The Murphy Dome AADCP controlled the Fairbanks Nike batteries

THe 744th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (744 ACWS) was activated at Murphy Dome
on 1 February 1953 with an authorized strength of 249 personnel.

A 1956 image  of MURPHY DOME

FPS-117 Radar Tower and Backup Generator outbuilding
is all that's left

Power is supplied from Fairbanks. Maintenance is mostly done remotely. When necessary humans, are dispatched to do onsite repairs.   From: Murphy Dome Pictures.



Remembering Murphy dome - An Airman’s Chronicle-

The 176th Air Control Squadron traces its lineage, honors and history to Murphy Dome Air Force Station (AFS), (originally situated in a mountainous region known as the Yukon-Tanana Upland, 20 miles northwest of Fairbanks, Alaska). It was one of the ten original aircraft control and warning sites constructed during the early 1950s to establish a permanent air defense system in Alaska.

Murphy Dome was initially operated by a detachment of the 532nd Aircraft Control and Warning Group, Ladd Air Force Base (now Fort Wainwright). When the 532nd was inactivated in 1951, the site was then operated by a detachment of the 143rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard. As part of HQ Alaskan Air Command’s (HQ AAC) plan to upgrade all remote sites to full squadrons, the 744th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (744 ACWS) was activated at Murphy Dome on 1 February 1953 with an authorized strength of 249 personnel.  HISTORY

Fairbanks Defense Area: Sites were installed to replace Anti-Aircraft guns defending the Fairbanks area. The site was built in 1951 and shared with the United States Army in order to supplement the Nike Missile system. At this point, it supported over 100 people. In 1975, the site was switched from military to civilian personnel. In 1984, the current radar was brought on line and the station was slimmed down in terms of personnel.

During the 1950s-70s, a ski slope also operated at the site. A rope tow was constructed to allow for service members to go up and down the slope

The USAF radar site at Murphy Dome AFS, AK (F-2) was shared with the Army for Nike missile-defense system. The CPS-6B radar was removed in July 1958, FPS-8 removed 4Q 1960 until the Nike sites were inactivated in 1971.

NORAD Links:    ONE       TWO       THREE        FOUR 

This image displays Murphy Dome's location. The match line ties to the main FAIRBANKS KEY MAP  -  Click the map :)

Vern visited this site in 1984 and remembers shells of old buildings.

Current Close-up

This system was comprised of the land-line comm network that connected the SAC Command Post (Offutt AFB, Omaha) with the remote UHF sites, which included all Main sites in AK and Canada; the Greenpine switching console (located next to the DEW control consoles); and included the two UHF radios (236.6 and 243.0 MHZ in AK) installed at the DEW sites. The system also included the radio links between the SAC Airborne Command Post (Looking Glass) that somehow tied into the comm system that terminated at the DEW sites as described above. When SAC wished to broadcast traffic via the remote sites they would contact all NRCCs (NORAD Regional Control Centers) and NCCs (NORAD Control Centers). In AK, the NRCC was the ANRCC (AK NORAD Regional Control Center) at Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage, and the NCC was Murphy Dome AFS, not far outside of Fairbanks. Murphy Dome would then do a switch action that completed a circuit to illuminate a red lamp and activate a warbling tone on the Greenpine switching console. The DEW console operator would use a special handset to answer, e.g., "Barter Island Greenpine". If the SAC operator wished to broadcast traffic he would request "all operational frequencies," and the DEW console operator would do switch actions to give control of the 236.6 and 243.0 A/G transmitters to SAC. Then SAC would key the transmitters and begin the traffic broadcast which always started with "Skyking, Skyking, message follows...", and then the coded traffic. At the conclusion of the transmission, you would hear, "SAC out", which was the DEW console operator's signal to restore the equipment to normal. The Greenpine antenna was a vertical UHF array that was enclosed in a cylindrical fiberglass radome that was approximately 20 inches in diameter by 8 feet in length. At AK and Canadian sites these antennae were usually mounted atop a 60 foot telephone pole. Sometimes SAC would do a roll call of all Greenpine sites. It was interesting to hear all the sites polled and the respective operators answering because they were at locations around the world  From: THE DEW LINE

Current view from Murphy Dome