Hamilton Manual Direction Center P-48
Hamilton Manual Direction Center P-48 (1955-1966) - A Cold War Manual System Direction Center first established in 1955 on Hamilton Air Force Base, Novato, Marin County, California. Named Hamilton Manual Direction Center after the location. Assigned a Permanent System ID of P-48. Deactivated as a Manual Direction Center in 1959 and converted to a Manual Combat Center (MCC-6) in 1962. Reconfigured as a SAGE System Combat Center (SCC-5) in 1966 using BUIC II computer equipment. Closed in 1969.
Hamilton Manual Air-Defense Control Center (P-48) (1955-1959)
Established in 1955 and became operational in 1955 as Hamilton Manual Direction Center (ADCC) P-48.
The Manual System Command Centers were based on the standardized AC&W infrastructure site design of the Chicago design firm of Holabird, Root & Burgee. These designs dated to 1949 but construction did not begin on any facilities until after the beginning of the Korean War. At system completion, 16 of these command centers were built. The Command Center was designated as a Type 4 Site while the most common operations center configuration at the AC&W radar sites was the Type 2. The Type 2 Operations Center had similar characteristics to the Type 4 Direction Center except the operations centers were single story. The site designs included, where appropriate, a power plant, an administrative building and one or two radomes all incorporated into a secure compound. The Command Centers and the Operations Centers can be easily identified by a small louvered ventilation tower that rises above the roof.
The Manual System Direction Centers did not survive the transition into the SAGE System because they were far too small for the massive SAGE computers and consoles and did not have big enough power or HVAC plants. The radar site Type 2 operations centers did survive into the SAGE System but each one required the construction of an attached SAGE Annex for the large FST-2 computer system and later additions were necessary for those chosen as BUIC Sites.
Hamilton Manual Combat Center (MCC-6) (1962-1966)
With the activation of the SAGE System, the Hamilton Manual Direction Center P-48 closed down and the facility was converted into a Manual Combat Center using just SAGE System displays (no FSQ-7/8 Computer) remoted from the Stead SAGE Direction Center DC-16. The Hamilton Remote Combat Center became operational in June 1962.
The Stead SAGE Direction Center DC-16 was deactivated on 1 Apr 1966. From 1 Apr 1966 to 1 Jul 1966, the combat center at Hamilton operated in a manual configuration while new equipment was installed.
Hamilton SAGE Combat Center (SCC-5) (1966-1969)
The Manual Combat Center (MCC-6) was replaced by a SAGE Combat Center (SCC-5) on 1 Apr 1966 in the same blockhouse. Data was fed to the NORAD SAGE Combat Center (SCC-5) blockhouse at Hamilton AFB via the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system. Instead of an FSQ-8 computer, the Hamilton SAGE Combat Center used a three-string GSA-51 BUIC II computer system (minus BUIC consols). SCC-5 started initial operation on 1 April 1966.
Headquarters Western NORAD Region was inactivated at Hamilton Air Force Base on 31 Dec 1969 and the Hamilton SAGE Combat Center (SCC-5) was deactivated.
The original Manual Direction Center building was leveled and the area it occupied is now overbuilt with houses.
Visited: 2 May 2019, 10 Sep 2017