Saskatoon Mountain, BC

1961 Ė Historical Report Ė USAF Historical Division

Historical Report
919th AC&W Squadron
1 January 1961 to 31 March 1961

Section I


  1. Unit and Location

919th Squadron, Saskatoon Mountain Air Station, Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada

  1. Name and Grade of Commander

Ben M Hagan, Major, USAF

  1. Chain of Command (Superior Echelons)
  2. Administrative: SPADS, 25th Air Division, ADC, NORAD
    Logistical: 4602nd Support Group (ADC)

  • Subordinate Units (Down to and including squadrons)
  • None

  • Mission (Give authority and brief statement of primary mission)
  • To maintain radar surveillance and report surveillance information to appropriate SAGE Direction Center for identification and action. Exercise control with limited capability provided, as directed by the SAGE Direction Center.

  • Personnel

















  • Equipment (Give official nomenclature and quantity of mission-type equipment)
  • GPS-T2 (1), GPS-T2A (1), UPA-37 (1), AN/FRT-502 (1), AN/URG-60 (1), AN/FRT-503 (1), AN/FRT-501 (1), CR-91A (1), T-282 (1), T-217 (1), R-36/C (1), R-278B (1), FPS-6B (1), FPS-20A (1).

    Section II



    The first three months of 1961 have been busy and rewarding for the 919th Operations Section. During this period we participated in six live exercises which included an ORI and pre ORI missions for the 25th Air Division.

    The first exercise of the new year began 5 January entitled 25th NORAD Region Exercise 1-61. During the course of the mission the target forces consisted of T-33, B-47 and B-57 type aircraft. The mission exercised our surveillance and telling procedures quite well, however, there were no fighters scrambled for our control, consequently all targets penetrated deep into the sector area of responsibility.

    The second mission of the period came on the 13th of January lasting through the 17th of January. This mission was entitled 25th NORAD Region Exercise 2-61. The mission was utilized as the pre ORI exercise. The mission was observed and evaluated by outside personnel in an attempt to point out our weaknesses and give any assistance possible in bettering our activities prior to the ADC ORI forthcoming. The mission consisted of a live wave and then an SSTM portion. The film was numbered 101C, a SAGE problem. During the live portion of the mission two F-106ís from Geiger Field were scrambled for our control. These two fighters were able to neutralize three target tracks. The three targets neutralized were USAF T-33ís. During the mission fourteen Faker aircraft penetrated our area of responsibility. All of the targets were detected by our Squadron giving us 100% for target detection.

    Preceding the mission all the direction and selected crew members were given a written examination. The test scores averaged 85% for the squadron. Upon completing the mission the evaluator rated the operationís section as outstanding.

    The third mission of the new year was the 25th NORAD Region Exercise 3-1-61 held the 10th of February. This mission was similar to the previous mission in that it too consisted of a live wave followed by an SSTM. During the live portion we experienced twelve targets in our area. Fighters were not scrambled in time to be able to commit on any of the targets while they were still in our area.

    The fourth exercise during the reporting period was a 25th NORAD Region Exercise 6-1-61 which took place on the 3rd of March. This mission was a joint ADC SAC exercise. The target aircraft consisted of T-33ís, B-47ís, B-52ís, and CF-100ís. Throughout the mission nine target aircraft penetrated our coverage area. This mission saw seven F-106ís scrambled for our control. These seven interceptors had 8 MAís on the nine targets penetrating our area meaning that only one target got through.

    The fifth mission was Spokane Air Defense Sector Exercise 2-61 which took place on 11 March. In this mission we saw five targets in our area. There were two F-89Jís scrambled from the Air National Guard Squadron at Geiger. The two aircraft came to us and we were able to neutralize three targets. There were no other fighters scrambled for our control.

    The sixth exercise was the longest mission yet. It was the ADC ORI which had a liability period beginning on 15th March through 25th of March. The mission saw thirty-five Faker aircraft penetrate our area. Thirty-four of these targets were detected making for a notable surveillance section.

    There were three evaluators assigned to our squadron. Two of the team members were from the 32nd Air Division and one from ADC Headquarters. Prior to the mission written exams were administered to the directors and Intercept Control Technicians. The overall Squadron test score averaged 96%. During the mission each phase was clearly monitored and studied by the evaluation team. All facets of the controllerís ability to run intercepts were observed by the ORI team member at all times. During the mission fifteen interceptors were scrambled for our control. These fifteen fighters had seventeen MAís. The overall effectiveness of the two Controllers utilized during the mission was 92% which was considered excellent by the evaluators. The Squadron, as a whole, received a satisfactory rating with many good comments about all portions.

    During the reporting period 1st Lt. Anton J Stankowski was transferred PCS to the Phoenix SAGE Sector. In the month of February Captain Jack R Crawford reported to this base as a weapons controller. Captain Crawford had formerly been assigned to the 322nd FIS, Kingsley Field, Oregon. Captain Crawford is a rated Radar Observer. In the first week of March, 1st Lt. GL Morgan also reported to the Squadron as a weapons controller. Formerly Lt. Morgan was assigned to an F-101B Squadron as a Radar Observer at Oxnard Air Force Base, California.

    Physical changes in the operations room were the reaccomplishing of the Tactical Mission Data and the Equipment Status Boards. In addition the main plotting board was repainted and revised to bring it up to date with the current surveillance idea. These changes have added greatly to the overall efficiency of the operations section.

    Communications and Electronics:

    During the week prior to the ORI the Communications section was busy with the modification of the Weapons Coordination circuit between here, Kamloops and Spokane. The line was utilized very successfully.

    The year started off with a bang for the radar section. On the night of January 2nd a power failure was experienced on base. This normally would have been a routine matter, however, the emergency air blowers which kept the inflatable radome expended failed to function. To make matters worse, there was a string wind from the southwest. The wind collapsed the dome, severely damaging the rubber sides. Men from all over the base, officers, airmen and civilians alike, worked throughout the night to repair the hole. Early the next morning the antenna was allowed to rotate once again. The radar was only on the air temporarily as on the night of the 4th of January the radome was cut from its moorings and removed from the tower by base personnel. On the 10th of January a new rigid radome was completed and our radar was put back on the air.

    All C&E equipment operated without incident for the pre ORI on the 13th and 14th of January.

    January and February saw the completion of the new FPS-6B radar facility. The set was turned on and operated without undue difficulty. Final acceptance has still not been completed due to excessive leaks in the rigid radome. The leaks were caused by a poor quality of caulking material.

    During February all video cables were re-laid or replaced to the scopes in the operations room.

    Radar difficulties once again plagued the 919th before an evaluation. Two days before the ADC ORI mission was to begin a wave guide coupler gasket began to leak. With expert work and know how the radar was kept on the air and the Radar Quality Control checks during the ORI, 18-18 March, averaged over 100%.


    During the reporting period the base Snack Bar was opened for business. The Snack Bar is being operated by the base exchange.

    Another item of interest during the period was all base organizations were audited for accountability by one of the 25th Air Division Staff Auditors, Mr. Guy Carr. The base as a whole was found to be in satisfactory condition.

    Typed Name and Grade of Commander

    Ben M Hagan, Major, USAF