Nike Site NY-55DC
Army Air Defense Command Post
Highlands, NJ

During 1948 the fledgling United States Air Force established an early warning radar site at Highlands, New Jersey, one of the highest points on the east coast of the United States. The site had already been in use by the Army as a Coast Artillery battery that was inactivated shortly after the end of the Second World War.

The Army returned to the site during 1960, with a new air defense related mission. The blast and fallout resistant Missile Master facility which became operational at the Highlands base in that year contained a complex and costly, semi-automated system capable of tracking hostile aircraft and assigning Nike missile batteries in New York and New Jersey to engage them. Later, the Highlands site also assumed control of the Nike missile batteries located in the Philadelphia Defense Area.

The Highlands base also served as the headquarters for various Army air defense units in the region. Although the Air Force closed its Long Range Radar site during 1966, the Army's facility remained operational through 1974 when the last Nike missile batteries in the region were inactivated.

Army Air Defense Base:
(Monmouth County), NJ

Dates of Operation

Radar Systems:
& Equipment

ABAR-69 with FPA-15
FSG-1 Missile Master
TSQ-51 Missile Mentor

Unit Information
Army -
HQ 19th Artillery Group (1961-1968)
HHB/3/51st (1964-1968)
HQ 52nd Artillery Brigade (1968-1971)
HQ 16th ADA Group (1971-1974)
HHB/1/51st (1972-1973)

Present Status
Virtually all traces of the historic Highlands Air Force Station and the Army's Air Defense Command Post have been obliterated. The Army's Missile Master building was demolished along with all other Cold War era buildings and structures. Regrettably, it appears that no attempt was made to document this highly significant Cold War site prior to demolition.

The Monmouth County Park System, which incorporated the site into its Hartshorne Woods Park, has plans to restore the impressive World War Two era Coast Artillery gun batteries left untouched by the wreckers and may eventually open them to the public.

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