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Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker
colloq. Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD cave, NORAD, etc.[1]
Part of
North American Aerospace Defense Command
National Operational Intelligence Watch Officer's Network
Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment Program[2]
Located at ­Cheyenne Mountain AFS, El Paso County, Colorado
Cheyenne Mountain.jpg
Beyond the parking area excavation (right of center) through the bunker's North tunnel entrance (at point of triangular-shaped excavation), the bunker's Access Tunnel extends to the South opening at the end of an access road (diagonally toward left). The bunker has an Exhaust outlet (right, mid-slope), and NORAD Road (left-to-right) has a CO 115 interchange (not shown) on the west side of Fort Carson. The foreground is now a southern subdivision of Colorado Springs, Colorado. (minor peak over main chambers and southeast of Robber's Roost)
Coordinates Latitude:
Built May 18, 1961–February 8, 1966
In use 1966–2006 (command center)
Controlled by

2006:[3] Cheyenne Mountain Division
c. 2001:[specify]

Cheyenne Mountain Directorate

c. 1995:[4]:a Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center.png USSPACECOM Cheyenne Mountain operations center
1994:[5] Joint Task Force — Cheyenne Mountain Operations
1981:[6] Aerospace Defense Center
1966: North American Aerospace Defense Command
1961:[7] Army Corps of Engineers (Omaha District)

Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker.png

The bunker includes an
Access Tunnel (right) with North and South openings at the massif's east slope,
side tunnels[8] to the main chambers and the support area,[9]
a support area including reservoirs (blue), and

main chambers (gray grid) for the centers (dark green buildings are 3 story)[8] with 3 tunnels 45 feet (15 m) wide, 60.5 feet (20 m) high, and 588 feet (180 m) long intersected by 4 cross tunnels 32 feet (10 m) wide, 56 feet (17 m) high and 335 feet (100 m) long.[9]

The Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker is a Cold War hardened installation with NORAD centers and associated computer systems in warm standby such as the Alternate Command Center[10] for the nearby Peterson AFB NORAD-NORTHCOM Command Center.[11] Built after more than 11 previous US command bunkers (e.g., 1953 Raven Rock & 1960 Ft MacArthur DC), Cheyenne Mountain was designed for a 30 megaton nuclear explosion[12] within 1.0 nmi (1.2 mi; 1.9 km). The bunker is 5.1 acres (2.1 ha) tunneled[13] within part of a spur of the Cheyenne Mountain massif at the Rocky Mountains' eastern "Front Range". The bunker's standby centers are controlled by a NORAD division,[14] and support services are provided by Air Force Space Command's 721st Mission Support Group.[15]

The bunker's Command Center was upgraded 2003-4 for $13 million.[11]

The exterior North Portal protects the eastward tunnel opening. The south opening of 17.5 ft high (5.3 m) x 15 ft wide (4.6 m)[citation needed] has a concrete abutment.[16]

The 25-ton North blast door is the main entrance to another blast door (background) beyond which the side tunnel branches into access tunnels to the main chambers.


The bunker includes the renovated Missile Warning Center[17] and prior to the 2006-08 realignment, operations were "conducted at five major centers…the Command Center, Air Warning, Missile Correlation, Operations Intelligence Watch, and Space Control—by approximately 658 people, including support personnel."[3]:4 The Weather Support Unit was a major center,[18] and the Unified Space Vault and the Space Control Center were moved "from Cheyenne Mountain to the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB".[3]:8

Main chambers[]

The main chambers are a 4.5-acre (1.8 ha) rectangular grid with buildings that stand free of the rock, are joined by flexible vestibule connections,[citation needed] and are supported by 1,380[19] steel springs (937 under the original 11 buildings)[9] for earthquakes or NUDET ground shocks. The springs are ~1,000 lb (450 kg) each and support the buildings' structural steel frames that hold the building shells of ⅜ inch (9.5 mm) continuously welded low carbon steel plates, which along with connecting passages provide EMP shielding. Services include a cafeteria,[20] medical/dental facility, a two-bed ward, pharmacy, a small base exchange, barber shop,[citation needed] and physical fitness center (cf. "outside, the TSF").[21]

At the tunnel B and tunnel 2 command center chamber (intersection B-2), a shear zone within the overhead granite is supported by a dome ("concrete sphere") of 98 ft (30 m) diameter[22] over the "Center Buildings".[23]:319 The bunker also uses 115,000 bolts extending 6.6–30 ft (2.0–9.1 m) into the overhead granite and torqued for 40 kg/m2 to prevent fracturing.[22] Netting is used to stop falling rock, and drainage is provided to channel water dripping from the rock.

