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What units and how many aircraft were modified with AWADS?


Herkeng130
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Never got blasted messing with any of the radar stuff on the planes but let me tell you, if you have a hand on the galley wall and reach around to see if the coffee pot is hot AND the hot jug is MISSING the ground pin it makes for an interesting morning:eek: (car keys arc'ed a hole through my flight suit pocket no less). Sucked since we were going to do an actual triple heavy lapes that day and had to miss out.

Dan

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  • 7 months later...

Just stumbled across this website. I was in the radar shop at Rhein Main from 87-92, with ~18month break with the 7508th in the middle. I was also at Castle from 83-85 and Keflavik in 86. Loved the APN59 and couldn't stand the APQ122, there were a couple of guys that tended to specialize with the 122 (and were very good) so I didn't have to get too involved with it. Did get my share of bites from the 59 though. My worst one was from an ARN14 VOR reciever at Castle though, I was working it on the bench and forgot I had taken the rear cover off, I grabbed each end to flip it over like I normally would and couldn't let go for a while, made for a long night, I couldn't get my hands to stop shaking. Favorite system was the APX64 IFF and 150 radar altimeter, finicky but fun.

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Yea, I loved the APX-64.

After I started working it on the bench, I decided to take the back cover off and found the filter circuit card back there under it. I thought it just housed the connector. Well, it was plug in, so I decided to pul it out and found a lot of corrosion on the flat pins (same connection type as the other modules).

I opened them up on every RT I worked after that, and about every one had corrosion on it. It seemed like we had less RTs coming thought the shop after that.

You gotta love adjusting the bell curve.

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In the begining (early 70s) there were two sqds. with AWADS equiped acft. One sqd. at LR the other at Pope. This would not have been a problem, however, the orginial plan was to have both sqds. co-located. Thus spares provisioning was based on this plan. The end result was there was a chronic shortage of spares. This, in turn, had a big effect on FMC rates. And as several posts have said the system was not known for it's reliability. At the time TAC was bringing on three new acft., the A-10, F-15 and F-16. Airlift in a fighter command was pretty much an afterthought. As such, was unable to raise the concern level in the LGMA shop. So, many of the 130 avoinics issues ended up on my desk. After beating my head against the wall for a year decided to attempt a fix. Wrote a form 1 recommending both AWADS sqds be placed in the same wing. Couple days later my boss says we are to see the TAC LG. I'm thinking what did I muck up this time. Once in the LGs office he tells us co-locating sqs. not going to happen and why. At LR there was an air division headed up be a one button. AWADS was his baby and the only way he would give it up was over his dead body. End of story.

Early 75 tactical airlift is transfered to MAC. My job transfered to Scott. Made several TDYs to Scott to help in the transfer. One of my recommendations was concerning AWADS sqds. Some months later met the Air Lift Center CC who told me the effort might be successful. The air division by that time had gone away. As we all know all this was overcome by the grand plan that sent an AWADS sqd. to USAFE. I often wondered how this worked out with AWADS sqds. now several thousand miles apart and two commands involved.

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I remember an AWADs crew being told to go home by a Army 2 star onboard ABCCC while enroute to Grenada. Seems they couldn't or wouldn't do a visual drop on Point Salinas airfield. The SATCOM discussion between the ABCCC and the AWADs bird was almost funny to listen to. I really felt sorry for that poor army ranger with the SATCOM radio on that AWADs bird. The conversation went something like this. ABCCC to AWADs bird -- Inform your pilots to drop the dozer 1/3 of the way down the runway on the left side and make sure the package doesn't land on the runway -- over. Replay -- the crew request lat/longs for the drop. Answer -- just tell the crew to visually fly down the runway and drop on the left side and visually drop the dozer so it doesn't land on the runway. Answer -- the pilot says he needs lat/longs or he can not drop. Replay -- son do you know who I am? Answer -- Yes Sir, Gen Stenier. Replay -- that's right son now you tell your pilots to visually fly down that runway and drop 1/3 of the way down and make sure they are far enough left so the dozer will not land on the runway -- copy? Answer -- Yes Sir.......... a few seconds later Sir my pilots say they need lat/longs to drop. Replay -- Son you tell you DAMN PILOTS to go home! Answer -- Yes Sir.

  • Haha 1
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I was lucky enough to be the first crew diplomatically expelled from Saudi airspace during desert shield:D

Dan, That reminded me of one of my ELF 1 rotations down there out of Fairford. We had a transportation troop diplomatically expelled....seems he was driving to the civilian airport to pick up a pax when he was cut off in the orderly Ryadh traffic....he responded in true American sign language....unfortunately the other driver was a Saudi AF captain...........

