by 1st Lt. Anastasia Wasem
319th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D. — Cavalier Air Force Station, home of the 10th Space Warning Squadron, held an open house July 10.
Attendees were able to tour the Radar and Power Plant, see Air Force Security Forces working dog demonstrations, climb inside and learn about the UH-60 Black Hawk and the UH-1N Iroquois helicopters and much more.
“It was a great opportunity to give something back to the local community and to show what their Air Force is doing in their backyard,” said Lt. Col. John R. Thomas, 10th Space Warning Squadron commander, about the open house.
The open house was held as a way for people within the local community to learn about the mission and capabilities of Cavalier AFS as well as the Air Force and military in general.
“We consider this a highly successful event with over 400 people in attendance,” said Colonel Thomas. “I am extremely proud of how a small team of military, DoD civilians and site contractors came together to put on such a successful event.”
At the heart of Cavalier AFS, and the highlight of the open house, is the operations building, which houses the station’s Phased Array Radar. Construction on this building began in 1970 and was completed in 1973 as part of the United States Army Safeguard system, which is an anti-ballistic missile system. In 1977, the Air Force took control of the operations at Cavalier from the Army and in 2007, the Air Force took control of the site from the Army.
The building itself is 121 feet tall and was designed to withstand a near-miss attack by a nuclear missile. It took more than 350,000 cubic feet of concrete and more than 13 million pounds of reinforcing steel to build and the outside walls are eight and a half feet thick.
The primary mission for the men and women of Cavalier AFS is to watch the skies for missile attacks against the United States and Canada. The Radar is capable of detecting sea launched ballistic missiles as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles. In addition, the station also tracks objects in space, keeping track of the nearly 22,000 objects currently orbiting the earth.