St. Margarets, NB

1955 Historical Narrative National Archives of Canada


RCAF STATION ST. MARGARETS
21 AC&W SQUADRON
HISTORICAL NARRATIVE
1 Jun 55 30 Nov 55

PART II OPERATIONS

Role

21 AC&W Squadron is responsible to 2 ADCC for the Air Defence of its sub-sector and is to:

(a) Provide early warning and GCI control within its assigned subsector.

(b) The display of all tracks seen on the radar of 211 AC&W Squadron.

(c) The identification of all tracks in #2 Sector.

(d) The control and tactical employment of Assigned fighter aircraft.

(e) The flight following of all training exercises of 1(F) OTU.

The normal operational state maintained throughout the period was 8 hours GCI plus 16 hours EW, minus routine maintenance.

Equipment

21 AC&W Squadron is equipped with an FPS-3 Search Radar and two FPS-501s as height finding radar. During the first part of June the standard IFF equipment was installed and has resulted in much more satisfactory operation.

The air ground air communication consists of 8 VHF and 4 UHF channels. The transmitter portion of this equipment is installed on a "lash-up" basis at the receiver site, the transmitter site being not yet completed. This installation has imposed some restriction of the full exploitation of all channels due to the "paralysing" effect of having our transmitting antennae in close proximity to our receiver antennae.

Personnel

21 AC&W Squadron had 16 controllers and 148 FtrCops at the beginning of the period but due to transfers and releases this complement was reduced to 14 controllers and 116 FtrCops. At the present time, two of the controllers presently on strength are untrained.

The operations personnel are organized in 6 crews of 18 FtrCops each. These crews work a shift of 6 days on and 3 days off. During the state of GCI the Squadron maintains two crews on duty and one crew during EW states. Supervisory personnel include 1 WO2, 3 Sgts. and 8 Cpls.

Promotions

On 1 Sep 55 the following promotions were announced:

Cpl. Chevrifils was promoted to Sgt;

LAWs Coles and Robinson were promoted to Cpls.

A summary of officers and NCOs transfers in and out is submitted as Appendix "E".

Air Surveillance

During this period, traffic carried by 21 AC&W Squadron averaged 5,318 tracks per month for a total of 31,911 for the period. This reflects a considerable drop in identification work load due to 22 AC&W Squadron taking over the identification responsibility in its subsector early in June.

On the 17th of November 55, 21 AC&W Squadron again assumed the identification responsibility for the whole of 2 Sector. This reverse is being necessitated by the shift of operational personnel for exercise "Cracker Jack".

Aircraft Control

21 AC&W Squadron continued with control of Air gunnery exercises and surveillance of training cross countries for 1(F) OTU during the period. Three controllers were employed at all time 1(F) OTU were flying. A summary of Operations is submitted as Appendix "G".

Exercises

On the 19th Aug and again on the 13th and 16th Sep, 21 AC&W Squadron participated in a Synthetic Exercise. The report and operations order in connection with this exercise is submitted as Appendix "H" to this narrative. On the 17 21 Oct exercise "Top Coat", a GObC exercise, took place. 21 AC&W Squadron participated to the extent of identifying tracks and providing the display for the Sector Commander. The operations order is appended as Appendix "F".

ECM

The Squadron was subjected to ECM on four occasions during the period. All of these exercises consisted of mechanical and VHF Jamming. No electronic jamming exercises were experienced.

Training

A training organization consisting of one Sgt. and three FtrCops functioned throughout the period. In addition to the prescribed syllabus of lectures which total some 60 hours per eligible FtrCop, a miniature operations room is used periodically to familiarize personnel with all operating positions. This method of training has proven of great value operationally and has resulted in only one trade exam failure out of 28 writing in the September exams.

In addition, the following courses were attended by Squadron personnel:

Current Affairs Course

F/O Skeaff

NCO Course

Cpl Alexander

Cpl Reese

Cpl Haggstrom

PART III TECHNICAL

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Jun 55

During the period of 14 June to 22 June inclusive, a major overhaul of the AN/TPS-501 equipment was carried out by an RCA Victor field inspection party. Results obtained from this overhaul were considered unsatisfactory. Further, it was felt that given similar conditions and time, more could have been accomplished and in less time using the units technical staff.

The AN/FPS-3(C) continued to operate at peak efficiency.

On 15 Jun, the re-installation of all required UHF antennas and single channel transmitters and receivers was completed for required lashup UHF A/G/A facilities. The trilon posts received on 10 Jun were not incorporated in this installation. Results obtained were only fair due to interference from the adjacent TPS-501 Antenna as well as proximity of the VHF A/G/A Antennas located near by.

The operation of the VHF A/G/A lashup equipment continued satisfactorily.

The installation of equipment at the Remote Receiver Site and in the H.F. Monitor Room in the Main Ops Building was completed by Cossor (Canada) Ltd. Installation work on transmission lines and guy wires at the Remote Transmitter Site was continued.

The STelO, F/L Fernie, and Tel 2, F/O Bogstad, attended a Radar Equipment Maintenance Conference at ADCHQ.

Jul 55

The TR unit from TPS-50 No. Equipment has not yet been returned from repairs at RCA Victor in Montreal, so the TR unit from No. 2 equipment is being used.

The AN/FPS-3(C) continued operation at peak efficiency.

On 22 Jul, installation of new lashup VHF A/G/A facilities at the Remote RX Site and none of present lashup UHF A/G/A facilities were commenced. This entailed use of permanently installed receivers at the Site, installation of AN/FRT-502 transmitters and more of the UHF A/G/A equipment from the old location of the lashup in the North Tower top floor.

The Remote RX Site equipment installation was accepted and taken over for the RCAF by DND Inspection Services, AMC representatives and unit STelO during the month. Arrangements were made and contract amendments arranged by AMC with NB Tel. Co. for use of the 200 pair cable pending completion of the cable installation which will consist of terminating at the Remote TX Site upon completion of the building at that Site.

Special arrangements between the sub-contractors and D.C.L. were completed and the way cleared for the sub-contractors to proceed with work on the TX building with Modern Construction Co. as general contractors.

Aug 55

August was a noteworthy month for changes in personnel. The former CTechSO, S/L FH Battison was replaced by S/L AR McGee from Station Greenwood with S/L Battison going to ADCHQ. Two Tel M Supts., WO2 JY Fleming and FS WJ Blackman reported in on transfer. The last of the Performance Checkers left for conversion Course in Clinton.

Mr. McGuire of RCA Victor provided emergency assistance with the AN/TPS-501 equipment No.1. This difficulty was in obtaining a locking-on of the AFC and was apparently remedied.

A CAE installation crew carried out installation of the AN/GPX-7 equipment. Flight Trials were carried out 29-30 Aug using Station Chatham aircraft under supervision of DND Inspection Services representative, Mr. D MacPhee, and AMC representatives, Mr. DA Cameron and P/O Crabbe.

A Firestone Tire and Rubber Corp. crew under Mr. Floyd Bishop commenced painting of the three radomes on 23 Aug.

The Antennas and transmission lines with the exception of the LF Tower were completed at the Remote TX Site. Clearing, stumping and grubbing was approximately 90% complete. Also, the power and LF transmission lines to the LF. Antenna Tuning hut were laid.

Operation of the UHF and VHF A/G/A has been much improved by the move to the Remote RX Site with the resultant elimination of interference from the Height Finders.

Sep 55

Mr. K Phillips from RCA Victor arrived and installed the RX TX Unit from No. 2 AN/TPS-501 which had been returned after repair in Montreal.

Mr. WH Heaven with his NE Crew carried out the periodic peaking and overhaul of the AN/FPS-3(C). Also Mr. HR Crank and crew from Angus Robertson Co. installed the Pedestal Support Pads on the AN/FPS-3(C).

Painting of the three radomes was completed 2 Sep. This change to white results in a very considerable decrease in temperature within the radomes during hot weather.

During the month, this unit became completely self-sustaining in the VHF A/G/A facilities with the installation of two additional channels replacing the two previously supplied by Station Chatham.

Progress on the TX building continued slowly with greatest feature being the installation of the Lister Blackstone APU. Mr. McNair from AMC carried out a progress check of the site.

Again during this month there were several notable personnel changes. The first five of the eight civilian Switchboard Operators arrived and started operation on the Switchboard. The remaining three including the Supervisor were due to arrive in October. A number of promotions were gained in the section with Cpl Robertson promoted to Sgt rank and four LACs promoted to Cpls.

Oct 55

Operation of the Radar Equipment during the month continued satisfactory.

Personnel from Canadian Bridge Corp. arrived and erected the 250 foot LF Tower with obstruction lighting installed using mains power and a portable APU provided for emergency lighting.

The greatest part of the R05001GNH501 Recorder Reproducer equipment arrived awaiting installation by contractor at a later date.

Nov 55

During the month, Sgt MF Betts, Com Op Supvr, left the unit on transfer overseas. Also, as expected, the remaining three civilian telephone operators arrived and started work. It was found that a requirement for two additional operators exists.

Due to extra difficulties occurring on the AN/TPS-501 equipment, a rush call to RCA Victor for a new AFC unit was placed and this unit installed upon receipt. In order to assist in working out new maintenance procedures on this equipment, FS Blackman spent two days at RCA Victor in Montreal liasing with their technicians on various procedures.

Progress on the TX building continued slowly with heating equipment being the greatest apparent holdup in completion.

During the month, Mr. McNair and F/L Tamawski from AMC arrived and carried out an inspection of the Towers and Remote TX Site.

The most notable feature in personnel was the arrival of Sgt J. Tregloan, Com Op Supvr, to replace Sgt Betts.

GENERAL

The rate of personnel changeover continued very high throughout this period with an approximate 40% turnover. A small gain in number of Comm and Radar Maintenance personnel was noted.

Throughout the period, the T. program was continued but results of the 15 Sep exams were disappointed in that only three of eight writing the exam managed a pass. On the technical exams, the greatest difficulty appeared to be an inability of the candidates to apply theoretical knowledge to equipment circuitry. In an effort to overcome this, special accent is being placed on this phase of the TA Program.

ME SECTION

Jun 55

On 22 Jun, Station Wagon 232A10-B51 was transferred out to APDAL.

Jul 55

On 5 Jul, Panel 181B5-B51 was transferred out to APDAL. On 11 Jul, Station Wagon 517A10-B55 was received in from 6RD.