Access Tunnel[]

The Access Tunnel (colloq. "blast tunnel") of 4,700 ft (1,400 m) includes a curved North Access Tunnel of 1,416 ft (432 m) "for use by personnel and vehicles" that is 29 ft × 22.5 ft high (8.8 m × 6.9 m), a South Access Tunnel with a slight curve, and the connecting straight Central Access Tunnel.[24] The tunnel with blast doors closed after a "button-up period"[25] can withstand a nuclear explosion causing up to 600 psi (4,100 kPa) overpressure at the exterior surface of the mountain[12] (e.g., blast valves automatically close).[20] A short turnaround tunnel near the North blast door provides a larger area for shuttle buses to reverse direction from/to the exterior parking lots [8]—the original 412 car lot is on 470,000 cu yd (360,000 m3) of granite fill "dumped in a canyon".[9]

Support area[]

The support area stores 500,000 US gal (1,900,000 l) of diesel at the bunker's lowest excavated level[22] four banks of batteries[20] and six 1,750 KW diesel generators to back up Colorado Springs Utilities electricity into the bunker. The 4 water reservoirs (1 for freshwater)[19] hold 1,800,000 US gal (6,800,000 l) drinking water and over 5,300,000 US gal (20,000,000 l) "industrial water".[22] Incoming air mainly through blast valves in the South Access Tunnel may be filtered to remove chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear pathogens/particles.


United States defense plans in 1945 and 1947 "recommended moving ADC Headquarters from Mitchel Field [New York] to a more central location…in a protected command center … designed to withstand attack by all foreseeable weapons"[26] (e.g., "German A-4 type" missiles).[27] The subsequent concrete block command post at Ent AFB, Colorado, was completed in May 1954[28]:261 and supported October 1953's "The New Look" strategy: "to minimize the [Soviet] threat",[29] "the major purpose of air defense was not to shoot down enemy bombers--it was to allow SAC"[28] bombers "to get into the air [and] not be destroyed on the ground [to allow] massive retaliation".[30] In December 1956 the CONAD commander requested a bunker to replace the above-ground Ent blockhouse,[28] and the 1957 Gaither Commission identified "little likelihood of SAC's bombers surviving since there was no way to detect an incoming attack until the first [ICBM] warhead landed".[31]:6 In the 1950s American Telephone and Telegraph "hardened many of its switching centers, putting them in deep underground bunkers",[32] and in 1959 Canada's NORAD bunker was begun.

On February 11, 1959, the JCS approved the US bunker project and assigned development to the USAF[28]:262 which selected the "NORAD cave" site based on RAND's recommendation.[12]:18 JCS site approval was March 18, 1959,[23]:312 and the firm of Parsons, Brinkerhoff, Hall, and MacDonald was contracted for the design.[citation needed] Following an August 1959 Nike ABM interception of a test missile, the mission was expanded to "a hardened center from which CINCNORAD would supervise and direct operations against space attack as well as air attack"[33] (NORAD assumed "operational control of all space assets with the formation of" SPADATS in October 1960.)[31]:9 After DoD cut back of planned SAGE "Super Combat Centers" (SCCs) with underground solid state computers in 1959,[34] a[specify]

cancelled all SCCs in February 1960.[28]  In 1963, the NORAD command center operations were moved from Ent AFB to the Chidlaw Building's partially underground Combined Operations Center[35] ("war room").[36]


On May 2, 1961, "for the excavation work of the granite mountain",[37]:45 Utah Construction & Mining was selected from 13 bidders[24] for the ~$6 million mining contract.[38] Excavation for roads and a base camp[39] began May 18, 1961;[23] blasting began May 25;[9] tunneling from the South began June 20 (North on July 10);[24] and the 2 tunnel excavations had met by November 16.[40] Colorado School of Mines' Dr Livingston designated precision blasting to prevent later fracture of remaining granite[22] and on December 21, 1961, with excavation 53% complete there were 200 workers on a wildcat strike.[1]

On February 21, 1963, for "NORAD Phase II Facilities" ($6,969,000 plus $106,000 additional funds)[41] Continental Consolidated was contracted for interior construction[42] that began in March[9] and included clearing the water reservoirs[41] and erecting 11 buildings with 170,000 sq ft (3.9 acres) of space:[37]:45 8 three-story buildings in the "main chambers" and 3 two-story buildings in the support area.[9] On June 5, 1963, visiting President Kennedy was briefed on the bunker's status [43] (his chair is at the Peterson Air and Space Museum.)[44] Grafe-Wallace, Inc and J. M. Foster Co. received "a joint $7,212,033 contract for installation of utilities and blast-control equipment in April 1964" (e.g., the original six 956-KW diesel powered generators).[9] Burroughs had the $40 million prime contract for the electronics[40] which included an $800,000 camera/projector system for 13 ft × 16 ft (4.0 m × 4.9 m) images[22] from the custom-built RCA Display Information Processor.[45]

On May 1, 1964, "excavations for the hardened COC" ended,[12] and the main chambers B-2 dome was completed in May.[22] The "NORAD/CONAD Combat Operations Center" was ready for initial manning on May 18, 1964 (NORAD began manning the COC on October 30.)[23] On January 20, 1965, the Cheyenne Mountain Complex was renamed to "NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex" (NCMC) and on May 7, "the first piece of major equipment, a Philco 212 Computer, had been placed in the NORAD Combat Operations Center"[46] (NCOC) for the 425L system.[45] In June, 3 buildings began occupancy ("South Center Building" on the 11th, "North Center Building": 17th, "Center Building": 28th), basic testing was satisfactory on December 15,[23]:319 and all 11 underground buildings were complete in December.[12] In 1966, the Electronic Systems Division (ESD) turned the bunker's COC over to NORAD on January 1,[46] the NCMC was accepted on February 8, and a 3rd Philco 212 became operational on March 31[23]:319 for the bunker's 496L system.[45] The Chidlaw Combined Operations Center mission transferred to the bunker on April 20[35] when the 425L system became operational,[23] the NORAD Attack Warning System (NAWS) became operational on May 20,[23] and Cheyenne Mountain systems became[when?] "the nucleus of the worldwide Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment (ITW/AA) system".[47]

