Re: AT&T Special Government Services, Colorado Springs area
There are a few of us on the list who enjoy studying the GWEN. My own
research is from the real property perspective; others are into the
technical workings of the system.
Just tonight I added a GWEN relay-node site listing to my web page:
I've visited 14 of the sites (so far), and photos are available in my
trip reports. Search for GWEN in my Trip Reports Alpha List:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin Hritz" <hritz@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2003 10:19 PM
Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: AT&T Special Government Services, Colorado
> The mention of the GWEN site in the previous submittal prompted me to
bring up a few questions and observations on the >GWEN system.
> 1.) I don't see very many GWEN references on coldwarcomms group. Is GWEN
considered a viable topic for this group?
Yes, definitely (IMO). In fact it's something I'd like to learn more about.
GWEN was a very interesting concept, a signifcant departure from earlier
nuclear command-and-control networks.
> 2.) I have visited four (4) GWEN sites in my local area since 1988;
Harborcreek(near Erie, PA), Hawk Run )near >Phillipsburg, PA,
Gettysburg(right on US 30 East of Gettysburg) and Pine Valley (near Elmira,
NY). All these sites had the >telephone pole-mounted UHF antenna denoting an
injection node. The Gettysburg site has a log periodic beam mounted on >a
tower facing Site R, which must be the Big Kahuna of injection points for
the nationwide system, when it was in use.
Do you have any photos that you could post?
> 3.) I have never seen anything in open literature on the types of
equipment onboard the B52s, KC-135s, B-1Bs, and >command and control
aircraft that were used to access the GWEN system from the air on the UHF
frequencies. Can >anyone help in this area? Also, were there any provisions
for ground-based forces to access the network?
It's my understanding that the system was intended to communicate with both
airborne and ground forces. The only info I can cite is the following from
p. 225 of Daniel Ford's 1985 book "The Button" (which I highly recommend to
anyone interested in Cold War strategic comms): "Dozens of GWEN
installations will have to be built for a minimal system to connect the
Pentagon and SAC Headquarters with the various missile and bomber bases."
On p. 226, Ford states that the ten-node trial network was completed at the
end of 1983.
He lists the following stations:
Puebla and Aurora, CO,
Omaha and Ainsworth, NE,
Manhattan and Colby, KS,
plus three commercial radio stations whose locations he doesn't mention,
used in the testing program.
> 4.) Just by chance, back in 1991, on one of my trips to University Park,
PA (State College) I just happened to be driving >by the Hawk Run GWEN site
(just south of Phillipsburg on US 322) one Saturday when I spotted a service
truck at the site. >I drove up the access road, and struck up a conversation
with the tech, who was amazed by my knowledge of the system. >His van had
CONTEL logo on the side. I asked him if I could have a look inside the
equipment shelters, and was told NO. >He was very tight lipped about
everything I asked him. Typical.
Interesting. I'd guess the Contel tech was with Contel Federal Systems,
which I think had a contract to build and/or maintain the stations.
>Interesting. I'd guess the Contel tech was with Contel Federal Systems,I recall at least on occasion olive drab/camo colored military multipurpose
>which I think had a contract to build and/or maintain the stations.
engineering type trucks at the gate to the Beantown site, so I assume at
least some maintenance was done by military. What unit would have been
responsible for this?
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