Many thanks to those of you who have sent these photos to me for publication. I have received a lot of e-mail
on them in the couple years that they have been on the Internet. If you know anyone in any of the Mobs, 1 through
5, please have them contact me and send photos. If you only have hard copies or negatives, I will be glad to scan
them and send the original back to you.
- Kirt Blattenberger
Radar System Designations & Descriptions
Update: While sorting through
boxes of archived
items recently, I ran across a pile of folders full of U.S. Air Force documents for base assignment, shot records,
TDY deployment, training, performance
reports, etc.. A lot of paperwork accrued in four short years. For out-processing (1982), I was issued a checklist that required
going all over the base (Robins AFB, Georgia) to collect files,
turn in issued gear, and sign multiple statements regarding why I was making the unwise decision to not re-enlist. Very
few papers survived my purge; only the most significant remain. Here are a few of those documents, arranged in chronological
order of issuance. If you, too, were in the USAF, many will look familiar.
MPN-14 Radar Shop
MSgt. Robert Bennett, aka "Gatorbob" for
this group of great photos.
MOB School at the 5CCG
Robins AFB, GA
MPN-14 Radar at Site Alpha
MPN-14 Radar at Sculthorpe AB, UK
GPN-22 Radar at Kadena AFB, Okinawa
FPN-16 Radar, Griffiss AFB, NY
MPN-14 at Carswell AFB, TX
When I see the pictures and names it brings back a lot of old memory's - long hours and hard work
but some of the best times of my life I will never forget!
Here a few names of Radar Leper Colony
• Dallas Sharp was Radar Super Lives about 30 mi from me
• Tim Elsenbeck was one of
my 3 levels think he is in PA
• Ken Andrews in OK/FAA was in the 3rd and 1st with me he
pointed me to your web site
• Robert "Bob" Bullock think he is working in England
• Butch Satterwhite in
OK/FAA in the 1st/TPN-19 shop
as I was leaving
• Sheryl Finch is a minister
These guy have been MTA for sometime haven't heard or seen anything on them:
• Dave Elgen
• Bob Short
• Don Boots
• Greg Dimtroff
• George Hayes
• Larry Torrez
FPN-16, Precision Approach Radar
These Pix Were Sent by
2029 Communications Squadron
at Ellsworth AFB, 1971-1974
TPS-75, MUTES Radars
These Pix Were Sent by
MPN-14k Equipment Trailer
AN/TPS-75 Radar in Kirkuk, Iraq
"I believe to be an AN/TPN-18 US Marine model or the AN/TPN-8 series US Army model. This same antenna group
and receiver-transmitter are mounted on a stable platform and used on US Navy amphibs as their precision approach
radar AN/SPN-35 series." - thanks to Dallas Sharp
Confirmation (thanks to John Hairell
"The TPN-8 and -18 looked exactly the
same – the interior details differed. From the truck in the background and the base of the radar in the
photo (which dates it) I can tell that the photo is of a TPN-18. The TPN-8 was developed by Gilfillan
as a GCA radar in a joint USMC/Army effort. The Army used both the TPN-8 and the TPN-18, which was a more
advanced model of the -8. I have never been able to ascertain whether the USMC ever officially used either
of these radars, though I do know some of their air traffic controllers trained on them.
The TPN-8 was
used as a developmental base for the SPN-35 later used by the Navy. Both the TPN-8 and -18 were
used in Vietnam. I was a US Army radar air traffic controller from 1977 to 1981 and was specifically
trained on and used the TPN-18. As far as I know no TPN-8s were still in use by the mid-70s – they had
all been upgraded to -18 status. The TPN-18 was still in use until relatively recent times. "
Multiple Threat Emitter Systems (MUTES)
Old Glory in front of Radar Antenna
Our man in the field - Jason M.