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Ahhh Elf One, did my first rote there in 81, what a wacky blast I had, even got the church police smacking the hell out of me with a stick, something about a boom box testing out my new tapes downtown during prayer time:rolleyes:

Dan

Dan, did you ever do any of the Bat 60 TDY's to Dhahran? That was probably the most asked for trip when I was at Rhein Main. Big per diem & great flying! I also remember buying those bootlegged tapes downtown.

One time, one of our young SSgt FE's had serious money problems so he decided to take a duffel bag full of booze into Saudi Arabia. When the Paki's unloaded the baggage, the duffel bag came off, too. Of course, he was caught & the rest of the 2 crews had to pool all their money to get him out of jail. The wing commander took 2 stripes -- just enough so that he couldn't reenlist.

You could get big bucks for a bottle of booze in Saudi, but I never thought it was worth it.

Don R.

(Another hijacked thread.)

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Don

Did Bat60 a couple of times and it was a really sweet deal (before the first gulf war screwed up Saudi and turned Per Diem to zero:mad:) .

It was always a great trip, nothing like being gone two weeks and coming home and pocketing a few thousand from your Voucher.

Its really funny when you think of it, when I was a crew chief on Hellen Keller (E3a's) at Riyadh, I would wait for that C-130 to bring me my mail. A couple years later I was ON that C-130 bringing the mail to all my old buddy's.

Dan

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Its really funny when you think of it, when I was a crew chief on Hellen Keller (E3a's) at Riyadh

Jeez, Dan. Do you still have your "AWACKER WATCH" (the Casio with the calculator)? When we were down there it seemed like every AWACs troop had one of those watches! Didn't you feel secure with the teenage Saudi AF Security Guards and the "Rat Patrol" Toyota Land Cruisers on the flight line?:rolleyes:

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Well I did get my Casio "blood money" watch but it died a quick death one night on the airplane.

Say what you will about Saudi, they paid a hell of a good price for a pint of blood or plasma:D

Dan

Yep, I visited the King Faisal Research Hospital more than once!

I don't think the cooks at the Al Yamama ever fully grasped the fact that pancakes were supposed to be "light".

While I was there they sent us a second Demineralized Water servicing truck for the 135s from Barksdale......when they opened the doors on the 141 the Saudis said "close it up and take it out of here"....it was a Ford!

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I had forgotten about the Fords in Saudi. As for Coca Cola, it was banned, I beleive, because Coke was also bottled in Israel; as were the Fords produced there. The Saudis had their own version of Coca Cola, called Khaki Kola. It even came in the same unique shaped bottle.

Don R.

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I have always driven a FORD what is there beef with FORD.

I'm a Blue Oval guy too, but as it was explained to us by a RSAAF officer, both Ford and Coke dealt with the "enemy state of Israel" and therefore weren't allowed in the country. They provided us with a Saudi AF Clark tug for moving AGE on the flightline; they had Ford flathead 6 cyl engines in them. On the ID plate "Ford" had been sanded off and "Clark" was hand punched into the plate. At that same time Lincoln was producing the Mark V Continental and the Saudis wanted them, so they were shipped into Kuwait, had all of the Ford and Lincoln badging removed and were brought in as "Cadillac" Mark Vs!

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When I was leaving Udorn in 1974 to go to Pope to become an FE we stopped at U-Tapao on the way to Clark. I remember the C-130's on the ramp with the Playboy Bunny on the tail. When I got to Pope and was going through inprocessing, we went to the Command Post and were told about the 4 birds from Pope TDY to Thailand. When I went to LR for training the 61st TAS was an AWADS squadron. The other 2 AWADS squadrons were the 39th and 40th at Pope. In 1975 and 1976, the 61st AWADS birds were being swapped out with dumb birds from Pope. I guess the thought was put all the AWADS together to ease the supply parts burden. In 1976, the 39th went on rote in Rhein Main and left their AWADS birds there for the start up of the 37th. I remember going back to Pope in the back of a C-141. If memory serves me right that was in the fall of 1976.

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ech2323,

It was actually the fall of 1977 -- I was the 5th FE to get to the 37th on 11/77 & we flew with some of the Pope crews still on rote.

For quite a few months after that, even though we all used the same checklist, there were still comments in the cockpit like "that's not how we did it at Pope, Dyess, McChord, etc."

Don R.

Edited by DC10FE
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