Back to Home Page

The purpose of this page is to collect information about AADCP's

I know nothing about AADCP's - This is a collecting point for such information. First, what is an AADCP?

Most recently received info near the top

Red team, yellow team
Dale Nichols, November 4. 2000
Subject: No one quite answered your question

No one quite answered your question. AADCP stood for Army Air Defense Command Post. I graduated from Arty OCS as an FO but was sent to the 74th Arty Group (COL Trussle commanding) at Olathe NAS in October of 1967. Knowing nothing about Nike Hercules, I was placed in the AADCP as BCO (Battery Control Officer) so the Colonel could keep an eye on me.

For crypto security we were divided up into red teams (officers) and yellow teams (enlisted). We didn't hold guns on each other at the safe, but we had them, plus ammo and two salt tablets! The authenticators were kept in the safe in the "Blue Room" where we had the BIRDE system and a big plotting board. We had lots of visits from Inspectors and evaluators -- I would say at least once a month.

Due to the fact I had a clean police blotter, no library fines and my friends said good things about me, I was made Crypto Custodian (along with Insect and Rodent Control Officer and 12 other extra duties).

I was Duty Officer the night the Pueblo was captured and we burned most crypto materials in a 55 gallon drum outside our 15 psi overpressure shelter. I had been a 2LT for a very short time and I was real worried about burning all those "cookies." As prescribed, the yellow team member and I crushed the cold ashes in our hands to make sure no fragments remained.

I seemed to me that we worked mostly for the Air Force. We received exercise directives from them hourly, adjusting DEFCON accordingly. Only once did they accidentally send the real thing and all the AF guys had to come in from their part time jobs to man their positions. During this particular faux pas, when everyone is required to wear a gas mask, it came out that the Air Force contingent's masks were all at Richards Gebaur AFB, about 30 miles away. They never seemed to take this as seriously as we did.

Interestingly, in the twilight of the M-14, we were still using M-1 carbines so we could use the same ammo as the MO NG which ran two of the 4 KC sites. At this time a MO ANG 2LT made $11,500 per year, full time. I made $314 per month plus a couple of allowances for a total of about $4,800 per year. I never could figure that out.

Later I went to the battery in Gardner, KS, as Launcher Platoon Leader -- and after 6 more months closed the whole place down as acting Battery Commander (still 2LT but now with 9 whole months of service). I lit the first legal cigarette in the Exclusion Area after Ordinance took away all of the warheads.

For my good works, I was sent to the 19th Arty Group at Ft. MacArthur, CA, where I served out my final year as BCO. I'm the only person I know of who was in the US Army from 1966-1970 and didn't go to Viet Nam.

I would say the Sergeants and Warrant Officers kept the defense operational. Most had devoted their career to Nike and Nike Hercules and most really knew their stuff. Most of the lower ranking EM were there on compassionate reassignment and didn't know or care much about Hercules.

Speaking of Ft. Bliss, the battery who fired before us at SNAP shot well into Mexico. But the Mexican authorities couldn't find the missile for about two weeks.

Dale Nichols

Missile Master
Tom Smith, Subject: Maryland
Signal Missle Master Support Detachment [SMMSD] was the Signal Corp component of Missle Master. When Martin turned the equipment over to the Army, 40 enlisted men were selected from Fort Huachuca, White Sands, Fort Bliss and Fort Monmouth to be trained by Martin on the equipment.

This training took place at Detroit and Niagra Falls. May of 1960 the equipment was turned over to the Signal Corp at Fort Meade. SMMSD was responsible for the maintaince and modification of the electronics. First commander was Lt.Col John Keenan. Would be interested in hearing from any of the original "40". The techs that took care of the FUIF [] racks at the Nike sites were from SMMSD. Same for the techs at the Gap Filler Sites. All of the equipment operators were from the 36th AAA.

"John" (lostonearth)
17h (converted to 16k in 1968) was "fire distributions systems crew". We worked in the bluerooms of the aadcp's. We monitored the entire battle zone and assigned specific targets to the firing batteries. that way there weren't multiple batteries firing at the same target.

