176th Air Defense Squadron

From a secure, high-tech facility on Elmendorf Air Force Base, the men and women of this 176th Wing unit keep continuous watch on the skies over North America.

The facility, called a Region Air Operations Center (or RAOC, usually pronounced "ray-ock") is part of the Alaskan NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command ) Region. The guard members who staff it work closely with active-duty members of the Alaskan NORAD Region, the 11th Air Force and a Canadian Forces Air Command detachment to detect and intercept any intrusion into U.S. or Canadian airspace.


Commercial: (907) 552-6062
DSN: (317) 552-6083


The 176th Air Defense Squadron traces its lineage, honors and history to Murphy Dome Air Force Station, originally situated in a mountainous region known as the Yoku-Tanana Upland, 220 miles north of Elmendorf Air Force Base. It was one of the ten original aircraft control and warning sites constructed during the early 1950s to establish a permanent air defense system in Alaska. 

Murphy Dome was initially operated by a detachment of the 532nd Aircraft Control and Warning Group, based at Ladd Air Force Base (now Fort Wainwright) in Fairbanks. When the 532nd was inactivated in 1951, the Murphy Dome site was then operated by a detachment of the Alaska Air National Guard's 143rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. As part of HQ Alaskan Air Command's plan to upgrade all remote sites to full squadrons, the 744th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (744 ACWS) was activated at Murphy Dome on in February 1953, with an authorized strength of 249 personnel. 

The mission of the 744 ACWS was to support, administer and train assigned personnel to perform air defense missions, support tactical missions as directed by HQ AAC, and operate and maintain the Murphy Dome Air Force Station. 

In 1977, the 744 ACWS was assigned to the newly reactivated 531st Aircraft Control and Warning Group (531 ACWG). The 531 ACWG was re-designed the 11th Tactical Control Group (11 TCG) in 1981. 

In the early 1980s, construction began on a new NORAD Region Operations Control Center (ROCC) at Elmendorf . This new facility would be responsible for managing all air defense operations in Alaska, making all manned remote radar sites redundant. The 744 ACWS was selected to man the ROCC, which achieved full operational status in September 1983. All remote radar squadrons were deactivated by November that same year. Under HQ AAC's "Seek Igloo" project, civilian manning at all remote radar sites was reduced to approximately four civilian personnel per site. 

In 1989, the 744 ACWS was aligned under the newly established 11th Tactical Control Wing (11 TCW). In 1992, this wing was renamed the 11th Air Control Wing (11 ACW), and the 744 ACWS was renamed the 744th Air Defense Squadron (744 ADS). The 11 ACW was reorganized in July 1994 as the 611th Air Operations Group (611 AOG), and the 744 ADS was renamed the 611th Air Control Squadron (611 ACS).

In 2001, the 611 ACS began a four-year transition to the 176th Wing of the Alaska Air National Guard. On Oct. 1, 2004, the 611 ACS was officially inactivated and the 176 ACS was ceremonially recognized. In 2013, the 176 ACS was re-designated as the 176th Air Defense Squadron to better represent the squadron's capabilities.

Thus, the 176 ADS traces its heritage and honors from the original 744 ACWS/ADS, handed down over the past 60 years. 


The squadron has earned four Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, for the following periods:
13 Aug 1967 - 21 Aug 1967
1 Jan 1976 - 31 Dec 1976
1 Jan 1978 - 31 Dec 1978
1 Jul 1982 - 8 Nov 1983,
1 Jul 1994 - 30 Jun 1996
1 Oct 1999 - 30 Sep 2001

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