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9. USAF - Stead

Last modified: 24 Apr 2022

Country: United States    Region: Nevada

Latitude: 39° 40' 1" N     Longitude: -120° 7' 8" E

Area use / Military Branches: Closed


3940′02″N 11952′34″W Former USAF Stead was an airbase in Nevada from 1942 -1966. The airfield is now Reno Stead Airport

Reno Army Air Base was originally assigned to the Second Air Force in 1942 as a training base. Closed 1946. USAF took over in 1951 when USAF Survival School and 3904th Composite Wing moved to Stead Airbase. SAC started training for its personnel how to survive if forced down in remote and/or unfriendly terrain, how to escape capture and how to escape if captured.

Other commands also wanted to train aircrews in survival techniques and in 1954 Stead became part of the Air Training Command (ATC) and the 3904th Composite Wing became the 3635th Combat Crew Training Wing. After a number of name changes, the survival training school became 3637th Combat Crew Training Sq. In 1958 the 3635th Crew Training Wing was redesignated 3635th Flying Training Wing (Advanced), concurrent with relocation of the USAF Helicopter Pilot School to Stead.
In 1959 a Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) Data Center (DC-16) was established. SAGE was a network linking Air Force (later FAA) General Surveillance radar stations into a centralized center for air defense, to provide early warning and response for a Soviet nuclear attack.
ReADS deactivated in 1966 as part of an ADC consolidation and reorganization and its units were reassigned to 28th Air Division.
In 1966, Stead Airbase closed, the airfield transferred to the City of Reno and the housing facilities sold to private individuals.

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