Many thanks to those of you who have sent 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 &
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.
JP Wilson sent this photo
of the MPN-14
Says JP, "...stumbled across your 303x1 website quite by accident. Brought back
many old memories (mostly good)! I was in the AF from 1976 – 1982, 3396 & 3398
School Squadrons at Keesler; 2001 CS, KI Sawyer AFB; 1986 CS, Zaragoza AB, Spain;
and 2148 CS, Ellsworth AFB. I don't have many fond memories of the old 'Gin Andy'
at ZAB...was pretty much a constant struggle to keep her flying but since ZAB was
a 2 shift RAPCON, shared with the Spanish AF and supporting the range traffic for
Reales Range (think I spelled that correct). We didn't get a lot of priority
for new stuff and the almost constant winds beat her up pretty good. Here she is,
in all of her glory. "
MPN-13 Radar Photos
Thanks to Elbert
Cook for providing these photos.
AN/MPN-13 Radar Mobile Deployment - UHF/VHF Antennas
| Gin Poles on Trailers -AN/MPN-13 Mobile Radar
Elevation PAR Antenna, AN/MPN-13 Mobile Radar
| Positioning Trailers, AN/MPN-13 Mobile Radar
AN/MPN-13 Radar Mobile Deployment - USAF Crew
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
UK | GPN-22 Radar at
Kadena AB, Okinawa
Griffiss AFB, NY
| MPN-14 at
Carswell AFB, TX
When I see the pictures and names it brings back a lot of old memories - 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
- 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
2029 Communications Squadron at Ellsworth AFB, 1971-1974
MPN-14, 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
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. | Radar
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 |
Commando Leader Don Hicks Calling In Backup
(circa 1981, Don Hicks photo)
MPN-14 Deployed to Sonto Cano AB, Honduras
| Don Hicks, Mark Belore, Mike Jasso, Steve Haynes,
1988, Don Hicks photo) | J.D.
Black, Danny Heagren (Don Hicks photo)
Steve Haynes, Desert Storm |
Flight Checking the TPN-19 at Grand Forks
(circa 1991, Don Hicks photos)
Ed Kopp, Joe Kast, Mark Wilson, Mike Shipton
| Don Hick On MPN-14 Ops Trailer - prior to camouflage paint
Valdosta, GA (circa 1987-90, Don Hicks photo) |
(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, Steve Haynes, Mark Wilson, Mike Shipton, Shaw AFB
(Don Hicks photos)
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
| USAF Radar Clutter Fence at Aviano AB, Italy c1970. This system
was freshly back from 'Nam duty.
AN/FPN-47 at K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan
Left: 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.
Right: 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.
Compliments of Jim Flinn
SSgt. Dean Taylor Photos
These photos were graciously provided by SSgt. Dean Taylor's family. If you served with SSgt. Taylor and can provide
info about these photos, I will be glad to add it here.
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
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
...from the Critical Past website
Don Hicks for the link)
Magazine Ad for Gilfillan:
a complete GCA radar every 48 hours!
MPN-14 Mobile Radar System
Pictures submitted by MSgt. Auford Neal, ret.
MPN-14 Ops & Maintenance Trailers on Turntable
MPN-14 Mobile RAPCON
Ubon Maintenance Building | Ubon MPN-14
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.
MPN-14, S/N 88
Photos by Dan Miller
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
MPN-14 at RAF, Weathersfield, England
(circa 1982, Dan Miller photo, below)
Thomas Sherrill, former USAF TPN-19 tech, working on FAA radar
at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, supporting the FAA Eastern Service
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 |
AN/TPX-42 IFF Data Processing Unit Chassis
AN/TPX-42 IFF Data Processing Unit Chassis
| GPN-27 Radar Signal Simulator