|Watertown Air Force Station|
|Part of |
|Watertown, New York|
|Type||Long Range Radar Site|
|Code||RP-49: 1950 ADC permanent network|
Z-49: 1963 July 31 NORAD network
|Controlled by||United States Air Force|
|Built by||U.S. Air Force|
|Garrison||Watertown, New York|
|Occupants||655th Radar Squadron|
Watertown Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force ADCOM General Surveillance Radar station 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south of Watertown, New York. Prior to the Air Defense squadron inactivating on 1 November 1979, the station was reassigned to Tactical Air Command which maintained the Ground Air Transmitter Receiver until early 1984 (now a firefighter training site). A New York State jail opened at the site c. 1983.
It was a part of the 21st RCC (NORAD Regional Control Center) a SAGE network, located at Stewart AFB.
Lashup Radar Network site L-6 was established in June 1950 at the Pine Camp military installation (renamed Fort Drum in 1951) and operated by the 655th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron using an RCA AN/TPS-10A Radar. After construction adjacent to Fort Drum in June 1952, the operation moved to the Air Force Station, one of the first twenty-four Air Defense Command radar stations of the permanent network established 1950-1951 after the USAF directed construction of the sites on December 2, 1948. Watertown AFS used AN/FPS-3 and AN/FPS-5 radars for warning and ground-controlled interception. In 1958 this site was operating with AN/FPS-20 search radar and General Electric AN/FPS-6 Radar for height-finding.
During 1959 Watertown AFS began providing Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) data to DC-03 at Syracuse AFS, New York, and the squadron was re-designated as the 655th Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 1 February 1959. In 1959 a 2nd AN/FPS-6 was added and in 1961, the FPS-20 was upgraded to an AN/FPS-66. One height-finder radar was replaced by an Avco AN/FPS-26 Radar in 1963. In 1964 the AN/FPS-66 was replaced by a Westinghouse AN/FPS-27 Radar. The other AN/FPS-6 height-finder radar was retired in 1964.[verification needed]
In addition to the main facility, the Watertown squadron operated two unmanned AN/FPS-14 (P-49A) and AN/FPS-18 (P-49B) Gap Filler sites: