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8. Aird Uig, Lewis. (NB 048 388)


The radar station at Gallen Head, Aird Uig, had been expected to close after the end of the Cold War, but NATO has reactivated the station and its operations. Through the 1990's it was home to 81 Signals Unit, the RAF's high frequency communications specialists. At the same time, the station also housed a low frequency transmitter providing RAF maritime low frequency communications. Following the transfer of this service to the Defence Communications Services Agency (DCSA) facility at Crimond[47], near Fraserburgh in 2000, the 81 Signals Unit detachment returned to their base at RAF Kinloss[51]. Following their departure the 618 foot low frequency radio mast was dismantled.

Work was underway throughout 2003 to build a series of masts that today form part of NATO's radar monitoring of the Atlantic. There are 14 masts in all - two groups of six and two larger structures. It is believed that the decision to reactivate the station is connected to the prospect of terrorist attacks on Britain. Prior to the decision to re-open the station, plans had been made to establish a wind farm at the MoD owned site.

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