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USAF San Vito Air Station

Last modified: 13 Jul 2020, submitted by: Joker

Country: Italy    Region: South

Locale: Brindisi

Latitude: 40° 38' 52" N     Longitude: 17° 50' 12" E

Area use / Military Branches: Closed


Former San Vito Air Station
Current status: civilian. In 2001 the United Nations humanitarian supply depot moved to Brindisi region. It has since then been managed by the World Food Programme and officially known as the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD).

USAF San Vito Air Stn activated by 6917th Security Group (USAFSS) in 1960 with over 700 personnel. In 1962 an USAF AN/FLR-9 hi-freq directionfinder was installed. Unit became ops 1963. In 1964 the US Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) San Vito established.

For 34 years during the Cold War, San Vito hosted Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force units monitoring, intercepting and analyzing transmissions from the former Warsaw Pact countries, The 6917th SG (USAFSS) disestablished at San Vito Air Station in 1993. As did NSGA San Vito and all intelligence activities ceased.

1991 600th Army Security Agency det. Baker (later integrated in the actual NSA/Echelon) arrived on the base.
1993, USAF's 352nd Spe Ops Grp and 16th Spec Ops Wing deployed units to San Vito, in support of Operation Provide Promise, a humanitarian airlift that sustained sick and starving civilians trapped by Bosnia's civil war. As Balkan peacekeeping efforts began, tasking switched to Operation Deny Flight.
1994 the AN/FLR-9 directionfincer deactivated.

At the end 1997 a coalition force, lead by Joint Spec Ops Task Force 2, operated at San Vito Air Station supporting NATO troops deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina and aircrews monitoring a no-fly zone above the area, where Serbian mobs attacked army patrols. This role increased significantly in 1999 during the crisis in Kosovo and Operation Allied Force. During the NATO air campaign against Serbian forces from Kosovo, specops operators conducted Search & Rescue operations to rescue downed pilots.

San Vito Air Station closed 2001 and became a contingency base, under control of Commander USAFE. Most of the buildings were sealed, except for needed housing and a few workshops and recreational areas. At that time the (since 1994 unused) AN/FLR-9 wullenweber antenna array was still standing! Finally 4190th Air Base Squadron decommissioned the site and turned it over to the Italian authorities. The antenna array was removed in 2001.

Former units:
USAr - Det 4, A Coy, 204th Military Intelligence Battalion (Signal Intelligence)
- Southern European Broadcasting Service, San Vito
- 600 ASA Det B

USN - Naval Security Group Activity, San Vito

USAF - 7275th Air Base Group
6917th Electronic Security Group
- HQ, 6917th ESG
- 2113th Communications Squadron
- Det 8, HQ, 4th Weather Wing
- Det 36, HQ, Air Force Contract Maintenance Center
- Det 61, HQ, Air Force Commissary Service, European Region (San Vito)
- AFOSI Det 6804

600th ASA
FAS about AN/FLR9 system

Search for USAF San Vito Air Station

Jimmy Hunt, | 11. June 2014 10:50


Was stationed at 6917th Security Group from July 65 to Jan 67. On Able Flt. Ron Sutsko,Teddy Boyer,Bill Moog,Dallas Mesack,Ken Truschke were among my Buddies there. 18 years old in Italy during Viet Nam,boy was I lucky!

J.S. Monahan, | 30. January 2014 08:11

field engineer sylvania recon labs

I was part of the engineering team who developed and installed FLR-9 at San Vito and several other installations
around the Globe.......The antenna system was installed
by Sylvania Electronic Systems East out of Waltham, Massachusetts. While the Electronics command and Control
operations was developed and installed by Sylvania
Electronic Systems West out of Mountain View, California
which was our group.

Noland Broussard, | 18. December 2013 00:58

Ex-USAFSS 6917th Memember

I enjoyed reading the information. I was at San Vito from 1968 to 1972 as an R20772A/T.

Just for clarity, the FLR/9 is not a RADAR system or installation. It is a High Frequency (HF) system and had RDF capabilities.

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