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Cheyenne Mountain Shutting Down 383

WilliamSChips writes "The United States military has announced that they are shutting down the facility at Cheyenne Mountain, home to the high-tech NORAD which tracks every object in the sky. NORAD's operations will be moved to the nearby Peterson Air Force base. The mountain facility is being placed on standby in case they need it again." From the article: "The Cheyenne Mountain center, at the eastern foot of the Rockies near the base of Pikes Peak, was constructed underground in the mid-1960s. Fearing nuclear attacks at the time, the United States built sites such as the Cheyenne Mountain complex. The Navy prepared a floating White House aboard the communications cruiser USS Northampton, in case the president needed to be evacuated from U.S. soil. Another protective bunker was created near White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., for members of Congress."
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Cheyenne Mountain Shutting Down

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  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) * on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:34PM (#15811974) Journal
    The stargate program is being expanded...

  • Auction! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:34PM (#15811975)
    Let's put it up for auction! This would be a really cool geek house. It would be even better than living in an old missile silo!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The disposal of one of our local bunkers made the papers a while ago. The bunker would be useless in a nuclear war. On the other hand, it would provide a real problem for the local police if it got into the hands of the Hell's Angels or someone like that. The bottom line was that there was no way the bunker was going to end up in private hands.
  • Santa (Score:5, Funny)

    by RealSurreal ( 620564 ) * on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:36PM (#15811988)
    I hope they're taking the Santa tracking equipment with them!
    • Don't worry, the government's Satan tracking equipment is located in a separate and very secret location. We all know Satan is behind the terrorists, and we need to keep a close eye on him.

      Huh... Santa? Wait, what?
    • Re:Santa (Score:5, Informative)

      by jdbartlett ( 941012 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:42PM (#15812028)
      Never ye fear:
      "Cheyenne Mountain is not going away," Keating told reporters Friday. "There will be a small number of people that will remain at Cheyenne Mountain to maintain the facility in the event we need to stand up for either a real world threat or for exercises. Day-to-day NORAD-North Com operations will occur from Peterson Air Force Base."
  • Stargate command is humanities first and last line of defense against the Goa'uld^H^H^HOri threat.

    Ahh. Who am I kidding. The show ended in the eighth season. The last two episodes caped it perfectly. It was time to decommission. Adios.
    • Re:Oblig SG-1 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Shinaku ( 757671 )
      I agree, everything was nicely rounded off end of season 8. But I guess they'll not stop it until it's no longer profitable.
      • shouldnt they go public before they stop making episodes? I mean, shouldnt stargate land earthlings know there is a stargate? other wise, humanity has got nowhere, I mean, even the crappy little backwater planets with a few man-apes on them know what the chapa-ai(sp?) is, but not the majority of the tari (sp2?).....
  • by jdbartlett ( 941012 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:38PM (#15812000)
    "Let's go burn down the observatory so this never happens again!"
  • Stargate (Score:2, Funny)

    by damiena ( 263598 )
    Where are they going to move the Stargate to then?
    • Where are they going to move the Stargate to then?

      They have to write this into the Stargate plot somehow. Otherwise the Stargate program then would be fiction. Oh, wait.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:44PM (#15812042)
    Will WOPR have the same phone number if it's moved too?
  • I bet that would make a good house. I wonder how long before the US sells this former base.
    • Better than a house, why doesnsold't Google buy it for their primary data center and lab were it to be auctioned off?

      (Yeah, I know, the base is not actually being docomissioned and sold, but it'd be the perfect data center were that the case)

      Can you imagine the attraction of such a center? Totally impervious to war, as resistant to acts of God as one can get, plenty of shielding from RFI, climate controlled, etc. etc. plus I'm sure they have massively redundant power and data connections (it'd kinda suck if
      • You'd probably be fired if you suggested something like that. And for good reason.

        Websites aren't nearly important enough to warrant the huge expense of operating in an underground mountain bunker. What's the point? If there were a nuclear war or some other gigantic disaster, there would be so many other outages and problems, not being able to access a website would be the last of people's concerns. That's assuming there'd even be electricity and computers left to access the web. And you'd save so

  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:46PM (#15812056)

    Maybe now we can take time out to port Linux to the WOPR. [] How about a nice game of GnuChess?

  • Oh, crap. (Score:5, Funny)

    by T-Ranger ( 10520 ) <jeffw@chebucto.[ ]ca ['ns.' in gap]> on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:50PM (#15812078) Homepage
    It looks like Ill have to find a new place to play bridge, poker, checkers, tic-tac-toe, chess, and global thermonuclear war.
  • by tprox ( 621523 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:51PM (#15812079)
    They're clearing it out so when Skynet goes online, John Connor will have somewhere to go and lead the rest of us to victory.
  • by interstellar_donkey ( 200782 ) <pathighgate&hotmail,com> on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:54PM (#15812104) Homepage Journal
    So, if I was a hostile nation that could sneak one suitcase bomb into the US, couldn't I just set it off near the AFB they're moving NORAD to before launching my missles?

    I'd kill all the NORAD personnel, and even if they were others it'd take them a few hours to get the mountain up and running. By then the missles will have already flown.
  • DIBBS on it! Mine, mine, mine. What a party shack that would be. Man, no noise complaints with that big assed door they have.
    • You're going to have to fight Dick Cheney for it. Word is that he's already moved his undisclosed location there, and he'll shoot any trespassers in the face.
  • Nooo! Wherever will we shoot our 1980's cult films now?!
  • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @01:58PM (#15812131)
    My fearless leader.....Dick Cheney....keeps telling me how we are in imminent danger of some rogue state, North Korea, Iraq, Iran or terrorist group, lobbing a nuke at us. On the one hand we have the whole "mushroom cloud" syndrome, and now the Pentagon tells me our penultimate bunker isn't really needed any more to defend our command and control center from a "mushroom cloud". Cheyenne Mountain actually wasn't worth much during the cold war when our main adversary had multi megaton nukes. It actually might stand up to the kiloton class nukes rogue states and terrorist groups are most likely to get. So we move command and control to a place where it will be relatively easy to destroy and decapitate one of the most critical command and control centers we have. And we do it AFTER we spend $700 million in a failed attempt to upgrade the one we are closing down. You really have to wonder if the people in charge really are completely incompetent to manage their own affairs let alone those of a superpower.
    • Cheyenne was built for a massive nuclear exchange between powers - when one could rely on most of the U.S. being wiped off the earth and the U.S. needed to maintain the capability to strike back in that event as a deterrent.

      Present threats - including those that you describe - do not have that capability. They have the ability to destroy a handful of cities at most, and a response is ensured through other means, without having to rely on this particular base any longer.

      The threat has changed - the U.S. is
      • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @03:12PM (#15812552)
        "Present threats - including those that you describe - do not have that capability."

        Actually Russia still has that capability, its somewhat smaller than it was but its still there. One wonders why people pretend its not still there when it is. Russia is making such a killing on their oil and gas reserves I imagine its unlikely they will bother with a nuclear war, but hey a coup and a wacko get the keys, or relations continue to sour, anything could happen.

        Relations with Russia are in fact not very good. The U.S. has been treating Russia like dirt since the U.S.S.R collapsed. Gary Kasparov, chess grand master and now Democracy advocates, makes the interesting observation that Putin may be cheering on the chaos in the Middle East because everything that inflates oil and gas prices is a windfall for Russia.

        All in all you have to wonder about the wisdom of replacing America's penultimate bunker and command and control facility with an extremely vulnerable office building that could easily be attacked with conventional weapons, a truck bomb or chemical or biological weapons. Cheyenne Mountain was, if nothing else, good for PR and intimidation value.

        One question would be where the ABM system is controlled from. If its NORAD, and your worried the ABM system might work, then you take out NORAD first and then open the door for the ICBM's from North Korea.

        All in all it just seems like a silly move to make especially after you've just sunk $700 million in to Cheyenne Mountain.
    • >Cheyenne Mountain actually wasn't worth much during the cold war when our main adversary had multi megaton nukes.

      Thousands of feet of rock can make a difference. I vaguely remember reading that the complex was rated for a 5 megaton direct hit, though without field testing or a base of experience on civil engineering for use near fireballs they should have had limited confidence. Multiple strikes would be another issue, one that would have transferred commaad to specialized aircraft, which we used to ke
  • Why not rent it ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thrill12 ( 711899 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @02:03PM (#15812161) Journal
    I am sure some narcistic, evil doctor would be very interested in acquiring a cave of his own (raises pink) muhahaha !

    Or, on a more serious note, we could just make a nice secure colocation facility there, beats Sealand [] or something like Virtu [] (and there are more [] like that)...

  • According to wikipedia [], it was the home of Skynet.

    In the Terminator series of movies, Cheyenne Mountain is where the mainframe of the rogue AI SkyNet is located.

    Just as well it's closing.

  • Usefullness? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by d2_m_viant ( 811261 )
    It seems to me as if this facility has outlived it's usefulness anyways. It's not so much a "secret" facility that few people know about, rather it's security comes basically from the fact that it's in a mountain. If some country wanted to attack us, all it would take would be to rain a couple nukes down on that mountain and it's out of commission. I'd like to see the work that this facility handles be moved to a top-secret location, it's simply too important to be common knowledge anymore. In actuality, it
    • If I recall the History Channel correctly, it would take more than a couple nukes to reach the facility...
    • I doubt that the system will lack redundancy. They'd be TOTAL fools to rely on a single AFB, even with hundreds or thousands of antiaircraft missiles and anti-missile missiles readily available. All it takes is a single nuke to go off within a few miles for the EMP burst to render all communications and data infrustructure useless.
  • Cheyanne Mountain is in Colorado Springs near Ft. Carson. and about an one hour and fourty minutes away from Pike's Peak (by car).
    • The only reason Pikes Peak is so far away by car is because you have to drive to the north side to get to the peak access road. As someone who worked at Cheyenne Mtn AFB from 90-93 I can say that it's reasonable to state that it's close to Pikes peak. I also believe, though I may be mistaken, that Cheyenne Mountain AFB is outside Colorado Springs city limits.
  • for them to realize the cold war is over. Pretty damn speedy for the military actually...
  • Yes yes, military business and nuclear weapons are all well and good, but answer me this: Will they still be tracking Santa?
    • My guess is that they're moving opperations to Santa's compound on the North Poll. Nobody (other then those closely tracking Santa's movements) knows where he is, so it's a pretty good place to hide a military instilation.

