Peshawar Air Station is a former Central Intelligence Agency-United States Air Force Security Service listening post, used by the 6937th Communications Group from July 17, 1959 until January 7, 1970, when the facility was formally closed. It was located in Badaber, a remote area about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the city of Peshawar, Pakistan.
Project Sand Bag
In 1955, the US Air Force started to survey various locations in West Pakistan for a radio intercept site. At that time, the US was interested in radio transmission intercepts from the Soviet Union. The survey team recommended the site be located near Peshawar in West Pakistan. Its final location was located in Badaber, a remote area about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Creating the site would be known as project Sand Bag.
The United States established permission from Ayub Khan the President of the Pakistan government with the establishment of a 10-year lease of the property. Construction of the Peshawar Air Station started in 1958. Known as ‘Little USA’, The air station was divided into two areas: the administration buildings, barracks, dining hall, movie theater, and a gym. The operations compound included housing for the specialized listening equipment. Later construction added a bowling alley, golf course, dependent living, and school.
Staff at the air base grew to about 800 personnel. An additional 500 support personnel provided other services such as mail handling, cooks, chaplains, teachers, etc ...
In September 1965, the tensions between India and Pakistan peaked. Construction crews built bomb shelters in the front yards of all family housing units for protection.
- Col Ethyl Branham, Apr 58 - Apr 59
- Col Long, Apr 59 - Apr 60
- Col Julius Spooner, Apr 60 - Jun 61.
- LTC Skinner (acting base commander)
- Col Tom Hanley
- Col Robert Goerder, Jun 61 - July 9, 1963
- Col Thomas C. Hyde, July 9, 1963 - July 4, 1965
- Col Henry Taylor, July 4, 1965 - Jun 67
- Col Graydon K. "Rocky" Eubank, Commander, June 67 - June 69.
- Col Bill Hezlip, Jul 69 - Jul 70
The former station was later used as a training camp for Afghan mujahideen as part of Operation Cyclone, a CIA-run program to train and arm Afghan mujahideen to fight against the Soviet Union and the Soviet-supported Republic of Afghanistan (RA) in the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989. It was the site of the Badaber Uprising of 1985, an armed uprising by Soviet and RA prisoners of war held captive at the camp.
Currently, the base is housed by the Pakistan Air Force and is known as PAF Camp Badaber.
- Abida Ejaz (2010). "Exploitation in the name of religion: The case of Pakistan". In Bogusława Bednarczyk. Religia a współczesne stosunki międzynarodowe. Krakow Educational Association. p. 209. ISBN 978-8-3757-1101-1. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- History of the base during American use. Peshawar Air Station Alumni Association.
- Eduardo Real. "Zbigniew Brzezinski, Defeated by his Success".
- Роман Шкурлатов (Roman Shkurlatov). "Архив: Последнее па Пешаварского вальса" ("Archive: Last step of the Peshawar waltz"). Bratishka magazine, July, 2006. (Russian)