Grand Rapids Air Force Station - Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 47° 14.411 W 093° 30.987
15T E 460912 N 5231984
Quick Description: Site of Air Force radar station in northern Minnesota.
Location: Minnesota, United States
Date Posted: 3/21/2013 10:45:43 PM
Waymark Code: WMGMW6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 11

Long Description:
"Grand Rapids Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 0.7 miles (1.1 km) east-northeast of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. It was closed in 1963.

Grand Rapids Air Force Station was initially part of Phase II of the Air Defense Command Mobile Radar program. The Air Force approved this expansion of the Mobile Radar program on October 23, 1952. Radars in this network were designated “SM.”

The station became operational on 1 July 1956 when the 707th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron began operating an AN/FPS-3 search radar, and initially the station functioned as a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and warning station. As a GCI station, the squadron's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. In 1958 the squadron was operating AN/FPS-20 and AN/FPS-6 sets.

During 1959 Grand Rapids AFS joined the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, initially feeding data to DC-10 at Duluth AFS, Minnesota. After joining, the squadron was re-designated as the 707th Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 15 December 1959. The radar squadron provided information 24/7 the SAGE Direction Center where it was analyzed to determine range, direction altitude speed and whether or not aircraft were friendly or hostile. In addition, an AN/FPS-6B height-finder radar was added that year. In 1962 the AN/FPS-20A was upgraded and redesignated as an AN/FPS-67.

In March 1963 the Air Force ordered the site to close. Operations of the 707th RS ceased on 1 August and the site was closed on 30 August.
The site was declared excess to GSA on 7 January 1964. Several parcels were conveyed to the Department of the Interior, the Grand Rapids School District # 318, and the Bureau of Mines. The 7.22 acres conveyed to the Bureau of Mines in 1967 was returned to GSA and then sold to nineteen private owners for private residences. Most of the site has been demolished to make room for new construction." - Wikipedia

For many years most of the site was unused. The school district moved some of the barracks buildings to the junior/senior high school to be used a temporary class rooms. The geological survey also had a building on the site (that building is still in use by geological survey). In 2003 the local school system opened a new middle school on the site which was expanded in 2008. Since then they have also added a school bus facility. I am unsure if any buildings are remaining from the air force days except possibly one on the back side of the property. In 2008 a historical marker was placed on the site and that is the location the the coordinates above.
Squadron number: 707th Radar Squadron

Served at this site :: From: 7/1/1956 To: 8/30/1963

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