On July 1, 1966, full operational capability (FOC) of the COC[46] (425L "Command/Control and Missile Warning system")[45] was achieved, integrating data from other "Big L" systems:[48] "the Intelligence Data Handling System, the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, Defense Communications Agency's Continental United States network [e.g., from 8 416L AN/FSQ-8s] and the [Ent AFB] Space Defense Center".[46] "Blast-resistant" communication with the DCA network (800 military installations) was originally via Cheyenne Mountain's 2 radio data links and 4 ground lines of the Close-in Automatic Route Restoral System (CARRS).[49] CARRS nodes included the Black Forest Microwave Station of AT&T to the northeast[50] and the Lamar Communications Facility east-southeast[51] (initially of the 47th Communications Group).[52] The Aviano Air Base correlation center for the Forward Scatter over the Horizon Radar network (440L system with AN/FRT-80 transmitters & AN/FSQ-76 receivers) was[when?] also connected to the NORAD Combat Operation Center.[23]:260 By January 4, 1967, the Civil Defense National Warning Center was in the bunker[9] for transmitting to public broadcasting stations.[53]

For the Group III Space Defense Center[54] (496L System[55] following the earlier 496L sites at Hanscom Field & then Ent), the ~$5 million Delta I computer system became operational at the bunker on October 28, 1966,[46] "adjacent to the NORAD command center" (on February 6, 1967, the 1st Aero's SDC operations moved from Ent AFB to the bunker.)[56] The Ballistic Missile Defense Centre[57] authorized in April 1970 and installed in January 1974 "collocated with the…Combat Operations Center" was "the highest echelon of command in the SAFEGUARD System" for the LIM-49 Spartan ABM.[58]


NORAD's Information Processing Improvement Program[45] (ESD program 427M[46] contracted in 1972,[45] operational in 1979)[18] was for 3 "major segments" at Cheyenne mountain:[59] the Communication System Segment (CSS), NORAD Computer System (NCS, replacing the 425L system),[45] and Space Computational Center (SCC, replacing the SDC 496L system).[55] On January 19, 1973, "System Development Corporation was awarded a $15,850,542 contract to update satellite information processing"[46] (a 2nd phase was mainly for SCC software/displays.)[60] In 1977 to replace the original UNIVAC 1106 of the "Command Center Processing system",[45] HQ USAF approved the acquisition of a UNIVAC 1100/42 for the Command and Control Processing and Display System (CCPDS).[61] By 1978, the NORAD Combat Operations Center was "composed of a command post and five operating centers": Battle Staff Support Center, Weather Support Unit, Intelligence Center, System Center (consolidating all data to the Command Center), and Space Computational Center.[45] In 1979 the Space Defense Operations Center (SPADOC) was established[62] in the NCMC for command and control of the SSN (the 1985 SPADOC backup was at Eglin AFB),[63] and on July 11, Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan visited Cheyenne Mountain.[64] In 1981 the SCC and the System Center each had 2 H6080 computers.[61]

Under the Strategic Defense Architecture (SDA-2000), on December 23, 1980, after a November NCS "exhaustive test"[65] the USAF declared FOC for the 1st 7 JSS ROCCs providing aircraft tracks to Cheyenne Mountain.[46] By 1981 Cheyenne Mountain was providing 6,700 messages per hour[66] compiled via sensor inputs from the JSS, BMEWS (474L system),[48] the SLBM "Detection and Warning System, COBRA DANE, and PARCS as well as SEWS and PAVE PAWS" for transmission to the NCA (Pentagon's NMCC, Raven Rock's ANMCC, and SAC's Offutt/Notch command posts).[61] The Air Defense Operations Center (ADOC) began an upgrade in 1986,[55] the Survivable Communications Integration System (SCIS) development was approved in 1986,[67]:10 and GTE was the 1988 contractor for a $281 million computer communication improvement (switchover to generators took too long).[68] In 1988 for coordinating the SSN, development of the bunker's Space Surveillance Center (SSC) was approved.[69]

The Cheyenne Mountain Upgrade (CMU) of November 1988 consolidated 5 improvement programs[70]:15 for $968 million that had been delayed beyond the planned completion in 1987:[71] CCPDS Replacement (CCPDS-R), CSS Replacement (CSS-R), Granite Sentry upgrade, SCIS, & SPADOC 4.[72] SPADOC 4 was for upgrading the SCC with primary & backup 3090-200J mainframes),[72] and SPADOC 4 block A achieved IOC in April 1989.[73] The CSS-R "first element" achieved IOC on April 12, 1991;[74] and the 427M system was replaced c. 1992.[75] The CSSR, SCIS, Granite Sentry, CCPDS-R, and their interfaces were tested in 1997 (Granite Sentry NUDET data processing was "not adequate").[18]

