Ground Equipment Facility J-31

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San Pedro Hill Air Force Station
Part of
1961-1968: Air Defense Command.pngAir Defense Command
1968-1979: USAF - Aerospace Defense Command.pngAerospace Defense Command
San Pedro Hill, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
(highest elevation of the Palos Verdes Hills)[2]
San Pedro JSS site California.jpg
San Pedro Hill AFS in 1988.
Coordinates33°44′46″N 118°20′10″W / 33.74611°N 118.33611°W / 33.74611; -118.33611 (San Pedro Hill AFS)[2]Coordinates: 33°44′46″N 118°20′10″W / 33.74611°N 118.33611°W / 33.74611; -118.33611 (San Pedro Hill AFS)[2]
1.2 miles (1.9 km) southeast of Rolling Hills[2]
TypeUSAF General Surveillance Radar Station
CodeRP-39: 1950 ADC permanent network[1]
Z-39: 1963 July 31 NORAD network
J-31: 1983 Joint Surveillance System
Site information
Controlled by1960-79: USAF 670th Radar Squadron
1979-97: Federal Aviation Administration
Conditionradar site of Los Angeles ARTCC
Site history
In use1960-1979

Ground Equipment Facility J-31 (San Pedro Hill Air Force Station during the Cold War) is a Joint Surveillance System radar site of the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) and the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control radar network [1] for the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center. The facility's Air Route Surveillance Radar Model 1E with an ATCBI-6 beacon interrogator system are operated by the FAA[3] and provide sector data to North American Aerospace Defense Command. The site provided Semi-Automatic Ground Environment data to the 1959-66 Norton AFB Direction Center for the USAF Los Angeles Air Defense Sector. The site also provided Project Nike data to the 1960-74 Fort MacArthur Direction Center ~3 mi (4.8 km) away for the smaller US Army Los Angeles Defense Area[4]—as well as gap-filler[specify] radar coverage for the 1963-74 Integrated Fire Control area of Malibu Nike battery LA-78 on San Vicente Mountain.[5]

History[edit]

The "ADC/FAA joint-use facility" began operations in 1961 with an FAA ARSR-1C radar.[1] After the April 1, 1961, move of the 670th Radar Squadron (SAGE)--formerly the 670th AC&W Squadron—from San Clemente Island Air Force Station, the Los Angeles Air Defense Sector was activated June 1.[6] The squadron was assigned to the "Fort MacArthur AI"[6] (Army Installation) and operated the San Pedro Hill radars which included a General Electric AN/FPS-6B Radar and an Avco AN/FPS-26 Radar for height finding. In 1964, the station's Westinghouse AN/FPS-27 Radar was installed (removed 1969) and the AN/FPS-6B was modified to an AN/FPS-90.[citation needed] In April 1976 the squadron was redesignated Detachment 1 of Luke AFB's 26th Air Defense Squadron[6] (the AN/FPS-26A was removed in this time frame).[citation needed]

The radar station with 18 military & 5 civilians was planned for transfer after the 1978 Base Realignment and Closure Commission.[7] After the station transferred to the FAA when Aerospace Defense Command was inactivated, the Air Force continued to operate the AN/FPS-90 height-finder by then modified to an AN/FPS-116 (removed c. 1988).[8] In the late 1990s, the Air Force terminated the data-tie at San Pedro Hill and established a data-tie with the new Navy-installed ARSR-4 radar at San Clemente Island's Mount Thirst. The Raytheon ARSR-1E Radar at San Pedro Hill was in use by November 2010.[3]

External images
image icon 1970s w/ 2 radomes & empty pedestal
image icon San Pedro AN/FPS-116
image icon 2005 FAA image w/ 2 radomes

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Winkler, David F; Webster, Julie L (June 1997). Searching the Skies: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program (Report). U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
  2. ^ a b c San Pedro Hill Air Force Radar Station (Map). wikimapia. Coordinates: 33°44'46"N 118°20'10"W
  3. ^ a b Pace, Joe (November 2010). "The President Paces Himself" (K6PV newsletter). Palos Verdes Amateur Radio Club. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-05-08. an Air Route Surveillance Radar Type 1E…by Raytheon…in continuous service by the FAA since its installation in 1959. [sic] I…visit[ed] with one of the FAA engineers that has taken care of its operation for more than 30 years… This is a primary radar facility for high-altitude (en-route) air traffic control, with a range of 200 miles. Coupled…is the beacon interrogator system (ATCBI-6)… The San Pedro Hill facility is one of 22 in the FAA system using ARSR-1E
  4. ^ Kenyon, Ed (March 17, 1963). "It's a Different World Inside Radar Facility" (NewspaperArchive.com image). Independent Press Telegraph. p. 15. The Army's missile master control center at Fort MacArthur uses the data for its Nike missile defense network.
  5. ^ Berhow, Mark A; Gustafson, David (2011) [1st published 2002]. Fort MacArthur (PDF) (Report) (electronic ed.). Fort MacArthur Military Press. p. 55. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  6. ^ a b c compiled by Johnson, Mildred W. (31 December 1980) [February 1973: Cornett, Lloyd H. Jr]. A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980 (PDF). Peterson Air Force Base: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. 33 ("1961…1 April - Los Angeles ADS became operational."). Retrieved 2012-03-26. 669th Radar Sq (SAGE): assigned 1 Jan 51 at Ft. MacArthur, CA,…moved to Santa Rosa Island, CA 11 Feb 52;…moved to Lompoc AFS, CA 1 Apr 64 … 670th Radar Sq (SAGE):…redesignated to 670th Radar Sq (SAGE) (from AC&W Sq) 1 Apr 61; moved to Ft. MacArthur AI, CA in Apr 61
  7. ^ "Western bases" (Google News Archive). Lodi News-Sentinel. April 27, 1978. Retrieved 2012-03-26. Mt. Laguna -- Air Force station transferred to FAA affecting 133 military and 30 civilian.
  8. ^ [specify] This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.