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MPN-13 & MPN-14 ASR/PAR Mobile Radar - Robins AFB, GA
Page 2

(Page | 1 | 2 | 3 |)

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.

USAF Enlistment Certificate (Kirt Blattenberger) - RF Cafe   USAF Delayed Enlistment Certificate (Kirt Blattenberger) - RF Cafe
USAF Small Arms Marksmanship Certificate (Expert) (Kirt Blattenberger) - RF Cafe   USAF On-the-Job-Training Record (ATC Radar Repairman) (Kirt Blattenberger) - RF Cafe

USAF Certificate of Training E3ABR30331 - RF Cafe   USAF Honor Student Certificate (Kirt Blattenberger) - RF Cafe

5th Combat Communications Group (5CCG) Training Certificate (Kirt Blattenberger) - RF Cafe   USAF NCO Orientation Training Certificate (Kirt Blattenberger) - RF Cafe

USAF HOnorable Discharge Certificate (Kirt Blattenberger) - RF Cafe

MPN-13 Radar Photos

Thanks to Elbert Cook for providing these photos.

AN/MPN-13 Radar Mobile Deployment - USAF Crew - RF Cafe

AN/MPN-13 Radar Mobile Deployment - USAF Crew

UHF/VHF Antennas, AN/MPN-13 Radar Mobile Deployment (Elbert Cook) - RF Cafe

AN/MPN-13 Radar Mobile Deployment - UHF/VHF Antennas

Gin Poles on Trailers, AN/MPN-13 Radar Mobile Deployment (Elbert Cook) - RF Cafe

Gin Poles on Trailers -AN/MPN-13 Mobile Radar

UHF/VHF Antennas, AN/MPN-13 Radar Mobile Deployment (Elbert Cook) - RF Cafe

Elevation PAR Antenna, AN/MPN-13 Mobile Radar

Positioning Trailers, AN/MPN-13 Mobile Radar (Elbert Cook) - RF Cafe

Positioning Trailers, AN/MPN-13 Mobile Radar

MPN-14 Radar Shop

Thanks to MSgt. Robert Bennett, aka "Gatorbob" for this group of great photos.

MOB School at the 5CCG - RF Cafe

MOB School at the 5CCG, Robins AFB, GA

MPN-14 Radar at Site Alpha - RF Cafe

MPN-14 Radar at Site Alpha

MPN-14 Radar at Sculthorpe AB, UK - RF Cafe

MPN-14 Radar at Sculthorpe AB, UK

GPN-22 Radar at Kadena AFB, Okinawa - RF Cafe

GPN-22 Radar at Kadena AFB, Okinawa

FPN-16 Radar, Griffiss AFB, NY - RF Cafe

FPN-16 Radar, Griffiss AFB, NY

MPN-14 at Carswell AFB, TX - RF Cafe

MPN-14 at Carswell AFB, TX

Sez Gatorbob:

When I see the pictures and names it brings back a lot of old memorys - 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 I remember:

  • 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 Abiney
    • Bob Short
    • Don Boots 
    • Greg Dimtroff 
    • George Hayes
    • Larry Torrez
    • Bruce Wilson

FPN-16, Precision Approach Radar

These Pix Were Sent by Jim Carthew

FPN-16 Precision Approach Radar at Ellsworth AFB -RF Cafe

2029 Communications Squadron at Ellsworth AFB, 1971-1974

MPN-14, TPS-75, MUTES Radars

These Pix Were Sent by Jason Merrill

MPN-14k Equipment Trailer - RF Cafe

MPN-14k Equipment Trailer

AN/TPS-75 Radar in Kirkuk, Iraq - RF Cafe

AN/TPS-75 Radar in Kirkuk, Iraq

MPN-14 radar, 5th Combat Communications Group - RF Cafe

"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) - RF Cafe

Multiple Threat Emitter Systems (MUTES)

Old Glory in front of Radar Antenna - RF Cafe

Old Glory in front of Radar Antenna

Our man in the field - Jason M. - RF Cafe

Our man in the field - Jason M.

Radar Operator, Paul Kelley photo - RF Cafe

 Radar Operator, Paul Kelley photo

MPN-14 from Robins AFB, GA, 5CCG

These photos were graciously supplied by Don Hicks

 - RF Cafe

MPN-14 Deployed to Loring AFB, ME
(circa 1981, Don Hicks photo)

Commando Leader Don Hicks Calling in Backup - RF Cafe

Commando Leader Don Hicks Calling In Backup

MPN-14 Deployed to Sonto Cano AB, Honduras (cicra 1988, Don Hicks photo) - RF Cafe

MPN-14 Deployed to Sonto Cano AB, Honduras
(circa 1988, Don Hicks photo)