By 1992, the U.S. Space Command Space Surveillance Center (SSC) was the "data analysis and tracking center" for Baker-Nunn camera images[76] and Cheyenne Mountain was connected to the GWEN[67]:16 communication site toward Pueblo, Colorado. By 1995 the HAVE STARE radar had been upgraded to "relay data to Cheyenne Mountain",[77]:b and by October 1995 the 1CACS in the bunker[where?] was providing collision avoidance data to the "Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center's space control center".[78] In June 1993, the "Cheyenne Mountain Complex Operations Center" included the "USSPACE and NORAD Command Center", "NORAD Air Defense Operations Center (ADOC)", "NORAD/USSPACECOM Combined Intelligence Watch Center (CIWC)", "USSPACECOM Space Defense Operations Center (SPADOC)", "USSPACECOM Space Surveillance Center (SSC)", "AFSPACECOM Weather Operations Center", and "AFSPACECOM Systems Center".[79] By July 1994, an initiative had begun to "collocate the USSPACECOM and NORAD command centers",[4] and in February 1995, the "missile warning center at Cheyenne Mountain AS [was] undergoing a $450 million upgrade program as part of Cheyenne Mountain's $1.7 billion renovation package".[80]

The Combatant Commander's Integrated Command and Control System (CCIC2S) program began in 2000 with a Lockheed Martin[62] contract "to upgrade all of the mission systems within Cheyenne Mountain, which included the space surveillance systems" for delivery in 2006.[72]:11 The portion of CCIC2S modernizing "attack warning systems within Cheyenne Mountain [was to] cost more than $700 million from fiscal years 2000 to 2006",[81] and the delayed CCIC2S upgrades for space surveillance were superseded[when?] by systems for the Joint Space Operations Center's Space C2 program and Integrated Space Situational Awareness program.[72]:11 By 2003, consoles for the Ground-Based Mid-Course Defense (GMD) had been contracted for Cheyenne Mountain,[82] and the planned 18 month Cheyenne Mountain Realignment to move Command Center operations to Peterson AFB[83] was complete by May 13, 2008.[84] On August 3, 2011, a ribbon cutting was held for the January 2010-June 30, 2011, Missile Warning Center renovation funded by USSTRATCOM.[17]


Electronic Systems Division Detachment 10 at Ent AFB became the Cheyenne Mountain Complex Management Office (CMCMO) in 1963,[46] the year the Chidlaw Combined Operations Center began operations; and on February 15, 1980, ESD Detachment 2 was established[46] at the "Cheyenne Mountain complex" (Det 2 became the AFSC focal point during the Cheynne Mountain Upgrade.)[73] Aerospace Defense Command organizations in the bunker became a specified command when the major command ended in 1980; e.g., the J31 unit of HQ NORAD/ADCOM subsequently manned the Space Surveillance Center in the same room as the Missile Warning Center (separated by partitions).[35] The "HQ Cheyenne Mountain Support Group…was activated at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex" in October 1981[35] to support the Aerospace Defense Center's operation of the NORAD combat operations center".[6] In 1983 the Foreign Technology Division had an operating location at the bunker[85] and in 1992, an airman of the "1010th Civil Engineering Squadron at Cheyenne Mountain AFB" developed a 3-D AUTOCADD model of the bunker "to zoom in on a specific room".[86]

By 1995 a "missile operations section" supported the missile warning center,[80] and in 2001 the 1989 1CACS at Cheyenne Mountain AFS was renamed the 1st Space Control Squadron.[87] On June 24, 1994, when the "Joint Task Force — Cheyenne Mountain Operations organization was brought online to take responsibility for the installation", Brig. Gen. Donald Peterson was the commander of the JTF,[5] which was renamed the "U.S. Space Command Cheyenne Mountain operations center" by March 1995[77]:a (the unit had an exercise branch in June 1996).[88] On July 28, 2006, the Cheyenne Mountain Realignment[3] redesignated the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate to the Cheyenne Mountain Division.[14] Circa 2004 the bunker included the 17th Test Squadron's Detachment 2 and AFTAC's research laboratory,[13] in 2008 Detachment 1 of the 392nd Training Squadron operated the Cheyenne Mountain Training System (CMTS),[89] and in 2011 the installation's 721st SFS was expanded.[90]

In popular culture[]

  • Cheyenne Mountain plays a role in the plot of the series Jeremiah.
  • In films, WarGames (1983) is set partly at the command center, in The Terminator series, it was used as the installation site for Skynet, and in Independence Day (1996), aliens destroy the installation.
  • In games, Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (2001) uses the complex for cryogenic stasis after a nuclear war, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 uses filmed video of the base.
  • In novels, the bunker is destroyed in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966), is infiltrated in For Special Services (1982), is a government site in Footfall (1985), and is a non-neuro stronghold in Brain Jack (2011).
  • In television, Stargate SG-1 is set primarily at Cheyenne Mountain, positing that the installation is in fact the secret headquarters of an interplanetary exploration arm of the Air Force called Stargate Command.

