In the 1950's the Army gave over the western portion of the military reservation to the 773rd Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron. During this time the military reservation was run jointly by the Army and the Air Force.
In 1952, the 773rd was transferred to the 26th Air Division and operated as an Air Defense Direction Center and in November 1957, the Army closed the Camp Hero portion. In 1958 a SAGE (Semi Automatic Ground Environment) radar system was installed and the facility was merged into the national air defense network. The site was also a major part of the NORAD defense system.
The unit was renamed the 773rd Radar Squadron (SAGE) in 1963 and officially shut down on July 1, 1980. The antenna was "abandoned in place", with its controlling motors and electronics removed, allowing it to move with the wind to prevent it being torn off its base in a storm. A GATR (Ground Air Transmitter Receiver) facility remained in service to direct military aircraft operating within the region but was deactivated in 1984.
As with most of the structures from the Coast Defense period, the support structures for the base were designed with the appearance of a sea coast town. Here the gymnasium was built with the look of a church. The building continued into the Air Force Base period with the same purpose and was later covered with aluminum siding over the wooden clapboards.