Radomes Guestbook V3.0
Welcome to the Online Air Defense Radar Museum. We hope you enjoy your visit, and that we have contributed a little something in the name of those who served. Gene.
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Prior months' guestbooks:
Name: Tom Page
Does anyone have, or know someone else who has, any photographs of Laredo AFS, TX, when the site operated the AN/FSS-7 SLBM radar? If so, please let us know, and/or please provide copies if possible. Thanks!
Name: William A Hoey
Name: Gary Jacobs
Take a look at the link to this below: Defense Secretary Gates Remarks at Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Montgomery, Ala., Apr. 21, 2008.
Name: Buck Brennan CMSGT RET
I just read from the military news that the Army and Marines are now inducting felons. Some of these felons have been conficted for sex crimes and manslaughter. Then I read about high ranking Generals that are awarding contracts to thier friends this investigation has gon all the way up to Joint Chief Staff ,Mosley. Gentleman we are in serious trouble ,when the high ranking people think more of thier careers than the troops ,what has this military come too. In the new the SECDEF had to get in the Air force leadership to quit draging it's feet and get more unmaned A/C over to the combat Zones. Your thoughts gentelman. Buck Brennan
Name: Chuck Sunder
Buck, I share your concerns regarding felons, etc being inducted into the military....they must be getting pretty hard up for recruits...and who can blame the potential recruits? Who wants to volunteer for Iraq? I have several grandchildren who give you a puzzled look when you ask them about enlisting. They read the papers. When I was 17 I couldn't wait to get out of town and head for Lackland. Times change.
Name: Tim Juckette
30352 - Stationed with 757TH RADS (FPS-24)at Blaine AFS, WA: 66oth RADS (FPS_26) at MacDill AFB, FL and 83rd TCF (TPS-43E)at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
Name: James A. Kline
I served in the USAF from 1968 to 1972 in Aircraft Control and Warning. My AFS were, Makah AFS, Neah Bay, WA (758th), Wadena, MN AFS, then Tin city, Alaska (710th) and Charleston, ME.
Name: Jeff States
Quote without comment:
Name: Bob Caggiano
Name: Cliff Bays
We also used TCE in the 26 tower at the 660th at MacDill AFB. It was kept in a drum in the "paint locker" which was a locked building out in the middle of the open area South of the T-2 building and West of the 26 tower 25 or 30 yards from anything. Paint, gasoline and any other flamables were kept there also. Somebody knew it should not be kept inside the tower. As others have stated, we would get a quantity of it in a coffee can and us it to clean up oil, paint, sometimes just dirt. One time the can got spilled on the floor in front of the parts bin. The guy who spilled it just wiped it up with a rag and assumed the rest would evaporate. The next day the floor tiles were soft and stuck to our shoes. That section of tiles had to be replaced. Too much exposure to our hands would cause a little redness and little pain so we rubbed motor oil into our hands to counteract this. We used to dump what was left in the can on the driveway next to the tower. I look at the current aerial photos of the site and see that the 26 tower, T-2 buliding and the "paintlocker" are all long gone. I often wonder if any cleanup was done since MacDill is still a very active AFB.
Name: John Tianen
I recall the FPS-26 used some kind of a liquid-filled heat exchanger to cool some component (I can't remember what that component was). In the fall of the year we received dozens of cases of 1-gallon cans of ethylene glycol (anti-freeze) that was used in the heat exchangers. As I recall, this fluid had to be changed periodically. The cans were the typical olive drab color with all the government contract information printed on the can. All the ethylene glycol we received was made by Union Carbide, the maker of Prestone anti-freeze. I don't know why they shipped us so much of the stuff. Everyone who owned a car winterized the engine with that freely available government issue anti-freeze.
Name: Gordon Dick
At Middleton Isle759th, we had a 55 gallon drum of TCE right next to the Ops shack. I recall swishing air filters for the scopes etc in a bucket of the stuff which caused my hands to look like prunes. The steam pipes that ran every where including my room where wrapped with asbestos that was always flaking off when bumped and we would of course sweep this up when cleaning up. I would bet all that floor tile everywhere contained asbestos as well. working in the radome with the FPS-3 radiating was another smart move.It's a wonder we are all as old as we are!!
Name: Bill Wells
While at the 768th AC&W at Moriarty we got a lot of brand new second lieutenants.Some were PCS after training and others were TDY and went elsewhere.My office was across from the CO's and one morning a newbie was reporting in.The CO asked if he was PCS or TDY and he said "NO SIR!! I"M ROTC!!" Ofcourse the Orderly Room cracked up.But most of the Lts were Ok once they caught on.
