Just across the parking lot from the Ogden Air Logistics Center headquarters building and looking out of place amongst the old 1200 series buildings is a small tenant squadron making a big impact on our nation's air defense. The 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron, affectionately known as "The RADES," is tasked with evaluating the Air Force's ground-based radar systems, including short-range radars, long-range radars, and command and control (C2) systems. Every year, the RADES sends its members on dozens of evaluations around the country and around the globe where they use their sought-after expertise to test and optimize the nation's air defense systems.
In order to do this job, the RADES has developed not only the techniques for optimization and evaluation, but also the hardware and software tools required. In the engineering flight, a team of programmers has been developing the industry standard tools for recording, analyzing and optimizing ground-based radar systems. RADES software was instrumental in reconstructing the events of 9/11 as well as countless other air events including search-and-rescue operations that have directly led to the saving of downed pilots. In addition, RADES software continuously records and monitors U.S. and allied radars to proactively detect problem systems, enabling RADES evaluation teams to fix radars before they break.
The RADES is now in the process of optimizing the Common Air Route Surveillance Radars as they come online following the upgrade of the 1960s and '70s era interior continental U.S. (CONUS) radars. The RADES has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in the upcoming Electronic Parts Replacement Program upgrades to the North Warning System radars in Alaska and Canada. Using the RADES radar distribution network, in-house developed analysis tools, and a data archive of more than 200 sites going back five years (the largest radar archive in existence), RADES experts ensure these two vital programs will keep our airspace safe and secure. From the north slope of Alaska to the Caribbean and from Guam to Nova Scotia, the 84th RADES is proving the squadron motto "Artificii Periti" -- Experts in Workmanship!