See also[]

External media
construction scaffolding
c. 1972 Space Defense Center
BMDC Operations Room (p. 12-4)
Space Computational Center
landform viewed from Ent AFB site
Super Structures of the World
map with chambers' letters/numbers (minute 14:42)
1970s exterior footage (minute 6:50)


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Miners Walk Off Defense Tunnel Job" (Google News Archive). December 21, 1961.,1788871. Retrieved 2012-07-28. "popularly known as the NORAD cave" 
    "Air Defense Site Hit By Strike" (Google News Archive). December 21, 1961.,1086249. Retrieved 2012-07-28. "…wildcat strike…" 
  2. "NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex ITW/AA" (federal solicitation). April 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 D'Agostino, Davi M (May 21, 2007). Defense Infrastructure: Full Costs and Security Implications of Cheyenne Mountain Realignment Have Not Been Determined (Report). United States General Accounting Office (GAO--07-803R). Retrieved 2012-09-09. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Orban, SSgt. Brian (July 1994). "Outstanding!". 
  5. 5.0 5.1 [author not identified] (July 1994). "Joint Task Force activates". p. 12. "CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AS, Colo. — The commander in chief of North American Aerospace Defense Command … also the commander in chief of U.S. Space Command and commander of Air Force Space Command … the task force also handles space operations associated with space control and integrated tactical warning and attack assessment. …the 721st Space Group at Peterson AFB, Colo., moved under the joint task force. … In April, [General Charles Horner designated 14th Air Force as USSPACECOM's functional component for Air Force space operations under the SPACEAF title." 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Lepingwell, John W. R. (June 1986) (Research Report No. 86-2 p). Soviet Assessments of North American Air Defense (Report). MIT Center for International Studies: Soviet Security Studies Working Group. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  7. Macomber, Frank (November 16, 1961). "Part 2: The Detectives".,3056351. Retrieved 2013-01-29.      Part 1: The 'Alarm Clock'   Part 3: $66 million phone booth
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Finley, Bruce (2006-12-26). "Military to put Cheyenne Mountain on standby". Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 "America's Defense Tied to City in Mountain" (Google News Archive). Lewiston, Maine. January 4, 1967.,463764. Retrieved 2012-08-29. "937 of these coiled springs under the 11 buildings … main excavation consists of three chambers…588 feet long, crossed by three [sic] chambers…335 feet long" 
  10. "Saturday June 9 – Colorado Springs CO". Colorado Trip 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Zubeck, Pam (June 16, 2006). "Cheyenne Mountain’s fate may lie in study contents". Colorado Springs. Retrieved 2012-07-22. "Cheyenne Mountain's command center was revamped at a cost of $13 million in 2003 and 2004." 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 (NORAD Hist Ref Paper 12) NORAD's Underground Combat Operations Center, 1956-1966 (Report). 1966. pp. 22–23.  (cited by Schaffel p. 253: "withstand effects of nuclear attack from weapons of up to 30 megatons where overpressure on the surface would be 600 pounds per square inch.")
  13. 13.0 13.1 "AFSPC Cheyenne Mountain AFS". Retrieved 2013-01-24.  (mirror website of c. 2004 webpage at[1]
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Cheyenne Mountain Complex". North American Aerospace Defense Command. Retrieved 2012-07-19. "On July 28, 2006, the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate was re-designated as the Cheyenne Mountain Division" 
  15. "The 721st MSG, the landlord of Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station". Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  16. Google Maps (copyright 2012) (Google-designated summit). Cheyenne Mountain (Map).,-104.88081&hl=en&ll=38.738084,-104.861283&spn=0.021189,0.052142&sll=38.725095,-104.892998&sspn=0.042387,0.104284&t=m&z=15. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Cheyenne Mountain unveils renovated Missile Warning Center". Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 (webpage transcription) FY97 DOT&E Annual Report (Report). Retrieved 2012-09-09. "CMU also upgrades and provides new capability to survivable communication and warning elements at the National Military Command Center (NMCC), U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), and other forward user locations. CMU additionally provides at Offutt, AFB an austere backup to Cheyenne Mountain ballistic missile warning." 
  19. 19.0 19.1 Greenberg, Paul (October 3, 1985). "NORAD Keeps Vigil On Airspace" (Google News Archive). p. A–4.,324044&dq=norad+reservoir+rowboat&hl=en. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "America's Fortress: Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD live on". cnet. June 27, 2009. Retrieved 2013-01-29 there's actually a natural spring within the granite that supplies more water than the base uses.. 
  21. "Peterson Force Support Squadron" ([webpage URL needs identified]). "Outside, the TSF has a 1000 sq ft facility with cardiovascular and weight training equipment, a coed sauna, and men’s and women’s locker rooms. … Inside Cheyenne Mountain on the second floor is a 4200 sq ft facility with cardiovascular, weight training equipment, locker rooms with saunas, and a cardio theatre. Outside, near the gate, is a racquetball facility with 2 courts and a men’s and women’s locker room. Mountain Man park is located near the racquetball facility which offers a softball field, basketball, sand volleyball, horseshoes, a putting green, and picnic areas." 
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 "Cheyenne Mountain". "for the Learning Channel". 1999. Retrieved 2012.  46:40 total time (broadcast on the Discovery Channel)
