Tin City Long Range Radar Site
Backstory and Context
Tin City, is the United States Air Force Radar Station located at the westernmost tip of the Seward Peninsula which is also the most westerly point of the North American Continent. Tin City LRRS is located 25 miles from Russia's closest territory and 48 miles from the coast of Siberia. It is said that on clear days that both the coastline and the Russian island is visible.
The Tin City site was a defense radar station built to provide the United States Air Force with an early warning of an attack by the Soviet Union on Alaska. It was one of the ten original radar surveillance sites built during the early 1950s to establish a permanent air defense system in Alaska. When construction began it was first designated Cape Prince of Wales AFS, began in September of 1950 and was completed in late 1952. The station name was changed to Tin City Air Force Station on 1 September 1959.
Today, there is very little left of the former Tin City Air Force Station that remains but does act as a working runway, now called Tin City LRRS Airport and is used for delivering goods to this portion of Alaska. The current site is controlled by the PACAF's 611th Air and Space Operations Center, based at Elmendorf AFB. The site is maintained by ARCTEC Alaska Inc. which are civilian contractors, and they access the site by former support airstrip and provide maintenance and support when needed to maintain the radar system.