Detachment 2
Holbrook, AZ

 

 

 

DET 2 HISTORY:
Any help filling in the blanks or correcting it would be of great help.

In the beginning, in the early fifties (?), there was the 3903rd Group/DET 8 Los Angeles, California (located in Maywood at Cheli AFS). In approx. mid 1953 it was designated 11th RBS SQ/DET 2. In those days, the autotrackers were divided into 3 Squadrons, the 12th was in the east coast, the 10th in central US, the 11th was on the west coast all under 1st RBS Group HQ’d at CARSWELL. The HQ moved to Barksdale in '61. Like allot of air bases Cheli closed.

The original site move (August 1960) started with a TDY to the Badlands of South Dakota near the town of Wall (to verify that the "Reflector City" idea would work), The Los Angeles site had to remain open until the TDY became a PCS. The PCS was to become effective sometime (?) (December 1960).
Aerial View LA Site (Cheli AFS):


Wall was where everyone lived because it was the biggest town around. Population was about 500 when in 1966. The site was actually about a 25-mile drive through the Badlands National Monument from Wall. It was on top of Hurley Butte, 6 miles west of Interior (pop. 150).
Aerial View Wall Site

Spike Simmons, (TSG at the site) was mayor of Interior (paid $100/year) and ran a restaurant in town. The site was known as Badlands Bomb Plot or Scenic Badlands Bomb Plot. People never knew if that was because the Badlands are scenic or because there was a town named Scenic about 20 miles away.

At the same time existed DET 2, 10th RBS first at (Oklahoma City) in the early 50's was first, then Joplin, MO (oranogo hill- I believe) then to Greenville, Ms in early 62. There were mobile sites at Lake Village, AR, McGehee, AR. and Lake Providence, La. This was a semi-mobile unit that changed locations every 90 to 180 days. Then, I think 10th RBS DET 2 was transferred to Joplin, MO just prior to the merger in the summer of 1963. It was renamed 1CEVG/DET 4. In Feb of 1969 was deactivated until it was opened back up at Bann B near Ramstein AFB, Germany and later in Guam.

By the way 1 CEVG was first called 1CEG, but became 1 CEVG because SAC and the rest of the Air Force got us confused with the civil engineer's so they added the V.

1 CEVG/DET 2 was moved from Wall, SD to Holbrook, AZ in 1968.
Holbrook Aerial View:

We were up and running around the middle of April. The site remained in Holbrook until 1990 when we became 99 ECRG/DET 2 . The last RBS/ECM sortie was on or about September 13, 1993. The last ECM-only sortie was on or about September 30, 1993. A B1-B from Dyes (not positive) flew the last RBS/ECM mission. A C-130 from Hulburt Field flew the last ECM mission. The period of time between October 1, 1993 and Christmas was used for decommissioning the
systems, preparing them for shipment and reducing the buildings to only permanent structures (i.e. all the interconnects were tore down). This was required in order to hand over the building to the city of Holbrook. We had a decommissioning ceremony where we lowered the flag for the last time and presented it to the CC, Lt Col Powell. We had townspeople there.

Except for the MPS-T1 all the systems from Holbrook, including the UHF radios and radio tower were shipped to Harrison, AR. The MPS-T1 was sold to Loral for duty on the Nevada range.

 

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