United States Air Force Western Regional Operations Building

USAF Western Regional Operations Building[1]
2221 East Bijou Street, Knob Hill, Colorado[2]
Coordinates [3]
Site history
Built October 30, 1961 (Groundbreaking)
June 6, 1962 (Opening)
March 7, 1963 (Dedication)[4]YYYY (YYYY)

The United States Air Force Western Regional Operations Building is former United States Air Force facility located in Knob Hill, Colorado. Today, it functions as an office building in which the "Time Warner Cable customer service center…is the building’s largest tenant".[5] The Cold War structure was leased by the military[6] for several decades as a USAF military installation and headquarters of several Cold War military commands.

Planning

"The requirement for a BMEWS display facility brought consideration early in 1958 on a long-standing need for a new COC"[7]:154 (the NORAD Combat Operations Center was in the 1954 Ent AFB blockhouse.) Use of a leased building near the base was proposed in 1958[7]:158 for the "interim BMEWS central display facility"[8]:93 with "ZI BMEWS equipment"[7]:158 to be able to process observations by the date set for operational capability of Clear Air Force Station.[8]:93 (The Denver Super Combat Center's bunker was cancelled in 1960, and the Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker was not started until 1961.)

Anti-ICBM control center planning
On March 18, 1959, the USAF told the BMEWS Project Office to proceed with the interim facility,[8]:93 and another location option for an "AICBM control center" with an anti-ICBM C3 computer[7]:148 (e.g., when the USAF Wizard[7]:157 and/or Nike Zeus ABMs became operational) was to use the basement of the 1954 blockhouse.[7]:158 A "satellite prediction computer" could be added to the missile warning center if "the hardened COC [at Cheyenne Mtn] slipped considerably beyond January 1962".[8]:93 Instead, a BMEWS display facility with "austere and economical construction with minimum equipment" was planned in an "annex to the current COC building"[8]:92 at Ent AFB by September 1960.[8]:94 Ent's Federal Building was a computer facility completed c. 1960, and the SPADATS operation center began in July 1961 at building P4's annex[9] (the Space Defense Center at Cheyenne Mountain became fully operational on February 6, 1967.)[10]

Construction

The plan to use an off-base leased facility was instead implemented for the Combined Operations Center[11] when the Cheyenne Mountain Complex was delayed and an earlier Semi-Automatic Ground Environment command post was needed[12] as an interim Air Defense Operations Center for combining NORAD's attack warning and CONAD's weapons direction missions.

The 1962-3 quadragon was constructed for more than US$2.6 million by pouring >7,000 cu yd (5,400 m3) of concrete and tilting 68 prefabricated reinforced concrete slabs 24 ft × 32 ft (7.3 m × 9.8 m), seven inches thick, and 33-ton mass to form 2 floors (one underground) of 3.5 acres (1.4 ha) each. A total of 2,950 ft (900 m) corridors (east-west "runways", north-south "taxiways") subdivided areas including a 174-seat auditorium, six conference rooms, and the war room. Offices were formed with more than 2 1/2 miles of movable wall partitions and 722 doors,[13] and 17 office locations around Colorado Springs (1.5 million pounds transported) were consolidated Thursday p.m.-Monday a.m. into the building e.g., the Corps of Engineers office (overseeing Cheyenne Mountain construction) in the prefabricated building across Bijou Street.

Combined Operation Center

The Chidlaw Building's "Combined Operations Center"[10] moved ½ mi (¾ km)[3] from the Ent AFB combat center.[14] The COC included a "war room",[13] an IBM 1410 computer in 1965 for systems analysis,[15] and air defense consoles presenting data from various Air Divisions (e.g., for the Goose Air Defense Sector in Canada). Systems which transmitted data to the building included IBM AN/FSQ-8 Combat Control Centrals at SAGE Combat Centers which "forwarded the divisional air defense status to" NORAD.[16]

As the highest echelon of command and control for the SAGE Defense System, the Chidlaw Building was the primary node of NORAD's Alert Network Number 1. The network was to warn military installations with low rate teletype data (e.g., SAC Emergency War Order Traffic[17] that included "Positive Control/Noah's Ark instructions" through northern NORAD radio sites to confirm or recall SAC bombers if "SAC decided to launch the alert force before receiving an execution order from the JCS".)[7] NORAD/ADC operations transferred to Cheyenne Mountain on April 20, 1966 (until the 2006 Cheyenne Mountain Realignment when operations transferred to the Peterson Air Force Base NORAD/NORTHCOM command center).

