NORAD, Site Alpha, 1980
This message has been edited. Last edited by: OldArmyLove,
After joining the Air Force in Aug 1966 I went to basic training at Lackland AFB (30450).
After Basic training I was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS for equipment training for one year.
After Keesler I was stationed at Warner Robins AFB Wideband Comm 1967-1968 working on TRC-97's.
I was then stationed at Torrejon AFB from 1968-1973. I was a member of the 1989th Comm. SQ.
I was stationed at the Navaids Comm Center for 3 months to get my clearance before going to Humosa Tropo Site (OL-1A).
I was a staff SGT working on the Tropo and microwave equipment. (FRC-39, FRC-96, Linkurt MW and Siemens Mux ETC.)
After I left Spain I was stationed at Altus AFB traning people on TRC-97 from 1973 to 1974.
I left the Air Force in August 1974 and started working for Hubbell Inc. until I retired in 2009.
I am currently retired and living in Mesa AZ.
I am looking for any old pictures of Humosa Tropo Site or Torrejon AFB. I first lived in Alcala De Henares apartments and then moved to the Torrejon De Ardoz Apartments.
I am keeping in touch with Richard Kusiowski who also worked at Humosa Tropo Site with me in 1968-1970.This message has been edited. Last edited by: tftyson,
Torrejon Air Base, Spain
USAFE/HQ 26 May 2000
Approval for US bases in Spain came as part of the Defense Agreement of 26 Sep 53. In return for basing rights, the US agreed to provide Spain with an air defense force. Built primarily for SAC bombers, Torrejon was one of three bases built in Spain. The test and development center of the Spanish Air Force was located about 20 miles NE of Madrid and the site was chosen for the base. Construction was carefully planned, took over 4 years. Torrejon was activated on 1 Jun 57 and was ready for B-47s by Sep 57, however, Spanish officials were concerned about conflicting air traffic between the base and Madrid’s airport (a persistent problem for Torrejon) and the base was not opened for flying until 1958.
SAC Reflex operations began in Apr 58 and B-47 bomber units rotated through the base. The 497 FIS , a SAC unit operating F-86s and later F-102s was assigned to Torrejon in 1958 to provide air defense. The agreements between SAC & USAFE & the different countries were complex, constantly changing and sometimes inconsistent. USAFE provided air defense units for Morocco but SAC provided them for Spain. In an attempt to streamline operations 16AF was reassigned from HQ USAF to SAC along with the recently created 65 AD in July 57. However, in Jul 1960 the 65AD was transferred to USAFE and in Apr 66 Hq 16AF was assigned to USAFE and the 401TFW came to Torrejon.
Project Clear Water was a series of reductions in the 60s of overseas bases and manpower. It effectively ended SAC operations in Spain. The interceptor squadron left Torrejon in 1964 and SAC ceased reflux operations in Mar 65 but retained the KC-135 wing at Torrejon until it moved to RAF Mildenhall in Jan 76.
The host unit at Torrejon became the 401 TFW however the Spanish Air Force retained ownership of the base and had an active wing there. The 401 TFW had three squadrons flying F-100s, then F-4 and then F-16s. The 625 MAS handled MAC traffic and passenger service and Torrejon became the main terminal for the Mediterranean area after French bases were closed in 67. The 1989 Comm Gp maintained a nationwide net of 8 comm sites and provided air traffic control and comm support. In Jan 88 the US and Spain signed a new agreement on Defense cooperation which required the 401 TFW to leave Spain by May 92. Studies began on finding an alternative base for the unit.
During the Gulf War the 401TFW sent a squadron to Qatar and one to Incirlik to support Allied operations. Torrejon Air Base supported 10,000 MAC sorties carrying 85,000 troops and 130,000 tons of cargo through the base to the Gulf. Torrejon handled 80 percent of the airlift missions. During the buildup and war, the base pumped 200 million gallons of fuel to transiting aircraft.
During 1992, USAFE withdrew most of its forces from Spain. the 401st began inactivating its squadrons and redeploying aircraft to other USAFE bases and to the US in July 1991. The last F-16 aircraft left Torrejon on 24 March, ending 26 years of Air Force fighter presence in Spain. On 4 May, in formal ceremonies, the 401st transferred to Aviano without personnel or equipment. Headquarters Sixteenth Air Force also moved to Aviano AB from Torrejon during 1992.
Torrejon AB drew down quickly once the fighter squadrons inactivated and by early April, the base was a virtual ghost town. Air Force base operations closed on 1 Apr 92 and thereafter USAFE air traffic control information was given only in Spanish. Throughout the spring and summer, the Air Force continued to turn over buildings and facilities to the Spanish Air Force. The 600ABGp was activated on 4 May 92 to continue the drawdown and support the remaining personnel. The 1989th Communications Wing inactivated on 30 Sep 92.
After the inactivation of the 600th Air Base Group on 1 Oct 94, the only permanently stationed US personnel at Torrejon were 10 members of Air Mobility Command plus five local nationals to provide a limited enroute capability for airlift operations which would soon move to Rota NAS, Spain.
