Lackland Air Force Base Radar Site
Lackland Air Force Base Radar Site (1952-1969) - A Cold War Air Force Radar Station first established in 1952 on Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of P-75 and later a Sage ID of Z-75. Abandoned as an Air Force Radar Site in 1969 and operated after that by the FAA.
The 630th Radar Squadron in Houston sent a detachment to the FAA site in 1972 to operate an FPS-6 alongside the FAA FPS-66 which was then data tied into Southern Air Defense System (SADS) and designated site Z-241. Site Z-241 ceased operation about 1975.
History of Lackland Air Force Base Radar Site
Established in 1952 and became operational in 1952 as Lackland Air Force Base Radar Site manned by the 741st AC&W Squadron. The station initially had both a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and early warning mission. The early warning mission involved tracking and identifying all aircraft entering their airspace while the GCI mission involved guiding Air Force interceptors to any identified enemy aircraft. Controllers at the station vectored fighter aircraft at the correct course and speed to intercept enemy aircraft using voice commands via ground-to-air radio.
Initial equipment included the FPS-3 search radar and an FPS-4 height-finder radar. The single FPS-4 height-finder radar was replaced by two FPS-6 sets in 1958. The search radar was upgraded to an FPS-20A and the site radar data was being shared with the FAA.
Lackland Air Force Base Radar Site and the 741st were deactivated on 31 Dec 1969 and the FAA took over operation of the site.
In 1960 the Lackland Air Force Base Radar Site was responsible for the maintenance of one remote unattended gap-filler radar site. The gap-filler sites were placed in locations where the main search radar lacked coverage. These sites sent digitized radar target data directly to a direction center. Maintenance teams were dispatched from the Lackland Air Force Base Radar Site for regularly scheduled maintenance or when fault indicators suggested the site had problems. The Lackland Air Force Base Radar Site gap-filler radar was located at Mason, Texas.
The Air Force site closed in 1969 and the last vestiges of FAA operations ended in 2010. The radome and support buildings have been removed except for two small buildings, the radio building and the power building.
Visited: 20 May 2015