Name: John Tianen
We used TCE as a solvent when I was part of the FPS-26 crew at Saratoga AFS. We cleaned the parts on the open deck below the tower and dumped the dirty solvent through the open deck grates to the ground below. The ground became brown and saturated with oil and other nasty things. After the site was abandoned, that contamination along with asbestos, buried fuel tanks, and PCB-laden transformers had to be removed to restore the environment.
Name: Gary Jacobs
Some time we should have a thread on “maintenance procedures we did then that we wouldn’t do now.” Like using Trichloroethylene, TCE, the colorless liquid with a chloroform-like smell. At Selfridge’s ANGB’s 26A tower, we had a 55 gallon drum of it on the arctic tower itself. The biggest use was to remove grease, and congealed cigarette smoke from the equipment. (Now this will indicate my low rank.) Put it in an old coffee can, get a paint brush, and a rag, start “painting” the scope (or whatever) innards with it. Dust, smoke, whatever was on there would drip down, wiped off. If you got it on your skin, it felt like medicinal alcohol. It would also remove your skin oils and lead to cracked skin. The vapors were also a cause of headaches and dizziness in enclosed areas. Is it still used anywhere? Likely so, it was effective, but not used in that way would be my guess. Polychlorinated Biphenyls, PCBs, were in capacitors and transformers. On the TPS-44 in Germany, one maintenance procedure was to use a crank to extract transformer oil, then put it in a ceramic cistern on a piece of test equipment between two conductor plates. One increased the voltage to high levels on the plates and when it arced, this told something about the condition the oil. My recollection is PCBs somehow helped the oil not to break down. In any case, the hand pump seldom worked. So, one siphoned it by sucking on that hose with predictable results. We ex-radar types are also walking labs for the long-term effects of microwave radiation observed up-close and personal. I remember a safety film that showed a GI painting in front of a radar antenna (staged) in which he experiences headaches, looks at the antenna and has a moment of inspiration to leave. Now this again is memory, but it went something like you can’t tell if you’re being radiated except when your brain begins to swell and pushes against the interior of your skull, causing a headache. This was impressive to me, but I don’t recall anyone ever coming anywhere close to getting cooked. Was any research ever done into such exposure? The rumored effects, cataracts, blindness, sterility (this being GIs, after all). Back to the 26A. I remember one time hearing the airlock open and looking over and seeing it in “radiate,” so I dashed out of the office and knocked it off line. My staff sergeant came down and said, what’d you do that for, it’s nothing worse than a hot bath? Back on it went, back up he went. Remarkable. One met a number of characters in radar. I suppose I’m one myself. The longer I think about this topic, the more stories come to mind, but this is enough.
Name: George Wickert
Name: Larry Jackson
It's still used by dry cleaners At least it was safer than carbon tet.
Name: Miles Martin
I have to comment on David Casteel's statements about RIF'ed officers. After Vietnam the Officer rating system was limited in the ratings that could be given, only 10% could get the top rating. The system was designed to eliminate personnel because they had too many of us. There was even a RIF board that kicked out many officers. I had a really good friend (the Maintenance Control Officer at 25AD) who had just been promoted to Major who was kicked out after only about a year after the promotion. His name is Chuck Turk. Some of you may know him. He had been the commander at a site (I think Bedford) in VA that got a bad IG rating on a prior assignment and that was all it took. But, Chuck came out just fine. He joined an E&I National Guard unit in PA. He did well and became the commander of the unit and was promoted to Lt Col. He was a good officer who was RIFed, and his later performance showed that.
Name: David E. Casteel
Thomas Whitely, I regret that you had the misfortune to serve with a young Lieutenant a$$hole who was RIFed for incompetence. However, I hope that you are not of the opinion that RIF actions were commonly (or chiefly) an indication of incompetence of the officer. For the Lieutenant grades, that possibly was true, because there were very few restrictions on promotions to 1Lt and Captain, so to be passed over too many times was unusual. For Captains trying for Major, though, only a small percentage ever made it at each promotion cycle, and the ones who did quite often were Rated or in SAC; back in the 1960 and 1970s, officers in ADC and TAC routinely received OERs (officer equivalent of APRs) that were one or more levels poorer than those in SAC, and Rated officers (pilots) nearly always got top ratings. The result was that many very fine support officers could not match ratings with the elite (who may well have not been better or even as good at useful USAF work off the flightline) and they were the ones who got RIFed. As one who suffered that fate, I know what I am talking about. (And no, I am not putting myself up to be a super guy who was unfairly kicked out. My mother thought so, though.) Every cloud has a silver lining. I enlisted for 5 years to "save my pension" as a COBOL computer programmer. My 5 years experience in that field made me much more hireable in the civilian world than I would have been as a former Radar Maintenance Officer. I retired as a Captain, by the way, and I consider my decision to enlist to fulfill the requirements as time well spent.