Command headquarters

In addition to the Combined Operations Center, the Chidlaw Building housed the headquarters for several military commands:

North American Aerospace Defense Command
NORAD headquarters moved to the Chidlaw Building on February 15, 1963.
Continental Air Defense Command
CONAD and NORAD offices were consolidated on March 7, 1963; and CONAD was disestablished on June 30, 1975.
USAF Aerospace Defense Command
On July 1, 1975, "Headquarters ADCOM" was established at the Chidlaw Building[10] when Ent Air Force Base was closing.
Air Defense, Tactical Air Command
On 21 September 1979, the ADTAC headquarters of MGen Piotrowski was established at the Chidlaw Building.[18] ADTAC received Aerospace Defense Command's "atmospheric" assets (interceptors, bases, and SAGE radar stations) on October 1, 1979 (Strategic Air Command "assumed responsibility for missile warning and space surveillance systems").[18]
Air Force Space Command
"[20]
United States Space Command
"During December 1987, 2500 USSPACECOM and AFSPACECOM personnel relocated to their new Headquarters on Peterson AFB [Bldg 1470 (Ent Building) for USSPACECOM] from the Chidlaw Building".[21]

During military withdrawal from the building, paintings were rescued[22] and the chair used by President Kennedy (who received a Cheyenne Mountain briefing on June 5, 1963)[23] was removed to the Peterson Air and Space Museum.[24]

Office building

Several million dollars were spent in 1992 to gut the building, make numerous improvements and turn it into office space. Lars Akerberg purchased the building in 1993, and Premiere Conferencing became its largest tenant.[5][11] The building went under foreclosure in early 2012 with a roughly 55% vacancy after Premier Conferencing moved out a year earlier.[5]

External images
5 Pikes Peak Library "Chidlaw Building" images

References

  1. ^ A look back: Rivera's legacy as mayor spans SDS, USOC and PrideFest. Gazette.com (2011-06-04). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  2. ^ Premiere Global Services, Inc. - 10-K - For 12/31/04 - EX-10.57. SEC Info. Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  3. ^ a b c "Google Map with route from Ent AFB to Chidlaw Bldg". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  4. ^ "HR97-1007 by Representative May". state.co.us. 1997. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  5. ^ a b c Famed Chidlaw Building falls into foreclosure. Gazette.com (2012-03-07). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  6. ^ title tbd (Report). http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100928-010.pdf. "Ent, which also served as ADC headquarters, collected regional clearinghouse data and integrated it for marking a large aircraft-movement plotting board. These bases, among others, served as links between the radar sites and fighter-interceptor bases.40 ... Ent AFB, headquarters for ADC, provided another example of the lack of adequate USAF facilities in certain locales. It actually was “a complex of buildings within Colorado Springs” and the nearby Chidlaw Building, an expensive rental arrangement that precluded mission expansion. In 1975, Ent was redesignated an annex subordinate to Peterson AFB (Table 3.8).67"
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Preface by Buss, L. H.—Director.  (Report). Directorate of Command History: Office of Information Services.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Preface by Buss, L. H.—Director.  (Report). Directorate of Command History: Office of Information Services.
  9. ^ 1961–1969 Historical reports from the Squadron on file at the Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB AL, AFHRA Microfilm reel KO363
  10. ^ a b c FAS.org chronology, NORAD.mil chronology
  11. ^ a b http://www.argonavisit.com/newsite/pdf/Whitepaper%20-%20Premiere%20Comprehensive%20Security%2014%20pgs.pdf
  12. ^ "title tbd" (Word doc). Staff Colorado Liaison, Colorado Springs … Command Post in the Chidlaw Building…Jimmie 
  13. ^ a b The USAF in Space. Docstoc.com (2009-06-14). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  14. ^ http://www2.gazette.com/NORAD/
  15. ^ "title tbd". WO Ernie Crossley, Captain Richard Linder and I would be assigned to the ADC Command Post at the Chidlaw Building in Colorado Springs, not far from Ent AFB. This was a huge two-story building with hundreds of employees, many of them, civilians. I was one of the first people assigned to the computer support branch headed up by LtCol. David Biggs. I was put in charge of the Systems Analysis Section. There was a new IBM 1410 Computer, which was standard throughout the Air Force for major air command support 
  16. ^ Belzer, Jack (September 1, 1975). Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology (Google Books). Volume 2. CRC Press. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  17. ^ Preface by Buss, L. H.—Director.  (Report). Directorate of Command History: Office of Information Services.
  18. ^ a b Eldredge, Maurice C., Major-ACSC student (April 1985). A Brief History of "ADTAC": The First Five Years (Report). Air Command and Staff College. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA256294. Retrieved 2012-07-16. "On 21 September 1979, Major General John L. Piotrowski assumed the duty of Tactical Air Command Deputy Commander for Air Defense. (10:xxxi) General Piotrowski and his staff were initially stationed in the Chidlaw Building, Headquarters ADCOM, Colorado Springs, Colorado."
  19. ^ http://www.dodfire.com/history/PIONEERS%20WITH%20INTENT-FINAL.pdf
  20. ^ http://www.afspc.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-070814-023.pdf (also available at Google Books)
  21. ^ Toro, MSgt. Radames; Barrios, MSgt. Ramon A. (1 August 1993). "Chapter 1: Command Overview". Space Operations Orientation Course (Third ed.). Peterson AFB, Colorado: 21st Crew Training Squadron. p. 3. On October 1, 1979, control of [Peterson AFB] was transferred to the Strategic Air Command. 
  22. ^ http://community.warplanes.com/tag/e-3-awacs/
    http://rockandrollmusicfund.org/mystery-cmafs-artist-identified/
  23. ^ A NORAD TIMELINE | HighBeam Business: Arrive Prepared. Business.highbeam.com (2008-05-11). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  24. ^ http://www2.gazette.com/NORAD/
    http://www.gazette.com/articles/center-4117-air-western.html
    http://www.gazette.com/articles/center-4117-air-western.html#ixzz1Yk6MqgGi
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