Army Air Defense Command Post

(Thanks to Richard Whitt, HHB/6/65 & A/6/65 -1966 -1967 for the photos)

The field army origins of the Florida units and the peculiarities of the HAWK system alike posed problems of equipments compatibility in the field of command and control. For example, the 13th Group came to Florida in 1962 with a manual AADCP only, housed in a tractor-drawn trailer, in field army rather than CONUS configuration. The 6/65 brought to Key West an AN/TSQ-38, a field army, helicopter-transportable, battalion-level FDS capable of automatic data transmissions between battalion and battery, but incapable of receiving digital data from the SAGE system. To further complicate matters in Key West in 1962, the fact that AADCP was physically separated from NORAD Control Center then in process of construction at Key West Naval Air Station ment that time-consuming voice communications would have to be used between the control and AADCP for correlation of target data.

The 6/65 in 1962 brought to Key West an AN/TSQ-38 as its FDS. Because there has never been a requirement for SAGE compatibility at the Key West defense, this equipment, which was not replaced until 1968, proved adequate to local needs and functioned "extremely satisfactorily". The rub came in collocating the AADCP with the manual NCC at Boca Chica NAS, a step necessary to rapid correlation of target information prior to engagement by the HAWK fire units. The obstacles to such collocation, which took some 41 months to overcome, were inter service as well as technical in nature. For one thing, the building which housed the NCC had been conceived and funded by the Navy prior to the Cuban crisis and originally was intended for exclusive Navy use. The assignment of ADA to Key West, on either a temporary or permanent basis, had thus been understandably unforeseen by Navy planners, and the superimposition of ARADCOM as well as NORAD requirements upon those of the Navy combined to put a high premium upon the limited space available in the building. ARADCOM could not expect to eject the Navy from its own building; on the other hand, both the Navy and NORAD accepted, at least in principle, the need for AADCP-NCC collocation.

The eventual solution saw a miniscule onclave (measuring 8 feet by 8 1/2 feet) provided in the NCC proper for three or four AADCP personnel and two remote consoles of the TSQ-38 FDS. This left residual administrative, maintenance, and communications requirements of the AADCP which, after Navy rejection of a permanent gypsy camp concept embodying use of vans for the necessary facilities, were met by Army funded Navy construction of an AADCP support building near the NCC.



AADCP PAR before tower was built January 1964



AADCP OC van January 1964


The original AADCP on Bertha Street, near Smathers Beach. AADCP's surveillance radar AN/GSS-7 was replaced, on direction of Headquarters, with an AN/FPS-75, mounted on a 25 foot tower. Installed in June 1964 it remained at Key West until collocation of the AADCP with the NCC was effected in 1966. During this time its usefulness was at best limited. The set was not designed for a surveillance role; it had limited low-altituded capability in comparison to Key West' ADC radar.


HIPIR radars, freshly painted white parked at the AADCP motor pool. They will be lifted by crane to the tops of the towers at the new permanent firing batteries when they are completed


Spare launcher parked at AADCP

Frank Noble (L) and Richard Whitt (R) repairing roof damage from a hurricane at the old AADCP.


AADCP's fire department ?

OK, so everyone got a little crazy sometimes. The firing batteries couldn't have all the fun!

 

You can email Richard at 665hawk@mindspring.com