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 23.6 23.7 23.8 Leonard, Barry (c. 1986[specify]) ( PDF -- also available at Google Books). History of Strategic and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume II: 1956-1972. Retrieved 2012-09-01. "The missile and space surveillance and warning system currently[specify] consists of five systems and a space computational center located in the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain complex. The five systems are: the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System; the Defense Support Program (DSP) formerly called Project 647; the Forward Scatter over the Horizon Radar (440L system); the Sea-Launched Ballistic Missile Warning System; and the Space Detection and Warning System. … 20 April The 425L system portion of the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex (NCMC) became fully operational." 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Howes, Merwin H. (1/1/1966). "Methods and costs of constructing the underground facility…at Cheyenne Mountain…". Retrieved 2012-07-28.  (abstract)
  25. "Cheyenne Mountain - generic Protective Obstruction Review Guide (Hardening)" (PDF).  The guide cites "Project 51-VAR-NME Additional Facilities-Utility Study", (A) Parsons, Brinkerhoff, Hall, and MacDonald for Washington District, Corps of Engineers, December, 1958
  26. 1945 U.S. Air Defense Plan & 1947 Radar Fence Plan approved by the USAF Chief of Staff on November 21, 1947 (cited by Schaffel p. 72). NOTE': Stratemeyer submitted the Air Defense Plan (Short Term) 1946-1947 to Carl Spaatz in "late November 1946" (Schaffel p. 62).
  27. "subj: Development of Radar Equipment for Detecting and Countering Missiles of the German A-4 type". USAFHRC microfilm. Dec 27, 1946.  (cited by Schaffel, p. 314)
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Schaffel, Kenneth (1991). "Emerging Shield: The Air Force and the Evolution of Continental Air Defense 1945-1960" (45MB pdf). General Histories (Office of Air Force History). ISBN 0-912799-60-9. Retrieved 2011-09-26. "In December 1956 [Partridge] requested that the Air Staff consider an underground location for the COC" 
  29. Joint Chiefs of Staff summary[specify] (cited by Schaffel p. 194)
  30. Canadian House of Commons transcript (quoted by Schaffel, p. 251 -- speaker not identified). Note: Massive retaliation was "espoused publicly in January 1954 by Eisenhower's Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles" (Schaffel p. 194)
  31. 31.0 31.1 Freeman, Maj Steve (1997--Vol 5, No 6 [September]: Special Anniversary Edition). "Visionaries, Cold War, hard work built the foundations of Air Force Space Command". "NORAD…first binational, joint-service military command on the North American continent. … the Baker Nunns came on-line and formed the backbone of the early U.S. spacetrack effort. … In December 1958…ARPA established a spacetrack network under Project Shepherd, and [ARDC] assumed the spacetrack mission for the Air Force. … In late 1959, ARPA opened the 474L System Program Office [which] activated three [BMEWS] radars…at Thule…(1960); Clear…(1961); and RAF Fylingdales Moor, England (1963). … ARDC set up the Interim National Space Surveillance Control Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass. in January 1960" 
  32. Getting MAD: Nuclear Mutual Assured Destruction, Its Origins and Practice - Henry D. Sokolski - Google Boeken. Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  33. title tbd (Report). Air Research and Development Command.  (cited by Schaffel, p. 262)
  34. Department of Defense 1959 "Master Air Defense Plan" (cited by Schaffel) — cf. June 1959 Missile Master Plan [2][3]
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 "NORAD Chronology". Retrieved 2012-09-21.  (cf. "NORAD Selected Chronology")
  37. 37.0 37.1 Winkler, David F; Webster, Julie L (June 1997). Searching the Skies: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program (Report). U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  38. "Media Photos and Captions" (caption for photo exhibit). September 19, 2001. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  39. "Utah Construction/Utah International NORAD". 2004-09-14. Retrieved 2012-08-08. "roads" 
    "Mt. Cheyenne" (photo caption). University of Minnesota: UMedia archive. last modified January 9, 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-09. "base camp" 
  40. 40.0 40.1 "NORAD" (Google News Archive). November 16, 1961.,3056351. Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  41. 41.0 41.1 {{cite web [US government[specify] |date=May 8, 1969 |title=B-159934 |url= legal contract memorandum to Continental Consolidated Construction Co. | |accessdate=2013-01-29}}
  42. thread posting "The Evolution to Aerospace Defense (1959-1979)". AESA Technology - Next Generation Radar. 2006-03-29. thread posting. Retrieved 2012-07-28.  (webpage's citation superscript 60 does not identify reference 60.)
  43. A NORAD TIMELINE | HighBeam Business: Arrive Prepared. (2008-05-11). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  44. Bainbridge, Jim. (2005-06-24) Turning back the clock. Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 45.3 45.4 45.5 45.6 45.7 45.8 "NORAD's Information Processing Improvement Program: Will It Enhance Mission Capability?" (Report to Congress). Comptroller General. September 21, 1978. Retrieved 2013-01-24 -- The 425L Command/Control and Missile Warning system uses a Philco 212 computer in conjunction with two Univac 1218 processors and the Display Information Processor, a custom built unit provided by RCA. In addition, another Philco 212 computer acts as an on-line backup for this system. -- The 496L Spacetrack system uses a Philco 212 computer as its primary processor. -- The Command Center Processing system uses a Univac 1106 computer and provides all Commanders--In- Chief with simultaneous situation displays. -- The Intelligence Data Handling system uses two Honeywell 6060 computers to process intelligence data for the Commander-In-Chief, NORAD. -- The off-line utility processors are two Philco 1000 computers which can also serve as backup processors for the 496L system and the Automatic Digital Relay Switch, if necessary. … The NCS segment will replace the 425L Command and Control system including the Univac 1218s, the 425L Back-up system, the Command Center Processing system, and the Display Information Processor. The Univac 1106 presently used in the Command Center Processing system will be used for a Mission Essential Back-up Capability (MEBU) … The NOVA 840 computers currently used for Communications Multiplexors and Inter-computer Processors for the HIS 6050s could be used to perform the 6050 functions. 
