Historic Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Boron Air Force Station
Aerial view of the main cantonement area.
Boron Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 6.8 miles (10.9 km) northeast of Boron, California. It was closed by the Air Force in 1975 and turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The radar site is still operated by the FAA as part of the Joint Surveillance System (JSS).
Boron Air Force Station was one of twenty-eight stations built as part of the second segment of the Air Defense Command permanent radar network. Prompted by the start of the Korean War, on July 11, 1950, the Secretary of the Air Force asked the Secretary of Defense for approval to expedite construction of the permanent network. Receiving the Defense Secretary’s approval on July 21, the Air Force directed the Corps of Engineers to proceed with construction.
The 750th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was assigned to Atolia, California on 28 January 1952. It assumed coverage responsibilities formerly held by the temporary "Lashup" site at Edwards AFB site (L-40), and was operating two AN/FPS-10 radars at this new site, and initially the station functioned as a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and warning station. As a GCI station, the squadron's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. Atolia AFS was renamed "Boron Air Force Station" on 1 December 1953.
The AN/FPS-10 search radar at Boron remained until 1959. In 1958 an AN/FPS-6 replaced the AN/FPS-10 height-finder radar. A second height-finder radar (AN/FPS-6A) was installed in 1959.
During 1961 Boron AFS joined the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, feeding data to DC-17 at Norton AFB, California. After joining, the squadron was redesignated as the 750th Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 1 May 1961. The radar squadron provided information 24/7 the SAGE Direction Center where it was analyzed to determine range, direction altitude speed and whether or not aircraft were friendly or hostile.
In addition, Boron AFS became a joint-use facility with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). By this time the AN/FPS-10 had been replaced by an AN/FPS-20 search radar. However, this radar was soon replaced by an AN/FPS-35 FD radar. By 1963 this radar operated with AN/FPS-26A and AN/FPS-90 height-finder radars. Boron AFS was re-designated as NORAD ID Z-59 on 31 July 1963.
In 1968 the AN/FPS-90 was inactivated. In 1969 the AN/FPS-35 was removed, and was replaced by an AN/FPS-67 on the same tower (and with a radome); it became operational in 1970.
In addition to the main facility, Boron operated several AN/FPS-14 Gap Filler Annexes:

Over the years, the equipment at the station was upgraded or modified to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the information gathered by the radars. The 750th Radar Squadron was inactivated on 30 June 1975. The FAA retained the AN/FPS-67, and continue to operate it today and is now data-tied into the Joint Surveillance System (JSS).
Boron AFS was later converted into a Federal Prison in 1979, for minimum security male inmates, which was closed in 2000. The site is now abandoned and being vandalized. It may eventually be sold as surplus property through the GSA.
Air Force units

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Source: Wikipedia

Corps of Engineers History

LOCATION: Off of U.S. Highway 395, approximately 10 miles northeast of Boron and 35 miles northwest of Barstow, San Bernardino County, California.

SITE HISTORY: The Boron Air Force Station Z-59 was acquired by the United States Air Force in various transactions from 1950 - 1952. Part of the site is presently being used as a federal prison camp under jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice, and part is owned by the California State Department of Fish and Game. The radar tower, generator building, entry road from the highway, and associated support equipment were transferred to the Federal Aviation Administration for their use. The 640-acre portion of land to the southeast was temporarily transferred, in 1963, to the U.S. Army Reserve for use as an outdoor training site (DERP Project No. J09CA066400). The land reverted back to the Air Force in 1967. The California state Department of Fish and Game later acquired the 640-acre tract for use as a wildlife refuge in 1978.

Source US Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District

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Updated 23 June 2017