We also were the ones with top secret-crypto clearances who received permission to use nukes. there were safes with double locks in the bluerooms. the officer-in-charge of the blueroom and the nco-in-charge of the blueroom both carried .45's and each had a key. when we received orders releasing fire, We went through a "dance" (too complicated to document here) of holding the pistols trained on each other as we authenticated the orders and then released the batteries, who had to authenticate our orders to them.

While in the United States, those safes also had the war-time flight plans for Air Force 1. They didn't want us to shoot them down accidently. We were also the ones in the United States with direct contact to NORAD (Cheyenne Mountain).

Korea, Minnesota, Crypto
... familiar with how the 38th Bde was set up in South Korea during the late 60's and early 70's, there was the brigade headquarters at Osan and the two operational control centers (AADCP's). Each aadcp had control over one of the sectors of south korean airspace. AADCP1 (south) was located at Mangil-san and AADCP2 (north)(where I was stationed) was located on Walmi-do Island in the middle of Inchon Harbor.


Wasn't sure from the site listings if it was known that MS-20 in Wisconsin was under the operational control of MS-48DC in Minnesota. There was also a site located in the forests north of Duluth that was the back up control for the norad control site in Duluth and MS-48DC. We at MS-48DC weren't permitted to know it's location, but it's code word in the Autovon and other communications networks was "Bluebottle".

and also

You had to have an "RA" (enlisted) serial number, be clearable for "top secret- crypto", and have an afqt of 135 or above (mine was 149). when we were brought back from short tours, we were either assigned to an AADCP at one of the us sites or sent to Bliss to work on the Safeguard syetem.

Germany, NATO
Rolf Dieter GŲrigk

Hello Ed,

Yes targets were allocated from Air Force radars to NIKE-BOC`s (Batallion Operation Centre) and further distributed (as symbols) to a combad unit.

Actually this was part of the "Normal Mode of Operation".

We had SOP`s (Standing Operation Procedures) of course describing the standard Air Defense procedures.

The "Independent Mode" was used as a last resort .

Remember that in Germany all NIKE units were controlled and part of the Air Force.

O.K. here is an article from the book "C3I System Profiles". (1986)

NATO Air Defense Ground Environment

Western Europe`s massive air defense system, the NATO Air Defense Ground Environment (NADGE) network, has been undergoing significant updates, a key element which includes the airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft.

Because the original NADGE system was designated without the advantage of the AWACS (the E-3 Sentry built by Boeing) and without the ability to integrate AWACS information into ist visual displays, a program to accomplish this capability was initiated called the Airborne Early Warning / Ground Environment Integration Segment (AEGIS).

(This AEGIS is different from the U.S. Navy`s AEGIS, a shipboard fire control radar and weapons system.)

The E-3 brought to NATO the capability to use an airborne down-looking radar continuously patrolling the western European skies, searching for intruders. The ability of AWACS to distinguish aircraft from ground clutter means that low-flying planes previously able to escape detection by conventional ground-based radars are now vulnerable to being spotted. This new security brought by improved radar coverage will be enhanced further by AEGIS.

NADGE, a system that originally cost 180 million bugs, will also be augmented by the German air defense ground environment (GEADGE), an updated radar network adding southern West Germany to the European system, and coastal radar integration system (CRIS), adding data links from Danish coastal radars.

Original NADGE

NADGE involves 14 NATO countries that fund a coordinated program to link the air defense systems of nine NATO members: Norway, Denmark, West-Germany,The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey. France participates in reporting and control only, and British air defense interfaces with NADGE.

The original NADGE system consists of 84 sites, of which 37 contain data processing complexes. The processing systems contain general-purpose digital computers for real-time processing, analysis and distribution of target information from both its own sensors and other stations via data links.

NADGE was conceived as a plan to improve existing hardware, to fill gaps in existing systems and add equipment that improves performance.

