Kagnew Station Patch

Kagnew Station's Final Days
by Clark Hill


You may have already received a response to your question of a year ago, concerning the closure of Kagnew Station.

My name is Clark Hill and I was the next to last OIC for the site and the last Project Manager on the contractor side of the house.

I arrived about June of 1975 and served a year as the OIC. During that time we lost the transmitter site to the insurgents, Lost two contractor workers to a mine explosion, and had 3 contractors and 2 military types kidnapped.

It was not a fun year.

I retired at the end of June 76 and went back two days later as the Project Manager for operations there with Collins Radio Group (actually CISCO).

I was sent to Cicusnaveur in April of 77 to work with a CDR L Boink (SP) to draw up plans for evacuating our people out of there in the event of a hostile takeover by the Ethiopian Govt.

I left there to swing by Texas and discuss the situation with the Corp staff of CISCO after we completed the evac plan.

I was enroute to Dallas when I received a call that the Ethiopian army had sized the site and I was to report to JCS in DC to help with the evac plan.

We did get all of the people out with little or no difficulty. I have a copy of the last message sent by the consulate as they shut down and am still in contact with the person who sent it.

So for the record we stayed in Asmara until the end of April of 1977 altho it was a pretty difficult task. We provided radio comms for the peace talks with Carter etc for the middle east and when that was over and they had the comms satellite up there was not really a need for us to be there any longer.

I have been back since and may be returning again in a few months. I am still doing essentially the same type of work in Africa, middle east and Europe.

Clark Hill