Country: United States Region: S Carolina
Latitude: 33° 38' 45" N Longitude: -82° 19' 23" E
Area use / Military Branches: Closed
Former Air Defense Command (ADC) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Airdefensecommand-logo.jpg general surveillance radar station. Designated as SM-159 Aiken AFS was the first Phase II Mobile Radar system to achieve operational status. During December 1955 the 861st Aircraft Control and Warning Sqn http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/861st_Radar_Squadron_-_Emblem.png began activating AN/FPS-3, AN/MPS-14, and AN/TPS-10D radars. Initially the station functioned as a Ground-Control Intercept and warning station. As a GCI station, the squadron's role was to guide interceptor aircraft towards unidentified intruders http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ac/Aiken_Air_Force_Station_-_SC_-_1964.jpg
In 1960 an AN/FPS-20 and an AN/MPS-14 were operational. The site subsequently received an AN/FPS-7C search radar and an AN/FPS-26 heightfinder and joined the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, initially feeding data to DC-09 at Gunter AFB, Alabama. The squadron was redesignated 861st Radar Sqn (SAGE) providing information 24/7 to a SAGE Direction Center. Over the years, the equipment was upgraded or modified to improve efficiency and accuracy. 861st was inactivated 1975.
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