173.
  5. ^ Morgan and Berhow, 173.
  6. ^ "Arlington Heights Facts at a Glance" (chronology). Arlingtoncards.com. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  7. ^ Stimely, Margot (February 1996). Nike Base (Report). Arlington Heights Historical Society. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  8. ^ Freeman, Paul (June 4, 2011) [2002]. "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Illinois, Northwestern Chicago area". Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. On April 6, 1959, BG Peter Schmick, Brigade CG, announced the purchase of the land, along with plans for the construction of the [Army] Command Post, 5 radar towers and supporting buildings… The official dedication... was made on October 28, 1960. 
  9. ^ Chicago-Milwaukee radar ring, from "Rings of Supersonic Steel"
  10. ^ Morgan and Berhow, p. 153.
  11. ^ Barry Leonard (ed.), History of Strategic and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume II: 1956-1972, 317