Yaak Air Force Station
Part of Pine Tree Line[1]
Located at
Hensley Hill[2] in Lincoln County, Montana;[1] 25.1 miles (40.4 km) west of Rexford (eponym: the nearby Town of Yaak)
Coordinates48°51′44″N 115°43′18″W / 48.86222°N 115.72167°W / 48.86222; -115.72167 (Yaak AFS P-11)[3]
TypeAir Force Station
Site information
Controlled byAir Defense Command
Site history
In use1951-60
Garrison information
Garrison680th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Unmanned Gap Filler radar annexes[3]
48°59′36″N 116°28′51″W / 48.99333°N 116.48083°W / 48.99333; -116.48083 (P-11A)
48°51′53″N 115°07′32″W / 48.86472°N 115.12556°W / 48.86472; -115.12556 (P-11B)
48°45′48″N 116°12′34″W / 48.76333°N 116.20944°W / 48.76333; -116.20944 (P-11C)

Yaak Air Force Station was an Air Defense Command general surveillance radar station in Lincoln County, Montana. Built as one of twenty-eight stations in the second segment of the Permanent System radar network,[4] the 680th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was activated at the installation on 1 March 1951[5] for ground-controlled interception operating AN/FPS-3 and AN/FPS-4 radars in April 1952. An AN/FPS-6 was added in 1956, and the AN/FPS-4 was replaced by an AN/GPS-3 in 1957.[6]

The station included living quarters for 172 people (including a 3-story barracks),[7] 24 concrete trailer pads, motor pool building, plumbing/carpenter shop, paint house, mess hall, officers' club, office buildings, and dispensary.[1] The "Dirty Shame Saloon" was established in a metal hut during 1951 just outside the main gate.[8] Captain Robert Rice was the commander in 1954, and a recreation building, base exchange, and NCO club were available in 1955. A Rod and Gun Club was established in 1956.[9]

The 680th AC&W Squadron was inactivated on 1 July 1960. The station was converted into an unmanned gap-filler radar site in 1960, and redesignated SM-151E,[6] first operated by the 823d Radar Squadron at Mica Peak AFS, Washington, then[when?] the 716th Radar Squadron at Kalispell AFS, Montana (TM-179B). The radar station was declared excess by the Air Force to GSA in 1960–61. In early 1962, to allow access to the Yaak Mountain Lookout Tower, an observation tower not actually located on the site, a 90-acre portion of the former base was transferred by special use permit to the U.S. Forest Service. The main portion of the station was transferred by the Corps of Engineers to the Forest Service in 1965.[citation needed]

In 2014 a small 0.19 acres (0.077 ha) parcel of "Yaak Air Force Base" surrounded by land of a single landowner was transferred.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "The Spokesman-Review - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  2. ^ "Source of Local Landmark Names - Yaak Valley Forest Council". Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Information for Yaak AFS (Bonner's Ferry), MT". Radomes.org.
  4. ^ [full citation needed]Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency
  5. ^ compiled by Johnson, Mildred W (31 December 1980) [February 1973 original by Cornett, Lloyd H. Jr]. A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980 (PDF). Peterson Air Force Base: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. [verification needed]. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  6. ^ a b Winkler, David F; Webster, Julie L (June 1997). Searching the Skies: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program (PDF) (Report). Champaign, IL: U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. LCCN 97020912. Archived from the original on 1 December 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Yaak names". theyaak.com.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Teatotaling clergyman and wife take over Dirty Shame Saloon". 12 July 2006.
  9. ^ "The following articles from 1954 – 1956 are newsclippings taken from the Western News of Libby, Montana, and represent what wa". www.radomes.org.
  10. ^ "Schedule Of Proposed Action - 07/01/2013 to 09/30/2013 - Kootenai National Forest". www.fs.fed.us.