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Wadena Air Force Station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wadena Air Force Station
Part of Air Defense Command (ADC)
Wadena AFS is located in Minnesota
Wadena AFS
Wadena AFS
Location of Wadena AFS, Minnesota
Coordinates46°30′55″N 095°06′46″W / 46.51528°N 95.11278°W / 46.51528; -95.11278 (Wadena AFS P-17)
TypeAir Force Station
Site information
Controlled by United States Air Force
Site history
Built1952
In use1952-1970
Garrison information
Garrison739th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

Wadena Air Force Station (ADC ID: P-17, NORAD ID: Z-17) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 0.2 miles (0.32 km) north-northeast of Wadena, Minnesota. It was closed in 1970.

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Originally I started out as a pre-vet major and like everyone’s dream to be a veterinarian when I grew up, but I knew that Texas A&M Kingsville had a really good Pre Vet Program. We are in our third year and we are accredited by the American Veterinary Association. We graduated our first class this first May. We do domestic small animals, dogs and cats, but we have a strong emphasis on wildlife, beef, cattle, horses small farm animals also. Some of the great things I love are how hands on things are on this program is, but not on just a small animal level, but even a larger animal. We have our own farm, we go work on the King Ranch horses. As a veterinarian you go in and diagnosis them out and you don’t do the whole nursing aspect of it, and that’s what I really wanted to do, so I spoke to my advisor about it and where is this degree going to take me? The pre-vet degree is a biomedical degree so he said it would take into the laboratory or to vet school or med school. Greatest part of being a veteran technologist and this is coming from a veterinarian vet techs get to establish a much better relationship with the animal. They spend more time with the animals, admission meds, check on the animal throughout the day, reporting back to the veterinarian on how the animal is doing. The vet checks on the animals 3 times a day, but the vet tech do a lot of the hands on, post-surgical care or post medication care. Plus they talk to the clients more, they for a nice bond with the pet and form a nice bond with the client too. Cause coming to TAMUK was the small class sizes and I love that cause I can be more personable with my professors and even now I can go to them any of my professors at any time of the day as long as they are in their office, they’re more than willing to help me out, talk to me.

Contents

History

In late 1951 Air Defense Command selected Finland, Minnesota site as one of twenty-eight radar stations built as part of the second segment of the permanent radar surveillance network. Prompted by the start of the Korean War, on July 11, 1950, the Secretary of the Air Force asked the Secretary of Defense for approval to expedite construction of the second segment of the permanent network. Receiving the Defense Secretary’s approval on July 21, the Air Force directed the Corps of Engineers to proceed with construction.

Wadena Air Force Station began at Leaf River, Minnesota when the Minnesota Air National Guard 132d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was federalized during the Korean War and began operations on 1 June 1951 under the 543d Aircraft Control and Warning Group; initially the station functioned as a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and warning station. As a GCI station, the squadron's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. The Guardsmen operated AN/FPS-3 and AN/FPS-4 radars until relieved from active duty and returned to control of the State of Minnesota on 1 February 1953.

The 739th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron began the radars in June 1952, the site being re-designated as Wadena AFS on 1 December 1953. The AN/FPS-4 unit was superseded in 1956 by an AN/FPS-6 height-finder radar. In 1958 this site was operating an AN/FPS-20 radar.

During 1959 Wadena AFS joined the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, initially feeding data to DC-11 at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota. After joining, the squadron was re-designated as the 739th Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 15 January 1960. The radar squadron provided information 24/7 the SAGE Direction Center where it was analyzed to determine range, direction altitude speed and whether or not aircraft were friendly or hostile.

In 1963, Wadena was switched to the SAGE DC-10 Data Center at Duluth AFS, Minnesota. 1959 also saw the arrival of a second height-finder radar (AN/FPS-6A). In 1961 the search radar was upgraded and redesignated as an AN/FPS-64. During 1963 the AN/FPS-6A height-finder radar was modified to an AN/FPS-90, and on 31 July 1963, the site was redesignated as NORAD ID Z-17. In 1967 the search radar was upgraded to an AN/FPS-64A. The AN/FPS-90 was removed in 1969.

In addition to the main facility, Wadena operated the following AN/FPS-18 Gap Filler sites:

Over the years, the equipment at the station was upgraded or modified to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the information gathered by the radars. The Air Force inactivated the 739th Radar Squadron (SAGE) in September 1970 due to budget reductions. Today, the former Wadena Air Force Station is now the Bell Hill Recovery Center. Many former USAF buildings in-use.

Air Force units and assignments

Emblem of the 739th Radar Squadron
Emblem of the 739th Radar Squadron

Units:

  • 739th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Activated at Leaf River, Minnesota, 1 February 1953
Site re-designated Wadena Air Force Station, 1 December 1953
Re-designated 739th Radar Squadron (SAGE), 15 January 1960
Inactivated on 30 September 1970

Assignments:

See also

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Winkler, David F. (1997), Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program. Prepared for United States Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command.
  • Information for Wadena AFS, MN
This page was last edited on 30 April 2018, at 06:07
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