Name: Glenn Widner
My time spent in Mississippi and Alabama was all good. After Keesler, I was stationed at Gunter AFB in Montgomery Alabama for 2 1/2 years. Since Katrina, I've been on relief teams to Hammond La., Moss Point Miss., and just got back last week from New Orleans, wiring houses. Prejudiced people are in every state, but for the most part, the people in Mississippi are hard working and friendly. My kind of people.
Name: Robert Reeves
Thanks to Richard Konizeski and Gene McManus for posting the TAPS tribute to retired Lt. Col. Charles Woodford who passed away at age 82, in May 2007 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Name: Robert Reeves
Anyone who knew my late father John Reeves is welcome to write.
Name: Chuck Sunder
Name: Bill Leach
Quick 'rope' story. I retrained from radar to computers in 1971 (at Keesler). They made me go back thru BED. Luckily thru the self pace class. The first day (at the end of class) this yellow rope tells me my job is to empty the trash. He's an E-2. I happened to be an E-4. When I 'kindly' pointed out the disparity in rank, he informed me that a yellow rope was the equal of a 1st Lt. I advised him to immediately report my insubordination to the Chief down in the training office. The somewhat red-faced young man returned a short time later wanting to know if there was anything else I needed him to do besides empty the trash.
Name: Edward R. Tatyrek
Good Morning, need some info on the dues to belong to this group, I am a CMSGT. Retired with a 30390 AFSC with duty at various sites within NORAD. Please contact me on my e-mail address with the info requested. Edward R. Tatyrek.
Name: Thomas Whiteley
What is rope? A rope is a string that goes to your head - so we said at Keesler.
Name: Gene McManus
Hey Chuck, at Thule in the early spring, before the supply ships could make it into port - it was green jello & celery. I've learned to eat celery since, but still won't touch green jello!
Name: Chuck Sunder
Who from Sparrevohn remembers this one?
Name: John Tianen
Here's an interesting tidbit of information for you guys who served at radar sites in North Dakota and Montana. The area is about to enjoy a tremendous boom due to a giant oil find in the area. The presence of oil has been known for several years but its extraction had been too expensive. With new technologies and higher oil prices, that oil is now economically viable. The oil reseves are huge, leading some to call the area "Persia on the Plains". Some of those old radar sites may suddenly have value again after all these years. The same article speaks of a huge natural gas field in western Pennsylvania that is ready for development. Both finds should help the economy in both areas as they both have been chronically depressed for years.
Name: Dick Konizeski
Lt Col Charles Woodford
Name: Jay C Phillips
A forum(Sparrevohn719) dedicated to anyone who served at Sparrevohn, Alaska, 719th AC&W Squadron is on line as a yahoo group.
Name: Carl Wenberg
Someone fill me in, what is this rope stuff? went to Keesler mar.1954 3402nd Sq. in old wooden barracks pulled KP once in what we called chow hall row, other the atour on guard duty at base stockade easy time weekends off A shift AM - noon for school not much chickhan S--- to put up with, we went there after 11 wks. basic so no more basic training stuff. guess I went there at the right time.
Name: Dick Konizeski
There have been some very interesting articles recently regarding concerns over degredation of radar coverage (and therefore security) by wind farms, which are springing up in increasing numbers as alternative power sources are developed. One of the concerns is that new radar site locations may be required when wind farms are built in direct line of site of current radar coverages. If that's the case, the radar and security communities have a lot on their plates. Any thoughts?
Name: Dennis E. Schehl
Just following up on earlier e-mails. I now have a photo or two taken in 1960 at Martha's Vineyard FPS-14 radar site. An old Bendix Techrep USAF 1958-1962. Bendix 1962-1999.
Name: DALE COPELAND
I went thru school in 1965 at Shepperad AFB,and in the 3755th school squadron. The rope system was group of students as barracks chiefs-gold rope and squadron chiefs-red ropes. They are braided ropes that you wore over the shoulder and drapped down under the arm. It was a earned position, you had to be a sharp troop with good grades and be appointed by a squadron sargent. In the open bay barracks meant that you had your own room and had a "MOUSE" that cleaned the room , another guy who you appoint for that duty. Then ya have a upper bay chief and he has a "MOUSE" IT Worked!
Name: John Tianen
I don't have any fond memories of the "rope" system. The ropes were no better than the rest of the troops in the barracks except for the colored piece of yarn they wore on their shoulder. Some abused their limited authority and for that they were disliked by the troops. My recollection of the selection process was that it was political.