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 46.4 46.5 46.6 46.7 46.8 46.9 Del Papa, Dr. E. Michael; Warner, Mary P (October 1987). A Historical Chronology of the Electronic Systems Division 1947-1986 (Report). Retrieved 2012-07-19. "1966…NORAD…Combat Operations Center…integrated several distinct systems into a single workable unit to provide the NORAD Commander with the necessary information and control to perform his mission. … the Space Defense Center combining the Air Force's Space Track and the Navy's Spasur." 
  47. transcribed text Status of the Cheyenne Mountain Upgrade Program (Report). Attack Warning. U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO/AIMD-94-175). September 1994. transcribed text. Retrieved 2013-01-23. "These upgrades, known collectively as the Cheyenne Mountain Upgrade (CMU) program, are intended to modernize the systems which are the nucleus of the worldwide Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment (ITW/AA) system. … Phase III of Granite Sentry is operational" 
  48. 48.0 48.1 (Google Books) title tbd. "SAGE—Air Force project 416L—became the pattern for at least twenty-five other major military command-control systems… These were the so-called "Big L" systems [and] included 425L, the NORAD system; 438L, the Air Force Intelligence Data Handling System; and 474L, the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS). … Project 465L, the SAC Control System (SACCS) [with] over a million lines, reached four times the size of the SAGE code and consumed 1,400 man-years of programming; SDC invented a major computer language, JOVIAL, specifically for this project. … In 1962 the SACCS was expanded to become [WWMCCS]" 
  49. "A Blast-Resistant Communications Network". October 1965. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  50. EVER WONDER? AT&T caused NORAD blackout; Cresterra Parkway. (2011-08-26). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  51. "Yahoo! Groups". Retrieved 2012-11-27.  & "Military Construction". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  52. Tyler, Tim (July 29, 2009). "Re: [coldwarcomms Lamar Colorado"]. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  53. "Code Word "Hatefulness": The Great EBS Scare of 1971". CONELRAD Adjacent. September 15, 2010. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 Conoley, Lt Col Ellis K (May 1990) (AD-A241 265). Cheyenne Mountain System Acquisitions: Problems and Principles (Report). Air War College. Retrieved 2012-08-06. "the Air Force began to construct a survivable Combat Operations Center (COC) to house the operational NORAD centers [including] the NORAD Command Post, the Battle Staff Support Center, the Weather Support Unit, and the Air Defense Operations Center (ADOC). … The Space Computational Center (SCC) would replace the 496L system. … The term "Cheyenne Mountain Complex" (CMC) was formalized to mean all of the computer systems within the mountain." 
  56. [1961-1969 Historical reports][which?] located at "Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB AL, AFHRA Microfilm reel KO363" (Report). 1st Aerospace Surveillance and Control Squadron. 
  57. McCamley, Nicholas J (2002). "NORAD and the Cheyenne Mountain Complex". Cold War Secret Nuclear Bunkers: The Passive Defence of the Western World During the Cold War. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-746-5. Retrieved 2012-07-28. "self-sufficient in power, food and water for thirty days" 
  58. "Chapter 12. Ballistic Missile Defense Center". ABM R & D at Bell Laboratories: Project History, Part II. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  59. (MASAD-81-30) NORAD's Missile Warning System: What Went Wrong? (Report). U.S. Government Accountability Office. May 15, 1981. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  60. "title tbd" (NewspaperArchive scan). January 22, 1973. [full citation needed]
  61. 61.0 61.1 61.2 (ADA095409) Modernization of the WWMCCS Information System (WIS) (Report). United States House Committee on Armed Services. 19 January 1981. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  62. 62.0 62.1 "Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC)" ( mirror webpage of former "Official Site"). Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  63. "Chapter 12 Military Space Systems" (Handbook AU-18). Space Handbook. Air University Press. January 1985 (Twelfth Edition). pp. 12-11. "Baker-Nunn cameras…film data collection sites at Edwards AFB, California; St. Margarets, Newfoundland, Canada, and San Vito, Italy, transmit the data to the NCMC in two to four hours after collection." 12-12
  64. Murder in the Air. (1939-09-01). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  65. Cammarota, Lt. Col. Richard S ([when?]). "Defensive Watch". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  66. (minutes of "hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, Ninety-seventh Congress; May 19 and 20, 1981") Failures of the North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) attack warning system: (Report). United States Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2013-01-23. "at Norad is the establishment of a Systems Integration Office" 
