Netflix, if you love us sci-fi fans, you’ll bring back Stargate. And throw money at whoever handled the Marvel deal to do it.
Airman Magazine (official magazine of the US Air Force) is taking us on a trip through the famous bunker complex that was known as target #1 of the USSR during the Cold War. Had there been a nuclear exchange between the Soviets and America, the base, located near Colorado Springs, CO, would have seen a flurry of incoming ICBMs. Thankfully, that never happened and we get to enjoy the mysterious base on TV and in theaters.
The mountain itself is about 9,500 feet tall, and the tunnel entrance sits about 2,000 feet from the top. Though the complex may have changed names during the past five decades, its mission has never strayed from defending the U.S. and its allies. Today, it is known as Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, with a primary role of collecting information from satellites and ground-based sensors throughout the world and disseminating the data to North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Strategic Command — a process Steven Rose, Cheyenne Mountain AFS deputy director, compares to the work done by the stem of the human brain.
Predictably, we get to see the shots we are used to seeing on both the small and silver screen. You’ll recognize setting from dozens of movies including Terminator, War Games, Independence Day and others. Oh, and Interstellar. Love, TARS.
No shots of what crazy technology they are actually using in the mountain, but damn if it doesn’t make you wish for more Stargate. Come on Netflix, Amazon, Syfy, etc. As long as it’s not Fox. Good lord that network is kryptonite to anything remotely sci-fi.
Cheyenne Mountain Complex (NORAD) Facts
Here are eight quick facts you might not know about the installation.
1 – The complex is made up of 15 buildings. 13, 3-story buildings and two 2-story buildings. All inside the mountain. For additional nuclear protection, the entire complex is built on a series of 1,300 springs and eighteen inches from the rock wall. Why? It allows freedom of movement in the event of an earthquake or attack.
2 – The famous blast door we always see on screen or the TV? They are located in a side tunnel, off the main two-mile tunnel.
3 – Going to work during the Cold War was irritating. One of the 23-ton blast doors was always closed. Workers had to walk through one, let it cycle close, and then the other one would open.
4 – It’s an Air Force base, but they can thank the Navy and professional miners for the design. The Pentagon wanted a complex that could ‘ride out a blast’ and for the Navy to integrate their systems and steel into the design.
Geologists were brought in from the Colorado School of Mines to help convert the mountain into the complex it is today.
5 – Corner office? It doesn’t come with a window. All you would see is granite. The complex is outfitted with gyms, a convenience store and other comforts. Yeah, I want to know how many have plugged a gaming console into the main screen?
6 – Five lakes are located inside the mountain. Here’s a preppers dream. One is a sealed lake of diesel fuel. If power is lost from Colorado Springs, the complex can immediately shift to backup power. Another lake is for drinking water while the remaining three are backups.
7 – Don’t bother taking a trip. Those that show up hoping to see the iconic entrance will be disappointed. The main gate for the complex is over a mile from the pictures you see on TV.
8 – EMP protection. It’s one thing to shrug off an ICBM hit. The complex is completely shored up to protect against the accompanying EMP blast. It is a combination of the steel construction and being that deep inside the mountain that offers the level of protection.
Did you know? Permanently opened in 1992, the blast doors have been closed only once (non-maintenance) since. The Air Force complex buttoned up for a few hours during the September 11th attacks.
Check out the incredible photo essay from Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee at Airman Magazine.
Image credits: Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you make a purchase using one of the affiliated links.