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Space Shuttle Support

STS-6 Space Shuttle Challenger

On March 21, 1983, the 1CMBTCG deployed a team of three NAVAIDS maintenance and three Systems Support personnel, led by 1Lt Henkel, to Dakar, Senegal, in support of the sixth Space Shuttle mission. Two TRN-31 TACANS, on location from the previous Shuttle mission, were made operationally ready and flight checked in preparation for the Shuttle launch.

With only minimal lead time prior to the required operational date, our maintenance technicians were hard pressed to remove the TACANS from storage, site, clean and align the equipment as well as have it flight checked in time.

Personnel were transported from Frankfort to Dakar and returned via Swiss Air on April 16, 1983.

STS-7 Space Shuttle Challenger

1st Comm deployed again in May 1983 in support of the seventh Space Shuttle flight.

1Lt David Powell deployed with a team of six maintenance personnel, who once again removed the TACANS and associated equipment from storage and got it on the air.

While hot temperatures provided a challenge to our personnel and equipment, outstanding service was provided to NASA. Personnel were transported via Swiss Air and returned to home station on June 21, 1983.

STS-8 Space Shuttle Challenger

The 1CMBTCG was again tasked to support NASA with NAVAIDS equipment.

Two TRN-31 TACANS were activated on site at Dakar, Senegal. Unit personnel, lead by 1Lt Jacobsmayer, and equipment were on location at this designated emergency landing site.

Once again, the 1868 Flight Check Squadron performed the flight check; both TACANS paced the check with no problems encountered.
STS-8 concludes our string of deployments to Dakar. RCA is scheduled to install a permanent TACAN facility for the next shuttle flight over Dakar.

Picture contributed by Dave Powell

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