Many different types and makes of radar comprise NADGE, which pulled together various air defense systems that began evolving after World Ware II, and filled in gaps between them. Fourteen of the original NADGE radarís are S269s, a long range height-finder radar built by Marconi Radar Systems Ltd., and many more of the radarís are products of either Marconi or Plessey Radar Ltd., both based in the United Kingdom.

The S269 is a derivative of Marconi`s S244 and is the preecessor of the current S669, which has been placed in Italy since 1977 as part of a program to expand the NATO network`s flank. A total of more than 40 heightfinders of all types have now been supplied to NATO.

The S669 operates in the E/F-band and can find at least 17 heights per minute with an overall accuracy of +-1500 feet at a range of 150 nautical miles. Discrimination at this range is better than 900 feet. Plessey and ITT-Gilfillan jointly produce the AR-320 advanced radar, of which six were ordered by the United Kingdom in 1983 for the U.K. air defense network. Three of these were NATO-funded. The AR-320 is a three-dimensional radar system also operating in the E/F-band.

When a target is acquired by NADGE radar, the information is sent by data link to the Command Reporting Center (CRC), where it appears first as a target reflection on a display console. A video processor simultaneously determines whether the illumination is caused by enemy jamming, video clutter or a genuine target.

A correlator the generates target tracking for genuine targets. These tracks are returned to the original display as digitized track symbology. Several means of target identification are available, including IFF, voice identification and computer comparison of target characteristics. A NATO national commander, based on his evaluation of aircraft not identified by IFF or from pre-filled flight plans, can direct his own nations fighters to intercept the aircraft. He also can command surface-to-air missile batteries if the target is identified as unfriendly.

New Radars

Recent improvements to NADGE include a new NATO radar station on the Algarve coast of Portugal. Three new Hughes air defense radarís are to be delivered to Norway by the end of 1986, and a February 1984 contract for 18 low-level altitude surveillance radarís and control system in Norway was signed with Hughes and Kongsberg. Those radarís are also being installed.

The Hughes air defense radarís are three-dimensional, multirole systems that automatically detect, classify and report information about targets. The radarís have a minimum of openings to prevent ice from collecting on the antenna and effecting its performance. Another feature is a high mean-time-between-failure that reduces operating casts compared with the equipment that HADRs replaced. With a range of 250 nautical miles, the radarís can detect objects up to 100000 feet in altitude and 24 degrees in elevation using a 4.8 by 6-meter planar array antenna with a rotation period of 10 to 12 seconds. The radars operate in the E/F-band with a beamwidth of 1.1 degree in Elevation and 1.7 degrees in azimuth.

The AEGIS program will integrate information from 18 NATO AWACS aircraft into the NADGE system. Real-time radar information will be transmitted from the E-3 aircraft, flying at 30000 feet, to more than 40 ground stations spread throughout Europe from Norway to Turkey.

The main operating base for the NATO fleet of E-3 aircraft (see AWACS profile) is at Geilenkirchen, West Germany. Forward operating bases are now operational in Preveza, Greece; Trapani, Italy; and Konya, Turkey, as well as a forward operating location at Oerland, Norway.

AEGIS processes the information through Hughes H5118ME computers, which are replacing the H3118M computers installed at NADGE sites in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

NADGE`s ability to handle data has been increased with faster clock rates. The H5118M computer has 1 megabyte of memory and can handle 1.2 million instructions per second. The former model had a memory of only 256 kilobytes and a clock speed of 150000 instructions per seconds.

The data processing centers use the same baseline Jovial-coded software that has been in use at each site, and relatively few changes were needed to add the AWACS sensors to the NADGE network. The cost savings in software is significant , because estimates of the investments to date in writing and refining NADGE software is in excess of 1 billion, or more than the cost of the original NADGE and current AEGIS data processing and JTIDS hardware.

Have a nice day...


If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail to Ed Thelen

Back to Home Page
Last updated November 4. 2000