Antigo AFS

Category Exploration Date Status Province / State Country
Military October 9, 2011 Repurposed Wisconsin United States

Posted on: Sat, 10/15/2011 - 15:15 By: Mike


Operations began here on May 1, 1951 with the 676th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. They began with an AN/FPS-3 search radar and in June, 1952, acquired an AN/FPS-4 height-finder.

At the end of 1958, the FPS-3 was replaced by an AN/FPS-20, and the FPS-4 was replaced by the AN/FPS-6. A second FPS-6 was added in 1959.

With the advent of SAGE, Antigo joined the network in 1960, and in 1962, the FPS-20 was replaced by the AN/FPS-35. Both FPS-6's were upgraded to FPS-90's in 1964, but one was subsequently retired in 1969.

The station was closed in 1977, and the squadron deactivated.

Personal Commentary: 

When I arrived, I noticed that the few rows of small houses were all apparently occupied. The gates to the operations site were open, but I was hesitant. As I watched, a vehicle passed me and went ahead through the gates. So, it's active.

I noticed a man outside on his front lawn doing something or other with his van, so I thought I'd go talk to him. We spoke briefly and I determined that he knew the owner, but he wasn't around. The man had some knowledge about what the place had been, but certainly seemed interested in knowing more, and decided to come along with me to look around.

He knew the owner didn't want anyone inside most of the building due to their deteriorating condition, so unfortunately, I had to respect this and not go for any interior shots.

Despite this, it was an interesting conversation with a really nice person, and therefore, by no means a waste.

I was surprised at how compact the layout for this station was. This is the first time I had seen barracks, mess and other support buildings in such close proximity to the towers and control centre. It was also the first time, other than Montauk AFS that I had seen a square concrete tower for the search radar. It turned out that was for good reason as this was the only other site I've been to that also deployed the AN/FPS-35. Unlike Montauk AFS, however, the antenna was no longer in place here.

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