Military Radar Receiver Hides in Plain Sight at Florida Resort

That's not a beach ball! It's actually Eglin Air Force Range Test Site A5, hiding on top of a Holiday Inn Resort in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. (Defense News photo by Marcus Weisgerber)

That’s not a beach ball! It’s actually Eglin Air Force Range Test Site A5, hiding on top of a Holiday Inn Resort in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. (Defense News photo by Marcus Weisgerber)

The large sphere on the roof of the Holiday Inn Resort in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is not a decorative beach ball. It’s actually a military radar receiver.

The hotel land is actually owned by the US Air Force. The Air Force leases the 152-room resort to Innisfree Hotel company.

From a June 23 AP story:

The combination resort hotel and military test site opened in late May in an unusual partnership between the military and private business in a time of tighter military budgets. In exchange for allowing the Innisfree Hotel company to build the 152-room resort on Air Force land, the military was able to construct a rooftop station that receives radar signals and a secure conference room for classified meetings. The dome hiding the military equipment is painted red, white, blue and yellow like a beach ball.

To the military, the hotel is know as Eglin Air Force Range Test Site A5.

The Eglin range is an expansive military test facility that includes 724 square miles of land ranges and more than 86,500 square miles of water ranges in the Gulf of Mexico.

Here are some more pics of the Site A5, aka the Holiday Inn:

Marcus Weisgerber
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Marcus Weisgerber

Senior Pentagon Correspondent at Defense News
I write about broad-ranging policy, acquisition and budget issues affecting the US military.
Marcus Weisgerber
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