  67. 67.0 67.1 "Status of the Survivable Communications Integration System". [when?]. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  68. Thompson, Mark (December 16, 1988). "Pentagon computer faulty, GAO says". Knight-Ridder Newspapers.,165489&dq=cheyenne-mountain-air-force-station&hl=en. Retrieved 2012-08-15. "new equipment that is over budget, late, and will not work, the General Accounting Office reported Thursday. Moving ahead with the $281 million purchase presents "a very high risk…" [with] "unstable software"… Nearly all the data…is funneled to Washington and Ottawa through the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. …the complex's 1400 workers. … The system's prime contractor is General Telephone and Electronics, Inc. … is now asking [for the 2 min power transfer] requirement to allow a restart within 35 minutes" 
  69. translated from the Germany SPADATS Wikipedia article version, which cites the English US SSN page and:
    • Spires, David N (2001--2nd edition). Beyond Horizons – A Half Century of Air Force Space Leadership. Washington DC. p. 237. [verification needed]
    • Hackett, George T (1994). Space debris and the tbd. p. 3. [full citation needed]
  70. (Report to the Chairman,[House] Subcommittee on Defense [Appropriations]) Costs to Modernize NORAD's Computer System Significantly Understated (Report). General Accounting Office[verification needed]. April 1991. Retrieved 2012-09-18.  (also available at
  71. "Granite Sentry". GAO? (IMTEC-92-84R). Retrieved 2012-10-02. [full citation needed]
  72. 72.0 72.1 72.2 72.3 Weeden, Brian C; Cefola, Paul J. Computer Systems and Algorithms for Space Situational Awareness: History and Future Development (Report). Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  73. 73.0 73.1 Better Management Required to Resolve NORAD Integration Deficiencies (Report). Attack Warning. U.S. Government Accountability Office (IMTEC-89-26). July 7, 1989. Retrieved 2012-09-19. "as of February 1989 … the three modernization program contractors … by August 1986, the need for a consistent message load requirement was well known among the Electronic Systems Command, the Mitre Corporation (the contractor), the Air Force Space Command and the Senior Review Group. … Mitre [contractor for] the Communications System Segment Replacement system"  Also available at Homeland Security Digital Library
  74. "New communications system operating". Air Force Space Command. June 1991. p. p. 5.  (also on p. 5: "Air Force" Space Command's headquarters building…received the prestigious Secretary of Defense Blue Seal Award…May 13 [designed by] Peckham, Guyton, Albers and Viets, Inc. … ground breaking ceremony on Aug. 28, 1985 [occupied] in November 1987. [The last such award] was the Air Force Academy Visitor's Center in 1988.")
  75. Simberg, Rand. (2009-02-11) Space Is Really Big | Transterrestrial Musings. Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  76. Office of Public Affairs (1992). "Space Control: Space Surveillance" (booklet). Space Command. HQ Air Force Space Command. p. 12. "AFSPACECOM … includes eight bases and seven stations: Cheyenne Mountain AFB… The…Baker-Nunn optical system … data analysis and tracking center [at] the USSPACECOM Space Surveillance Center, located at Cheyenne Mountain AFB" 
  77. 77.0 77.1 a. [author not identified] (March 1995). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". p. 12. 
    b. [author not identified] (October 1995). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". p. 15. 
  78. Price, SSgt Elton (October 1995). "Space insurance". Air Force Space Command. "the 1st CACS'…primary role is providing "accurate satellite position information of all earth orbiting objects" for the commander in chief of U.S. Space Command" 
  79. Bontrager, Capt. Mark D (1 August 1993--Third Edition). "Chapter14: Cheyenne Mountain Complex Operations Center Overview". Space Operations Orientation Course Handbook. Peterson AFB: 21st Crew Training Squadron. p. 1. 
  80. 80.0 80.1 Orban, SSgt. Brian (February 1995). "The trip wire". Air Force Space Command. p. 6. "North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command command center. … For more than 30 years, the crews operating the missile warning center inside Cheyenne Mountain have maintained an early warning trip line [for] incoming ballistic missiles" 
  81. Defense Acquisitions: Further Management and Oversight Changes Needed for Efforts to Modernize Cheyenne Mountain Attack Warning Systems (GAO-06-666) (Report). GAO. July 6, 2006.  [cited by GAO-07-803R p. 1, ref 4 af
  82. "Near Term Command and Control of Homeland Air and Missile Defense". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  83. (CRS Report for Congress: Order Code RL34342) Homeland Security: Roles and Missions for United States Northern Command (Report). Congressional Research Service. January 28, 2008. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  84. Harrell, Eben (June 27, 2008). "Still Training for the End of the World".,9171,1826276,00.html. Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  85. Fennessy, D (12 January 1983) (Report AH-23). Analysis of Cosmos 1220 and Cosmos 1306 Fragments (Secret) (Report). Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado: FTD/OLAI. 
  86. Hall, SSgt Jesse (April 1991). "Mapping the mountain". p. 12. "at Cheyenne Mountain AFB…Amn. Steven H. Leser…is currently working a "pet project" that offers engineers a three-dimensional drawing of Cheyenne Mountain's interior." 
    "CES airmen is first termer of year". March 1992. p. p. 13.  (additional article on March 1992 p. 13 identifies the "47th Communications Group, Cheyenne Mountain AFB")
  87. "1 Space Control Squadron (AFSPC)" (USAF Fact Sheet). Retrieved 2012-09-22. "Constituted 1 Command and Control Squadron on 30 Nov 1989. Activated on 1 Dec 1989. Redesignated 1 Space Control Squadron on 1 Oct 2001." 
  88. "Recognizing its best". June 1996. "Master Sgt. Carl Howell … helped develop a theater missile warning exercise." 
  90. "United States Air Force - Fiscal Year 2011 Force Structure Announcement" ( webpage). Public Affairs[verification needed]. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 

Coordinates: 38°44′32.91″N 104°50′54.40″W / 38.742475°N 104.848444°W / 38.742475; -104.848444

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