Navo Satcom F1
THE ABANDONED COMMUNICATION SITE IN BELGIUM
‘Navo Satcom F1’ is an abandoned Cold War era Satcom (SATellite COMmunications) centre in Gooik-Kester. The site was abandoned for two years when it was demolished in 2014 to make place for a new NATO hub.
The Satcom F1 featured an impressive dome with an enormous dish inside. It was also known as ‘Zone Braams’. The site was used as a redundant network for satellite communication in case the enemy would strike.
This particular site was manned by 30 American radio technicians and delivered coded data to the NATO headquarters, just 25 km away. In the past, NATO had 23 Satcom installations, but the technological evolution makes most of them obsolete. In fact, the Satcom installation in Gooik-Kester was one of the two remaining. The other installation, namely ‘Ground Station F14’, can be found in Lughezzano, Italy.
Eventually, the site was demolished in 2014 to make place for a modern communication center with four smaller dishes located in inflatable domes. Consequently, after rebuilding, the new center will become one of Europe’s main NATO communication hubs. I visited the ‘Navo Satcom’ site just before it was demolished in 2014. More abandoned places, like this, can be found here.