      Meanwhile, Santa is being relocated to an office building in Colorado Springs.
  • The bunker in White Sulphur Springs has the "pos" Green Brier resort above it, and you can take tours of the facility [].
  • by jonathansizz ( 942588 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @03:40PM (#15812703)
    Yep. No doubt about it; it's closing down alright *wink*

    It's now out of action - nothing going on in there anymore *smirk*

    Things sure will be different now that Cheyenne Mountain is ceasing all operations *nudge*
    • by ElephanTS ( 624421 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @08:20PM (#15813982)
      that's funny but I think it's true. There can only really be 2 reasons this is happening (based on my knowledge of miltary planning ahem)

      1. As you said, it's a bluff

      2. They've got something much much better built now and are going to it.

      The administration is busy commissioning more nuke weapons and Russia is becoming more threatening by the day. WW3 is near to breaking out all over the ME. No way are the military winding anything down.
  • by ursabear ( 818651 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @04:49PM (#15813056) Homepage Journal
    #>mput *.moviehumor
    #>put "Shall... we... play... a... game...?"?
    #>Sorry Dave, can't do that right now...

    But seriously... why would the government/military choose to put it on "warm standby" just now? Is it just budgetary?

    Sometimes shutting down stuff saves money, yes... but sometimes the costs aren't readable in print on a budget page...
  • by Wingsy ( 761354 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @04:59PM (#15813107)
    There were two ships, the Northhampton and the Wright. One was always at sea while the other was in port. I was on the USS Wright for a couple of years and it was a pretty cool place to be if you had to be somewhere in the Navy. During our 2-week cruise we would sail to some vacation resort (St. Thomas, St. Croix, Nova Scotia, Bermuda, etc) and tie up for a week. That was our "cruise". See, it carried so many top brass that us peons had it pretty good too - THEY didn't want to paddle around for 2 weeks at a time, so we always put in at some really nice port along the eastern seaboard. Captain was even nice enough to let us bring our motorcycles along. Like at San Juan, we had to report in at 8AM for a roll call, then we got on our bikes and toured the island until the next morning. The ship though, was something else. It was a converted aircraft carrier with a humongous antenna farm on the flight deck. The entire rear section of the ship was a powerful VLF transmitter, with vacuum tubes taller than I am. Each stage of the transmitter was in its own compartment (like the "Pi Network Room" sign on the door). They had this helicopter with twin interlocking blades (no tail rotor) that hauled a cable to 10,000 feet for the VLF antenna - the most powerful VLF transmitter in the world at that time (talking about ERP). All the pilot did was take off and land, as it was flown from the ship most of the time it was airborne. Most of the ship was off limits to everyone I knew, and all I did was calibrate & repair electronic test equipment. Ever see the bow of a carrier underwater? Like they say, it's an adventure. :)
    • by payndz ( 589033 ) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @05:36PM (#15813263)
      Wiki on the USS Wright []

      That's really cool - one of those things that you think are a bit Clancy-ish, and are then geeked out by when you find that they really existed (like the hover platforms from MGS3). The question is, of course: what replaced CC-2 and CLC-1? Any techno-thriller fan would demand some kind of super-secret nuclear-powered megaship constantly circling the globe without ever turning into port, with packs of bad guys just waiting for the ideal moment to strike and take it over...
  • by Scott Ransom ( 6419 ) <sransom@n r a o .edu> on Sunday July 30, 2006 @05:43PM (#15813288) the 90's when I was an exchange cadet at the US Air Force Academy. They gave us a tour of the place -- it really was quite amazing.

    The coolest thing was seeing all the "buildings" in there (yes, it is like a big open cave with buildings inside) mounted on massive steel springs. Also cool was seeing that the main access shaft goes (IIRC) completely through the mountain. The internal rooms are built behind a massive blast door or two (i.e. huge bank-vault-style doors) off to the side of the tunnel. That is to let a blast wave pass right through the mountain supposedly and not just bash against the blast doors.

    The most disappointing thing was finding out that the War Room was nothing like in the movies -- it is a tiny room about the size of a normal living room stuffed with computers (no "big board" or giant screens). There are only about 6-10 people working in there at any one time (lead by a one-star general/admiral).

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks