Laurel Leader Call (Newspaper) - May 19, 1966, Laurel, Mississippi
Bomb Radar Station ark Is Interesting
By G. F, HERRING JR. t' If Writrr
Ii'-' 'v ■’" on-the-spot inspec-[ I r- d 'r tracking station on ii g.i’vay 2? about five miles e st <f Ellisville, this writer is more convinced than ever that v re in s fe hands with our preen* rn litary setup. It this is an example of Mr. McNamara’s h lid .work. then he not only should be Int alone in his job es d tense secretary, but he’s probably one of the best ones til - country has ever had.
I) d %ou know that Laurel is “bombed ' almost every day of tho year and has been a prime tared for simulated ‘ bombing-’ attacks for years and years?
Did you know that we have here in .Jones County a very interesting, other-worldish radar Dot work that tracks stimulated
bombing of planes from all along the eastern seaboard?
It is the Radar Bomb Scoring Station, the purpose of which is evaluating and computing the effectiveness of airborne crews.
At its present location since 1039. the squadron headquarters is at Turner AFB in Georgia. The headquarters has four detachments of the same size including the one in Jones County and one mobile train site that can be moved anywhere in the country.
The other permanent sites are af Richmond. Ky., Great Bend, N. V., and at Statesburg. Ga.
The equivalent of a small industry in the economy, a total of about 86 men work at the Jones County site. About half of them live in Laurel and the oth-
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The work of the station is almost impossible to describe in detail.
In order for B-52 bombing crews to learn to be accurate, they must be in constant training. Therefore the need for the tracking stations, which are pinpointed at spots all across Amor. ica.
When a plane “practice bombs” a target (with no actual bombs dropped — this is only practice, remember) it is the 1 job of the tracking station to find out whether the target was actually hit or not.
B-32 bombers are used mostly , in the practice — the old B-47s have been mostly phased out, according to Capt. Gordon E. Patterson, acting commander at ; the station here in the absence of Lt. Col. Alan C. Randcl.
DIDN’T WORK THERE
Capt. Patterson said the sites were at one time located in large cities but that the operations didn’t work out too well, so they had to move to the small towns and the country.
One thing Capt. Patterson Is
particularly proud of is a Radar
Counter Measures Trainer that went into operation last week. With a price tag of about a million dollars, it allows the trackers to measure all manner of things they were unable to meas-ure before.
Capt. Patterson, an electronic warfare officer, has been with the Jones County station nine months. He said all the crews in the simulated bombings are Strategic Air Command crews.
Combat readiness of Strategic Air Command crews must he kept at its zenith in peacetime in order to fulfill any future wartime mission, he said.
To meet this requirement, radar bomb scoring is used to test the effectiveness of all combat-ready crews.
Radar bomb scoring, he explained, began in 1946 with 888 bomb releases for the year I against a site in the San Diego area. Seventeen years later bomber crews complete more than 20,000 simulated bomb drops monthly.
AIMED AT CIRCLE
During early phases of bomb scoring, crews aimed at circles drawn on sand or other surfaces. then dropped sand bags or dummy bombs on these targets. Today highly sophisticated electronic apparatus scores the accuracy of the SAC crews. The
‘target can be any obieet within
■ the “eyes” of scanning radar J devices.
Electronic equipment used to score the accuracy of the ‘ bomb” drops is maintained by SAC rad-I ar bomb scoring detachments. Army Nike missile batteries and the Navy.
Already recognized as a potent threat from high altitudes, these jet bombers are equally capable of penetrating enemy defenses from low altitudes. This capability greatly compounds a potential enemy's radar defense problem.
The radars “lock on” the approaching bomber, tracking it au. tomatieally on a plotting hoard. Just before the simulated release of the bomb, the aircraft transmits a tone to the site by radio and indicates its point of simulated bomb release by stopping the tone. The target and the
■ radar site have been precisely ; plotted on the tracking board pri-j or to this action.
By using figures on distance : and direction of the bomber from its target, the aircraft's ground speed, heading and altitude, wind conditions, bomb-fall characteristics and other data, technicians can compute the accuracy of the particular bombing mission, Capt, Patterson explained.
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Why Do We Sigh? Laurel, Miss,, Thui’fe., May 13,1366 IT ’
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