Operator, Paul Kelley photo
MPN-14 from Robins AFB, GA, 5CCG
These photos were graciously supplied
by Don Hicks
MPN-14 Deployed to Loring AFB, ME
(circa 1981, Don Hicks photo)
Commando Leader Don Hicks Calling In Backup
MPN-14 Deployed to Sonto Cano AB, Honduras
(cicra 1988, Don Hicks photo)
Don Hicks, Mark Belore, Mike Jasso, Steve Haynes,
J.D. Black, Danny Heagren (Don Hicks photo)
Steve Haynes, Desert Storm
(circa 1991, Don Hicks photo)
Flight Checking the TPN-19 at Grand Forks
(Don Hicks photo)
Ed Kopp, Joe Kast, Mark Wilson, Mike Shipton
Valdosta, GA (circa 1987-90, Don Hicks photo)
Don Hick On MPN-14 Ops Trailer
- prior to camouflage paint job -
(circa 1978-79, Don Hicks photo
MPN-14 RAPCON (circa 1980-82, Don Hicks photo)
TPN-19 PAR Radar (Don Hicks photo)
Dave Paschal (Don Hicks photo)
Don Hicks, Steve Haynes, Mark Wilson, Mike Shipton
Shaw AFB (Don Hicks photo)
Mark Goodrich, Dave Derman
(Don Hicks photo)
AN/MPN-14 Radar at Aviano AB, Italy
Many thanks to Greg Bucchieri for sending
nice photos from his time in the USAF!
USAF AN/MPN-14 Radar System at Aviano AB, Italy c1970
This system was freshly back from 'Nam duty.
USAF Radar Clutter Fence at Aviano AB, Italy c1970
AN/FPN-47 at K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan
S.A.G.E. (Semi Automatic Ground Environment)
building before FPN-47 radar was installed.
This was one of
the first buildings erected at KI.
S.A.G.E. as it looks today with FPN-47 radar antenna visible in background. The radar is now remotely operated
out of Minneapolis Center RAPCON.
MPN-13 at the
1966 AMA Nats?
This is a blow-up of the suspected MPN-13 mobile radar unit that is in the background of the photo below. Clearly
visible are the X-band elevation antenna, the S-band airport surveillance radar antenna, and VHF/UHF radio masts
and antennas. The maintenance trailer is not in view, but would be sitting in back of the operations trailer.
I don't think there was a mobile RAPCON back in 1967.
The 1967 Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) National
Aeromodeling Championships (Nats) was held at the Los Alamitos Naval Air Station in California. Up until the early,
the U.S. Navy sponsored the AMA Nats as a means of introducing potential young aviators and maintenance guys to
the exciting Navy life. At some point, there was not enough participation of youngsters in the Nats to make the
Navy deem the expense worthwhile. Too bad. This picture came from the
September 1967 American
MPN-13 Radar Video
Bien Hoa Air Base
in Vietnam, c1967
...from the Critical Past website
(thanks to Don Hicks for the link)
Magazine Ad for Gilfillan:
a complete GCA radar every 48 hours!
MPN-14 Mobile Radar
Pictures submitted by MSgt. Auford Neal
MPN-14 Ops & Maintenance Trailers on Turntable
MPN-14 Mobile RAPCON
Ubon Maintenance Building
Ubon MPN-14 Installation
Terrier Missile Fire Control Radar
The fellow on the left with the beard is Jerry Johnson, and the fellow
on the right is Richard Snyder. Is this a quintessential military dude shot or what?
Aboard the USS Gridley (DLG-21)
Tonkin Gulf (circa 1972)
Gary Steinhour photo.
Thanks to Paul Mayo for this photo of his AN/MPN-14, S/N 88, deployed to Shaw AFB, around 1974. It has the
Interrogator Set (IFF user interface) installed. Paul was not a member of the 5th, but worked
at Tac Com (Langley) as a Tech Rep/Field Engineer for AIL on the TPX-42. He did a lot of the mods and TCTOs
for the MPN-14s plus training and a couple of deployments (1973 to 1977).
MPN-14 at RAF, Weathersfield, England
(circa 1982, Dan Miller Photo)
, former USAF TPN-19 tech, working
on FAA radar at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, supporting the FAA Eastern Service Area
AN/TPX-42 IFF System
AN/TPX-42 IFF Test System Chassis
IFF Data Processing Unit Chassis
AN/TPX-42 IFF Data Processing Unit Chassis
GPN-27 Radar Signal Simulator