The runway and taxiways at Torrejon had been heavily damaged by US transport aircraft during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991. In 1993, USAFE returned the runway and taxiways to the Spanish Air Force without a US commitment or Spanish request for repair or restoration. But without repair, they would continue to deteriorate and would eventually become unusable for USAF contingency requirements. In June 1994 a joint agreement was signed and repairs were made. These repairs would keep the runway operable at least through 1997, when the current Agreement on Defense Cooperation with Spain expired . On 20 Feb 97 Air Mobility Command concluded that Torrejon was no longer needed as an enroute support base.
The base was officially returned to the Spanish Air Force on 30 Jun 98 and remains an active Spanish Air Force base.
Torrejon Air Base, Spain Information
LOCATION: 20 MILES NNE OF MADRID
DATE OF CURRENT NAME: 15 DEC 55
PREVIOUS NAMES: AEROPUERTO DE TORREJON
DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT: 1 JUN 57
DATE CONSTRUCTION BEGAN: 27 SEP 53
DATE OF BENEFICIAL OCCUPANCY: 1 JUL 56
Base Operating Units:
01 Jul 56 - 1 Jul 57 7600 ABGp
01 Sep 57 - 1 Jun 59 3970 ABGp
01 Jun 59 - 1 Jun 64 redesignated as 3970 CSGp
01 Jun 64 - 1 Jun 66 redesignated as 3970 Strat Wg
15 Apr 66 - 4 May 92 401 CSGp
04 May 92 - 1 Oct 94 600 ABGp
Major Units Assigned: 08 Jan 57 - 1 Jan 65 871 AC&W Sq
15 Sep 57 - 1 Jul 71 21 Wea Sq
01 Oct 57 - 1 Jan 65 65 AD
04 Oct 57 - 30 Sep 92 1989 AACS Sq
redesignated 1989 Comm Sq
redesignated 1989 Comm Gp
01 Feb 58 - 10 Aug 92 16 AF
21 Jun 58 - 18 Jun 64 497 FIS F-86, F-102
01 Mar 60 - 7 Jan 71 Spanish Comm Region (ECD)
08 Jan 66 - 96? 625th Military Airlift Support Group (MAC)
redesignated Det 1 625 AMSS (MAC)
27 Apr 66 - 4 May 92 401 TFW F-100, F-4, F-16
25 Jun 66 - 31 Dec 76 98 Strat Wg KC-135
08 Jan 71 - 30 Jun 72 Mediterranean Comm Region
01 Apr 83 - 1 Oct 84 2186 Comm Sq
01 Oct 84 - 1 Nov 86 redesignated 2186 ISS
01 Nov 86- 92 redesignated 2186 Comm Sq
15 Jan 84- 4 May 92 7116 Tac Control Flt
DISPOSITION: RETURNED 30 JUN 98
That's an excellent history of Torrejon in Spain that you provided. I was at Minorca, Det.2, 1989 Comm. Squadron, in th early 1970's. If you are still looking for old pictures of Torrejon and Humosa, you may try another site. I and mnay others have posted some pics of the ole "moutaintops" there:
.This message has been edited. Last edited by: YooperTJ,
US Air Force
Let's not post hotlinks outside the .mil and .gov domains, please.
"As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind...
every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder." ~John Glenn
Anyone at 2143 com sq in mid 70's
One in Arizona!
1981 Keesler AFB, tech training, including AN/TRC-97 5 level academy. Then to 1982 Robins AFB at 5th Mob, more combat training in Georgia woods, so much fun. 1983 Karatas Turkey, remote tropo site. 1984 McCord AFB Flight line Radar, Brite II system, Flight line VHF Communications technician.
Great to see the pictures of the Soller, Mallorca 486L site. I was stationed there 1972-1974, which was my first assignment after Keesler. 18 years old in paradise! I still have an old AF poster of this site, but it is in poor shape, so these pictures brought back some memories. I worked, slept, and nearly died on that mountain (Puig Mayor). Anyone out there that was stationed there during this time? Thanks
Joined the Air Force in oct. 1970. After basic went to Keesler AFB for Radio Relay Repairman school( I beleive that was the correct name), 304x0. Assigned to 2134 det 4 Comm Sq. out of Sembach, AB Ge., the site name was Langerkopf. Later changed to the 1945 det 45 Comm Sq.
Got out for a while then reenlisted into 326x2b autopilot and instruments on F111D at Cannon AFB, NM. After two years there, assigned 611 TCF Alzey Ge. We had six Trc 97 shots. I had a great time in the AF and spent many years in the AF Reserves (transportation).
Joined in June 73 and graduated 30430 school in Feb 74. Worked at Keesler school maintenance til Dec of 75 when I went to the "Hill", Malatya Turkey till Dec 76. Went back to Keesler in my old job til Oct 77. Went to Sac Hq at Omaha for my final 19 months as a Satellite tech. Then I had had enough and got out. I had another remote assignment in my hand when I was discharged. I have been repairing television station transmitters ever since.
