Kirtland Manual Direction Center P-41
Kirtland Manual Direction Center P-41 (1951-1960) - A Cold War Manual System Direction Center first established in 1951 on Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Assigned a Permanent System ID of P-41. Deactivated as a Manual Direction Center circa 1960.
Established and became operational on 5 Jan 1951 as Kirtland Manual Direction Center P-41 assigned to Western Air Defense Force. Transferred to Central Air Defense Force on 16 Feb 1953.
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.
The Kirtland Manual Direction Center P-41 remained operational as a part of the 34th Air Division until the 34th was inactivated on 1 Jan 1960. The 34th mission, personnel, and equipment were transferred to the Albuquerque Air Defense Sector (AADS) under the 33rd Air Division on 1 Jan 1960.
On 1 Nov 1960, the AADS was inactivated without gaining operational status as a SAGE System sector because a SAGE System direction center had been planned for Kirtland AFB but was never built. All of the remaining AC&W (AC&W) Squadrons under the 33rd were transferred to the Oklahoma City Air Defense Sector.
The Manual Direction Center building is now repurposed as building 909 on Kirtland Air Force Base.
Visited: 24 Aug 2019