U.S. NRTF Capas Base Facilities
Angeles City/Balibago
Main Deck, Power Plant, Shipwreck Club and other elements of the North Side main business part of the Base. This photo was taken after the addition of the Multiple Purpose building in around 1968.
Multi Purpose Building at entrance to the North Side of the Base. This photo was taken after the addition of the Multiple Purpose building in around 1968.

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The radio station comprised 1,937 acres. The core of the station's radio transmission capability was located within two transmitter buildings. The primary building, referred to as "Main Deck", housed a large number of high power, high frequency (HF) transmitters. Main Deck also housed microwave radio-relay equipment to enable reception and distribution of data received from the the NavComStaPhil for subsequent short-wave radio transmission. The secondary transmitter building, referred to as "Bull Horn", housed a smaller number of transmitters, but with similar capabilities to those at Main Deck.

Additionally, located at the Bull Horn site was the S-500 transmitter trailer. The S-500, known affectionately as "Big Sam", was a high power, low frequency (LF) transmitter dedicated for fleet broadcast which was capable of generating up to 500 kW of broadcast signal power. Radio transmitters employed at both sites were in the category of high-power output, meaning, they generated radio signal powers in the range from a few kilowatts (kW) to several 10's of kW, but the majority of transmitters operated at either 10kW or 40kW. A large number and variety of LF and HF antennas were used at both transmitter sites. These included directional (beam antennas), omni-directional antennas, and tall antenna towers for dedicated, wide-area broadcast capability.

An extensive infrastructure supported the station. This included a multi-purpose building with barracks, administration offices, mess hall, navy exchange, and recreation room; an enlisted men's club, autonomous power generating facility, water and sewer treament facilities, helo pad, and security posts. Eventually, a swimming pool and tennis court were added.

Civilian Security Guard Whitt (or Witt) who was Senior Civilian Security Guard in 1975-1976
Power Plant
Shipwreck Club on left and Power Plant on the right
Part of Multipurpose Building on left and Main Gate on right
Main Deck complex
Mount Arayat from Capas
New Years Party 1971 in Shipwreck Club

Mess Hall

The below comments are by LT Leroy Jones now LCDR (retired), OIC 1970-1971

Navy Mess Halls are a lot more than they appear on the surface. During my years of service prior to arrival at Capas gave me several impressions. As an Enlisted Man I made use of Mess Halls for my meals. As an Officer I inspected Mess Halls and sampled meals every time I was Officer of the Deck. I can honestly say I never had a bad meal at a Navy Mess Hall except once on Guam. The meal was fine but the steak was still frozen in the center. Well, Mid Rats on Guam got a little old after almost no passage of time. Bread, mustard and bologna is easy get tired of in a very short time.

On arrival at Capas I became aware of what went on behind the service line and it was a real eye opener. In fact, it has a parallel connection with the treatment of advancement exams!

Every recipe had an index card which is used each time it is prepared. There is a record on the back of every time that recipe is used indicating how much was prepared, how many were expected for the meal, how many actually attended the meal and how much waste was left over. All of that information was used in preparing the next meal using the recipe. The goal was to prepare enough but just enough. Nobody going hungry and almost nothing thrown away.

There is more to that goal than just being careful with tax money. When a ship is on deployment, especially in wartime conditions, resupply is never a certain thing and running out of chow is not encouraged. And you, like me, probably thought Cooks were just cooking up a bunch of food for meals.

I mentioned a parallel connection with advancement exams. While serving as Training Administrator at the Columbus, GA Navy Reserve Training Center as a Chief I became involved with advancement exams from a different perspective. In doing so I found out that much more goes into the advancement exams than just putting together a bunch of questions.

There is a record of every advancement exam question ever used. The number of people who had been given that exam question, which exams it was used on and the number of right answers and wrong answers. Too many right answers means it is too easy, too many wrong answers means it is too hard. Either case will cause it to be taken off the exam... but the record is maintained so the same mistake will not be made again.

A story from that duty in Columbus, GA, if I may be allowed to extend this memory, involved a Second Class Machinist Mate. He was a master with any machinery but could not take a multiple choice exam. The first time he sat for the exam as I administered it he locked up and failed the exam. So, the second time he took the exam while I was there I didn't give him his exam when the others took theirs. Then I took him into my office and he sat in front of my desk. I read each question but not the multiple choice answers. He just told me the answer from his wealth of experience and I marked the option that matched his answer. He not only passed, he completed the test in way less than the three hours allotted. He finally made First Class.

Quonset hut housing was used before the addition of the Multi Purpose building in abour 1968.