Fort Hero (Montauk Air Force Base)
Fort Hero
Owner The _institute
Employees Institute Employees
Hours of Operation 24 Hours a Day
Current Status Reopened for Operations
People Come Here For… Institute Related Business

On its furthest edges, the Montauk Air Force Station — also known as Camp Hero — is surrounded by fifteen-foot high razorwire fences, with each gated entrance clearly marked as government property, and that authorization of lethal force is permitted on trespassers. Long ago, Camp Hero may have been a thriving military installation, now its appearance is that of something long since cast into abandonment and disuse. The roads that wind through the parklands that comprise the military installation are overgrown with weeds and wild undergrowth. Trees and hedges have been left to grow wild, and creeping vines have scaled the eastern face of the old concrete building at the compound's heart.

The central facility is a four-story concrete slab building, upon which rests an enormous AN/FPS-35 long range radar surrounded by smaller radar and satellite communications arrays. The entire eastern face of the building is consumed by overgrowth, and many of the ground floor windows have been boarded up after vandals shattered the glass in them. A paper notice pasted to the entrances notifies that the building is condemned, yet power substations nearby still hum with activity, and lights on the satellite arrays indicate there is still power going to the building.

Facility Floorplans

Rooms in purple are linked vertically by the main elevator and stairwell.

Data Center Balcony
To Montauk Ground Level
Mess Hall North Wing (Agent Quarters)
Rec Room West Wing Central Corridor
Infirmary South Wing (Offices) Conference Room
To Brooklyn
and Queens
Railway Platform Sublevel 2 Library
Research Labs

Major IC Events


  • Although the area is designated as part of Camp Hero State Park, fully one third of the grounds were off-limits to the public until 2003. Presently, a large area around the SAGE radar facility remains restricted.
  • Montauk AFB has been closed for fifteen years, but there are large antennas still standing on the grounds, a recently replaced microwave tower, the radar dish has been seen to change position, new generators in pristine condition sit behind fences with shiny padlocks, brand new guard houses lie scattered about, and both planes and unmarked black helicopters are occasionally seen in the station's airspace.
  • The SAGE radar system, of which Fort Hero's AN/FPS-35 dish and tower is the only surviving structure, was the first computer-linked system for automatically recognizing and tracking air traffic; the first defense network built in the United States. It is notable for pioneering technology we take for granted today — interactive graphics, modems, computer mice, and magnetic memory, among others.
  • There is an old bowling alley on the base grounds.
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