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1962 - AIR DEFENSE COMMAND - the Operation of ADC, page 4 of 14


E&MP 103.010f


June - October 1962

[page 4]


The Air Defense Command provides "area defense," seeking to detect and identify a hostile attack at the earliest possible moment and to intercept and destroy the enemy force as fast as possible at the farthest point from its intended targets.

Early warning of enemy ballistic missile launches from the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) and of approaching air-breathing enemy forces from the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line serves to alert Civil Defense authorities and the entire NORAD systems of an impending attack.

The various operational units of the Air Defense command which will meet this attack are assigned to ADC's air divisions. In the continental U.S., six SAGE air divisions depend upon from two to five SAGE air defense sectors each for around-the-clock surveillance and defensive reaction in their smaller areas of responsibility.

The heart of the SAGE system is a digital computer which accepts tracking information from ground and airborne radar stations, data on weapons status from missile and fighter-interceptor units, and pertinent information on weather, FAA flight plans, etc., stores this data until required or of immediate value, and releases it upon demand to a SAGE operator.

Operating in millionths of a second, SAGE therefore makes available the current

con't 103.010g


Over 200 officers and airmen, on day and night shifts, operate the 
            SAGE direction center continuously
Over 200 officers and airmen, on day and night shifts, operate the SAGE direction center continuously.

Filed by Science Service
United States Air Force

National Museum of American History


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