Location: 38.744, -104.847 Phone: (719) 474-1110 DSN: 268-1110
Modified: November 10, 2014
Cheyenne Mountain is located close to Colorado Springs, in the El Paso county. It hosts an Air Force station and represents one of the toughest military constructions in the United States of America. Its mission has never changed since its construction and implies collecting data and intelligence through a wide variety of radars, satellites and sensors. The operations go on a 24/7 basis. Aside from the steel and concrete construction materials, the place is located about 600 m into the mountain. It hosts not more than 200 individuals from most US military fields, from the Army and Navy to the Air Force and Marine Corps. Other than that, a small part is open to civilians too. The open area includes a zoo and an archaeological site.
The history of this unusual base dates back to 1956, when a local commander suggested the construction of such an underground place to replace the vulnerable open facility Ent AFB from Colorado. Ent AFB was built above the ground and the constant evolution made it open to any potential risks. At the same time, the Russians proved a huge ability to launch extra continental nuclear weapons after they launched Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite sent by the humankind into space, in the autumn of 1957. As a response, the US government created the NORAD one year later. The mountain seemed an excellent place for the new base. It is located in the center of the continent, making it hard to reach. At the same time, there haven’t been recorded any earthquake activities in the area, making the place very secure. Other than that, it is “guarded” by a higher mountain, so any potential missiles would target and hit the other peak instead of this one. The actual construction began in 1961. The excavation ended in 1964, while the place became fully operational in 1966.
The initial mission of Cheyenne Mountain was to protect the country against the Russian threat. However, in time, the objectives went way farther than that. During the ’60s and the ’70s, the Intercontinental ballistic missile came as a new threat for the USA. NORAD developed new programs and techniques to defend against this new threat and launched the famous 427 M by the end of the ’70s. During the ’80s, the place went through a new series of improvements. Almost a billion USD were invested by 1987, for a new upgrading process to start in 1989. The most important mission Cheyenne Mountain was part of took place in the ’90s – providing missile warning during Operation Desert Storm.
Over the history, the computers malfunctioned three times – one time in 1979 and two times in 1980, providing false alerts regarding a mass attack. At the same time, the popularity of this place went in the popular culture too, starring in the popular Stargate franchise or the Jeremiah series, not to mention about the 2001 PC game Fallout.
Cheyenne Mountain is opened exclusively for the workers. If deployed there, you don’t have to worry about the housing system, as you will be automatically given a place to live in.