Cold Lake, AB

1997 - 42 Radar Squadron, Then and Now - Captain Perry

For close to forty years, the three distinct "golf balls" of 42 Radar Squadron (See Cold Lake photos #1, 2, 3 and 4) stood atop the rolling hills of the Medley, Grand Centre and Cold Lake tri-town area. With a staff of close to 85 personnel, the AN/FPS-507 height finder and the AN/FPS-508 search antenna provided around the clock long range radar surveillance and radio coverage of the surrounding area to the Regional Operations Control Centre (ROCC) in North Bay.

In the late 1980s a changing world and threat resulted in revamping the LRR missions. The old radar, although loved by some and hated by those whose radios and TV's picked up a "buzzing" interference every twelve seconds, required replacement with a lighter, more mobile and cost effective system.

The decision was made to purchase the Westinghouse (now Northrup-Grumman) AN/TPS-70 3 Dimensional phased array radar (See Cold Lake photo #5). This single channel, search and secondary mobile system would provide the operator with the capability to track 500 targets, displaying target range, height, azimuth, Identification Friend/Foe (IFF) information from an altitude of zero to 100,000 feet to a maximum range of 240 nautical miles. The radar would be located at the Primrose Lake Evaluation Range (PLER), with a squadron headquarters for administration and the Remote Training Operations Centre (ROTC) from which actual operations control functions would be performed, at 4 Wing Cold Lake.

Unfortunately, there was no longer a requirement for the old site, and in 1992, the "Hill" was decommissioned and 42 Radar Squadron took up residence in its new "digs" on the Wing. -- Captain Perry