Pyote Air Force Station

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Pyote Air Force Station (1957-1963) - A Cold War Air Force Radar Station first established in 1957 near Pyote, Ward County, Texas. Named Pyote Air Force Station after the location. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of TM-186. Abandoned in 1963.


Established in 1957 and became operational in 1959 as Pyote Air Force Station manned by the 697th 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-3A search radar and an FPS-6 height-finder radar.


Operations were discontinued on 1 May 1963. Pyote AFS and the 697th were deactivated on 1 Aug 1963.

Physical Plant

The physical plant of the site was divided into the main site, a cantonment area, a housing area and a radio site. The main site housed the operations buildings, the radar towers, and the backup generators. The cantonment area housed the enlisted barracks, the bachelor officer's quarters, the orderly room, the dining hall, the motor pool and other support buildings. Apart from the main site was a small 27 unit housing area for married personnel. A separate Ground to Air Transmitter/Receiver (GATR) radio site housed the radio equipment for directing aircraft intercepts.

Pyote AFS Major Equipment List
Search Radar HF Radar Data Systems
Unit Designations
  • 697th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron (1958-1963)
697th Assignments
  • 8 Dec 1956 - Activated at Kirtland AFB, NM, as the 34th Air Division.
  • 21 Feb 1957 - Moved to Pyote AFS, TX.
  • 1 Jan 1960 - Transferred to Albuquerque ADS.
  • 15 Sep 1960 - Transferred to Oklahoma City ADS.
  • 1 Sep 1961 - Transferred to 4752nd Air Defense Wing.
  • 25 Jun 1963 - Transferred to Oklahoma City ADS.
  • 1 Aug 1963 - Discontinued.

Current Status

Abandoned as a Radar Station and in private hands in Ward County, Texas.

Location: Near Pyote in Ward County, Texas.

Maps & Images

Lat: 31.47778 Long: -103.16833

See Also:


  • 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, page 100.
  • 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, page 157.
  • USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 2089928


Visited: 26 Nov 2017

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