Graduated Radio Relay school in Feb 1980, station in Plattsburg NY doing BISS until 1981, then stationed at 622 TCF Bad Kreuznach, Germany 81-83 (My favorite assignment). Transferred to Keesler as an instructor 83-89, taught mostly AN/TRC-97. Stationed in Kwang Ju Korea for a year (became an Honorary TrcRat with my buddies up near the Korean border). Back to Keesler as an E&I troop working with previous instructor friends again till 92. Sent back to Germany to Spangdahlem AB Comm Sq until 96. Sent to my final base as Kelly AFB Security Hill as an installer again. Retired Feb 2001. Not allowed to reenlist anymore due to Asthma. Really miss the camaraderie of my buddies in the military.
JOSEPH SAMUEL PRUETT 304X0
OCT 1962-OCT 1963 KESSLER SCHOOL
OCT 1963-SEP 1966 CHATEAUROUX FRANCE DET 24
SEP 1966-NOV 1967 STATEBORO GA SAC-RBS
NOV 1967-JAN 1969 CLARK AB PI 605 TCS
JAN 1969-AUG 1970 TINKER OK 1ST MOB
AUG 1970-AUG 1971 BALEKESHIRE TURKEY AFCS
AUG 1971-AUG 1976 GERMANY -- SEMBACH- WIESBADEN- PRUEM 601 TCS
AUG 1976-AUG 1979 BERGSTROM AB TX 712 DASC
AUG 1979-AUG 1980 MOUNT LIMBARA IT AFCS
AUG 1989-AUG 1982 BERGSTROM AB TX 712 ASOC
AUG 1982 RETIRED
TDY (60 DAYS) TO SAUDI ARABIA TWICE
TDY (90 DAYS) TO KOREA
TDY VARIOUS DESERTS IN THE US
ANYBODY STATIONED IN THOSE PLACES DURING THOSE TIMES? EMAIL ME
ANYBODY KNEW BAWANA (ROBERT) STATIONED IN CHATEAUROUX FRANCE IN 1963-1966
For some reason I cannot post anything to this thread - but I can at least reply and "quote" the last Post"????
Yea I am old as mud - A Retired CMSgt that spent 24 years (most of it as a 304X0).
I am looking for old Tech Manuals (oops - I Mean Tech Orders) for the old AN/FRC-39A Tropo Radio Sets as well as the MCC-50 MUXes, MW-503 and FRA-90 Microwave Radios and the infamous MRC-98 Radio sets..
I believe the MRC-98s were used in the Karatas (ADA) to Malatya Trop Link, naturally the FRC-39s were used for the Karatas to Elmendag Tropo Shot. The MW-503 Microwave link was used in the Malatya Trop Site shot to Erhac (Det 113) at the Erhach Air Base where the Nukes were kept. The FRA-90 was the Microwave Link from Karats (ADA) to Incirlick Air Base (Det 16).
I don't remember the Equipment we had at Karamusel Air Base (I was only there to Decommission the base).
The demise of the MedComm 486L Trop System was a double edge sword.
1st - Political (President Clinto needed to Balance the budeget and all those military sites were costly. Since no one would ever attack our great Nation - they had to go).
2nd - The Worldwide Tropo networks were occupying "valuable RF Spectrum". The worldwide development of a thing called "Cellular Phones" needed the 800-900MHz spectrum - so Tropo just had to go.
The men on the Mountaintops served gallantly and the whole Tropo Era was a testament to the military who served on those mountaintops (and flatlanders as well - like Karats, and a few site in Spain).
I would love to hear from any of you who were stationed with me at Karats (Det 187), Karamusel AB (Det 94), Erhach AB (Det 113), and Incirlick AB (Det 16).
Most of my pictures of Turkey and any Equipment pictures were distroyed in a fit by an estranged ex-wife during a divorce (an occupational hazard shared by all 304X0s). She also got my total Rock n Roll Album collection. All I got was my uniforms and a new appartment. Wah Wah Wah..
Anyway, I would post some links, but in the past I see they have deleted most of them (something about outside links). I don't fully understand how to post an "inside link" but see a few have managed.
Hopefully the sensors won't delete this post.
Take care gang
May god bless each and every one of you
Dave R. Mason
dee(d) mason at (@)phoenix computer labs dot (.) com ...
Wow --- I finally got the "reply to work" - Amazing... 3 PhDs and I finally learned something...
This is directed to Richey -
I would like a copy of "Men on the Mountaintops"
As I understand it - You are the go to guy for this....
I tried to google it - but get no results(so google isn't good for everything after all)..
dee (d) mason at (@) phoenix computer labs dot (.) com
I sent you the men on Mountaintops along with some pictures and drawings. In the event you did not receive them wrichey AT)Pa (DOT) Net
I saved the whole package to my Hard Drive and even wrote a copy to a CD so I can keep it safe..
I was a 304X0. Received my training at Keesler from Sep 1974 to Mar 1975. I was stationed at Det. 20, 2140CG (Mt. Pateras) from May 1975 to Dec 1976. Then I went to TUSLOG Det. 113 (Erhac AB, Turkey). My last experience in Radio Relay was with the CO ANG working with TRC-97s from 1984 to 1990. I just found this site and it brings back some fond memories.
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