May 10

Kindsbach Bunker Geocaching Event – 9 May 2015

Yesterday Sabine and I took a tour through the bunker at Kindsbach Germany, which is small town near us, during a Geocaching Event.  Kindsbach is between Landstuhl and Einsedlerhof Germany.

“Close to Ramstein was the site of Air Defense Operations Center (ADOC) – Kindsbach, AKA ‘Kindsbach Cave’ – the site of Europe’s underground combat operations center.

Kindsbach-COC

Kindsbach Bunker entrance. Top Secret Cold War RADAR observation post.

The facility was located in a former German western front command headquarters. The French took control of the underground bunker after World War II, and USAFE assumed control in 1953. After major renovations, USAFE opened the center on 15 August 1954.The center was a state-of-the-art, 67-room, 37,000-square-foot (3,400 m2) facility where USAFE could have led an air war against the Soviet Union. The center had a digital computer to work out bombing problems, cryptographic equipment for coded message traffic and its own photo lab to develop reconnaissance photos. Responsible for an air space extending deep behind the Iron Curtain, the center interacted directly with The Pentagon, NATO, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and all USAFE bases. With its massive telephone switchboard and 80 teletype machines, the cave was plugged into everything in the outside world. The center was receiving more than 1,000 calls a day.As a further measure of protection, the cave was fully self-contained with its own water supply, electric backup-generators, climate controls, dining facilities and sleeping accommodations for its 125-man crew. Visitor passes were rarely issued to this secret facility

0270hauptzufahrt

Entrance to the Kindsbach Bunker back in the day.

Throughout the years, leadership changed but USAFE led the operations through numbered Air Forces. The center’s commander was the USAFE Advanced Echelon. The glassed-in office was on the top floor of the three-story underground command center. Directly under the office was the management for offensive air operations. And the bottom floor office was the management for defensive air operations – to include support for U.S. Army forces and German Civil Defense. All three offices had a full view of the massive Air Operations Center map on the opposing wall.The AOC was the largest room in the complex. Its three-story map was used to plot minute-by-minute movements of friendly and unidentified aircraft. But the center was much more than just a tracking station, because it could also react to threats. They always knew the current operational status of air weapons in theater including missiles, and could dispatch armed response “at a moment’s notice”.

 

By the early 1960s, the manual plotting system used to track aircraft at the cave and elsewhere throughout Germany was too slow and inaccurate for the quick responses necessary. Beginning in 1962, airmen trained in the new 412L air weapons control system began to arrive in Germany and at the cave. Over the next year, the new GE semi-automatic system was installed. When complete at the cave, the current air picture over East and West Germany, as well as parts of the eastern soviet block countries, was displayed on a 40-foot by 40-foot (12 x 12 m)screen with radar information provided by various 412L sites located throughout Germany. Senior U.S. staff monitored the dynamic display 24/7. Over the next several years, additional 412L sites throughout Germany joined the network until the manual system had been totally replaced.By 1984, the Kindsbach Cave had become too small and its cost for renovation too high. The USAFE vacated the facility and on 31 October 1993, control was returned to the German government and the German government returned the facility to the original owner of the land. Today the Kindsbach Cave is private property, through tours of the cave can be arranged. The cave is overgrown by vegetation, trees, and new housing.” Source: American Chick Surviving in Germany

Here are photos I took yesterday.

 

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