McChord SAGE Combat Center CC-3

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McChord SAGE Combat Center CC-3 (1958-Active) - A Cold War SAGE System Combat Center first established in 1958 on McChord AFB, Lakewood, Pierce County, Washington. Named McChord SAGE Combat Center after the location. Assigned a Sage ID of CC-3. Deactivated as a SAGE Combat Center in 1966. Re-established as McChord JSS Regional Operations Control Center (ROCC) in (1983-1986), Renamed McChord Sector Operations Control Center (1986-1997) and McChord Sector Air Operations Center (1997-Active).

McChord AFB Former SAGE Direction Center DC-12 and SAGE Combat Center CC-3 behind the F-4C Fighter Aircraft and FPS-26A Radar Antenna Static Displays.

McChord SAGE Combat Center

Established in 1958 and became operational as McChord SAGE Combat Center CC-3 in a purpose built three story reinforced concrete building next to the McChord SAGE Direction Center DC-12. The SAGE Combat Center housed the vacuum tube FSQ-8 computer that interfaced all the SAGE Direction Centers in the 25th Air Division. The SAGE Combat Center CC-3 shut down the vacuum tube FSQ-8 computer on 1 Apr 1966.

25th AD McChord SAGE Combat Center CC-3
Air Defense Sector Direction Center Active
Seattle ADS McChord SAGE Direction Center DC-12 1958-1983
Portland ADS Adair SAGE Direction Center DC-13 1958-1969
Spokane ADS Larson SAGE Direction Center DC-15 1958-1963
Reno ADS Stead SAGE Direction Center DC-16 1959-1966


The McChord SAGE Direction Center was one of the six Direction Centers designated as a SAGE Regional Control Center (RCC) in 1966 and it remained operational, still using the vacuum tube FSQ-7 computers, until deactivated on 24 Oct 1983.

McChord JSS ROCC

With the closure of the McChord SAGE Direction Center in 1983 the adjacent former SAGE Combat Center was fitted out as a JSS System Regional Operations Control Center (ROCC). The equipment employed was the new FYQ-93 computer system that provided 18+ configurable weapons system consoles and could accept input directly from some 20 JSS System radar sites and other sensor systems. This same system was also in place at the Griffiss Eastern Air Defense Sector and controlled the east coast airspace during the 911 attack.

WADS FYQ-93 Console


During the life of the FYQ-93 at McChord the name of the command post changed several times and area of responsibility grew from just the northwest to the west coast and then in January 1995 to some 1.9 million square miles, about 63% of the CONUS.

25th AD McChord SAGE Combat Center CC-3
Center Name Active Area
ROCC Regional Operations Control Center 1983-1986 Northwest
SOCC Sector Operations Control Center 1986-1997 West Coast
SAOC Sector Air Operations Center 1997-2006 West of the Mississippi

In October 1997 the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) completed a transition from the active duty Air Force to the Air National Guard. The Washington Air National Guard is currently manning the McChord facility.

Battle Control System-Fixed (BCS-F)

In 2006 the FYQ-93 system was replaced with a more modern system the Battle Control System-Fixed (BCS-F) using the FYQ-156 computer system that is said to be capable of handling 15,000 Tracks. This is the system currently in place at the formerMcChord SAGE Combat Center.

Current Status

Sage Combat Center blockhouse repurposed on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Pierce County, Washington.


Location: McChord AFB, Lakewood, Pierce County, Washington.

Maps & Images

Lat: 47.12181 Long: -122.50468

See Also:

Sources:

  • Winkler, David F., Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program, USAF Hq Air Combat Command, 1997, 192 pages, Pdf.
  • Cornett, Lloyd H. & Johnson, Mildred W., A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization (1946-1980), Office of History ADC, Peterson AFB, Colorado, 31 Dec 1980, 179 pages, Pdf.
  • Ulmann, Bernd, AN/FSQ-7:the computer that shaped the Cold War, 2014, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, ISBN 978-3-486-72766-1, 272 pages.

Links:

Visited: 22 Sep 2015

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