The 25 ton front door!
My last tour of duty in the RAF was at the early warning radar station at Fylingdales, on the North Yorkshire Moors. As part of my job I visited the North American Air Defence Command headquarters at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force base in Colorado.
In those days it was the primary Underground command centre for monitoring the skies and space for hostile incoming weapons and it was built with the knowledge that it would be a primary target for a nuclear attack; as a result it is perhaps the most fortified large underground installation in the world. Even so, the military acknowledges that it could not withstand a direct hit from one of its own nuclear missiles.
The installation consists of 15 steel buildings, laid out in a 4.5 acre grid inside the mountain, and accessed through a tunnel and 30-ton blast doors. The buildings are suspended on 1,300 47″ steel springs to absorb the shock of a nuclear detonation. 30 days of supplies and six million gallons of water are stored inside the installation.
Take a tour of this remarkable structure and find out what happens there today:
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