Name: John Terryah
I was assigned to Stead SAGE and arrived in June of 59. I was the 7th person to be active at that time. My first sgt was 6th and the five before us were the Comamnder, a Bird Colonel, A major, a captain,and two lt's. We started from scratch. My first sgt and I initially flew down on a c 119 to check out housing in Reno. The day was so windy that we could hardly walk against it. We stayed two days and on the third day we were to be picked up by the c 119. The runway temps were too high and the plane had to circle time and time again as the temps dropped as the sun went doqn. it was fully loaded with Civil Air Patrol people and c 119's were not known to be good gliders or to have too much horsepower. We were above the 5,000 foot altitude. They did land and all went well but it labored getting off the ground. We were on our way a month later.
Name: Gary Jacobs
Now by far most of my memories of Keesler are good ones. I was 17 when I got there, and by the end learned more in a concentrated time than maybe any other time of my life, good and bad. Here I think of hazing. My time was summer 1971. I turned 18 in September. I buffed a floor. A guy snuck me a beer. Happy birthday. (Remember the drinking age was 21. I was to make great friends with Mister Beer.) I joined a drill team in Squadron 10. (I think this was the number, but I may be wrong.) I had had abysmally bad jobs, like raking sand around the barracks and such. I saw them practicing and thought, hey, that looks cool and I liked the swagger, the special uniforms, the not having to march on Saturday parade and other things. The only other rope slots were in the chorus or band. To join, to get a rope, one went through a period of hazing. Most of it was stupid and fun. Some was vicious and you wondered where it was going to come out, and when to draw that personal line of “not worth it.” This gave me some insight into hazing in general later. My idea was most guys could handle both ends. Some guys wanted to go too far, got upset when told they couldn’t. Later when I became a drill team officer, I decided it should be done away with all together. I didn't win that one. But I don’t know what I or the organization gained by having me and my roommate hold hands, skip in our 15-05 uniforms around the squadron saying, “Sir, I want to be a drill team rope, sir.” I suppose it demonstrated a level of commitment, or a level of stupidity on those who sent us, let alone, us. For example, the drill team officers would call for us, “Hey, boot,” and we’d run. One assumed a “brace” position, attention, but head down, hands in front, fisted, next to each other. They would hit your hands to drive them apart. If they did, you did push-ups. Generally, you did push-ups whatever the outcome, right, wrong, whatever. At the end was a period when you stayed up for 24 hours, and then the officers came in to inspect your room and begin the most serious hazing, too long a story for here. It was then that most people gave up. My roommate and me made it, a 2-1 vote. Later I met the guy who voted against me as, of all things, a lower classman at Officer Training School in that annex to Lackland in 1978. I was dumbfounded to walk into a room to inspect and there he was. I read the name on the list of roommates twice. Can't be. Is. Imagine. I got about 2 inches from his face while he was at attention. Hey, remember me? (I wondered what he thought.) I didn’t treat him the same way. I told him, learn something from that. Perhaps this comes to mind in my LA area residence, where the LA Fire Department has (and likely will in another dumb case) paid out millions in suits involving hazing.
Name: Tom Page
I visited the Peterson Air & Space Museum for the first time Friday. If any of you are ever in Colorado Springs and have the time, I highly recommend you visit. Many thanks go to Ed Weaver and Jack McKinney for the grand tour.
Name: Charles McClure
I only got those 314s or 341 slips yanked from me for two reasons. Bed making and shoe shines. I was bad at both of those things and I still am to this day. Once I had both yanked for shoe shine and had to spend the town pass day in the barracks doing what my TI called "ojt shoe shine". Spent the whole day shining my shoes.
Name: John Tianen
The chickensh*t remained long after basic training. It was one of the reasons I never re-enlisted. I was an A1C with 5 months to go in my enlistment and the First Sergeant restricted me to the base for a week for having dust bunnies under my bed. This was the week before I was to get married. I asked him to give me a break but he would not hear it. Needless to say it made things more difficult for the wedding. All you married guys know, there is a lot of preparation leading up to the big day. This same First Sergeant routinely put E-4s an KP, even married guys living off base.
Name: DALE COPELAND
I understand why the Air Force felt it was needed to appoint a few to be Gold or Red Ropes. But they was the same as me and the same rank and I hated them , they was bounty hunters and "Gig Slips " the weapon of choice. Then when I recieved my GOLD ROPE all that changed. Go figure.
Name: DALE E COPELAND
Jim: I dont remember why I had slips pulled, But I got real good at folding them. Just for kicks I'd like to hear "Gig Slip" stories from anyone who would share them with us. We kinda laughed them off, because of the Bull**** reasons they used. We lived thru it and became good Soldiers. " GO BLUE" Dale Copeland.
Dale, the infamous '341' which was folded into quarters and kept in your left shirt pocket. Yeah, I kinda remember that from long ago...