On July 1, 1979, the 7th Missile Warning Squadron brought the Phased Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS) radar site to Beale. This 10-story structure can detect possible attack by sea-launched ballistic missiles. The 7th Missile Warning Squadron operates a PAVE PAWS phased array radar situated on the outskirts of Beale AFB in north central California. The radar is primarily used to detect submarine launched ballistic missiles. Mock missile attacks, site emergencies and equipment failures keep the Canadian and American crew busy. A routine training session can become a lesson in the unexpected. When the Beale radar picks up a disintegrating spacecraft, usually there's a warning. Once or twice a year, when the system is being used for training, it goes to an operational display over the Pacific, tracking a satellite which is breaking up with pieces all over the place. Following appropriate procedures, the crew runs tests to ensure the pieces are from the same object, providing no-notice training.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|