Don Hicks, Mark Belore, Mike Jasso, Steve Haynes, J.D. Black, Danny Heagren  (Don Hicks photo) - RF Cafe

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) - RF Cafe

Steve Haynes, Desert Storm
(circa 1991, Don Hicks photo)

Flight Checking the TPN-19 at Grand Forks (Don Hicks photo) - RF Cafe

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) - RF Cafe

Ed Kopp, Joe Kast, Mark Wilson, Mike Shipton
Valdosta, GA  (circa 1987-90, Don Hicks photo)

MPN-14 radar, 5th Combat Communications Group - RF Cafe

Don Hick On MPN-14 Ops Trailer - prior to camouflage paint job
(circa 1978-79, Don Hicks photo

MPN-14 radar, 5th Combat Communications Group - RF Cafe

MPN-14 RAPCON  (circa 1980-82, Don Hicks photo)

MPN-14 radar, 5th Combat Communications Group - RF Cafe

TPN-19 PAR Radar (Don Hicks photo)

MPN-14 radar, 5th Combat Communications Group - RF Cafe

Dave Paschal (Don Hicks photo)

MPN-14 radar, 5th Combat Communications Group - RF Cafe

Don Hicks, Steve Haynes, Mark Wilson, Mike Shipton
Shaw AFB (Don Hicks photo)

Mark Goodrich, Dave Derman (Don Hicks photo) - RF Cafe

Mark Goodrich, Dave Derman
(Don Hicks photo)

AN/MPN-14 Radar at Aviano AB, Italy

Many thanks to Greg Bucchieri for sending these nice photos from his time in the USAF!

USAF AN/MPN-14 Radar System at Aviano AB, Italy c1970 - RF Cafe

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 - RF Cafe

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) - RF Cafe

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.

AN/FPN-47 at K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan - RF Cafe

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.

Compliment of Jim Flinn

MPN-13 at the 1966 AMA Nats?

Blow-up of MPN-13 radar unit at the 1967 AMA Nats - RF Cafe

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.

MPN-13 radar unit in background of phoot from the 1966 AMA Nats - RF Cafe

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 Modeler magazine.

MPN-13 Radar Video

Bien Hoa Air Base in Vietnam, c1967

MPN-13 Radar in  - RF Cafe

...from the Critical Past website
(thanks to Don Hicks for the link)


Gilfillan magazine ad from 1950 - RF Cafe

Magazine Ad for Gilfillan:
Gilfillan Delivers... a complete GCA radar every 48 hours!

MPN-14 Mobile Radar System

Ubon, Thailand,

Pictures submitted by MSgt. Auford Neal, ret.

MPN-14 Ops & Maintenance Trailers on Turntable, by Auford Neal - RF Cafe

MPN-14 Ops & Maintenance Trailers on Turntable

MPN-14 Mobile RAPCON, by Auford Neal - RF Cafe

MPN-14 Mobile RAPCON

Ubon Maintenance Building, by Auford Neal - RF Cafe

Ubon Maintenance Building

Ubon MPN-14 Installation, by Auford Neal - RF Cafe

Ubon MPN-14 Installation


AN/SPG-55B

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?

Jerry Johnson (L) and Richard Snyder (R) "working" on the  AN/SPG-55B Terrier Missile Fire Control Radar aboard the USS Gridley (DLG-21) Tonkin Gulf (circa 1972). Gary Steinhour photo. - RF Cafe

Aboard the USS Gridley (DLG-21)
Tonkin Gulf (circa 1972)
Gary Steinhour photo.

MPN-14, S/N 88

Photos by Dan Miller

Paul Mayo's AN/MPN-14, S/N 88, first TPX-42 ever installed, Shaw AFB, circa 1974 - RF Cafe

Thanks to Paul Mayo for this photo of his AN/MPN-14, S/N 88, deployed to Shaw AFB, around 1974. It has the first AN/TPX-42 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) - RF Cafe

MPN-14 at RAF, Weathersfield, England
(circa 1982, Dan Miller Photo)


RF Cafe - Thomas S. working on radar at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport - RF Cafe

Thomas Sherrill, 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

These images of the TPX-42 IFF equipment rack were obtained from the Adak, Alaska website. I usually do not make copies of images, but these are too rare to risk losing. All have links to the original full-size images.

Description of the AN/TPX-42 PIDP IFF equipment (United States), Intelligence Systems - Direction-Finding, by Janes

Here is a brief description of IFF systems from the Electronic Warfare and Radar Systems Handbook.

AN/TPX-42 IFF Test System Chassis - RF Cafe

AN/TPX-42 IFF Test System Chassis

AN/TPX-42 IFF Data Processing Unit Chassis

AN/TPX-42 IFF Data Processing Unit Chassis

AN/TPX-42 IFF Data Processing Unit Chassis

GPN-27 Radar Signal Simulator

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