A decade after being shut down by the Pentagon, the U.S. military is moving back into the infamous doomsday bunker that once housed the North American Aerospace Command (NORAD), known as The Cheyenne Mountain Complex.
Built between 1961 and 1966, The Cheyenne Mountain Complex was designed to be impervious to a Soviet nuclear attack.
The military installation was constructed under 2,000 feet of granite inside the Cheyenne Mountains of Colorado. During the height of the Cold War, it served as the United States Military’s primary command and control center against long-range Soviet bombers, ballistic missiles, and a nuclear attacks.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Soviet threat seemed a relic of the past; so in 2006 the military abandoned the Cheyenne complex, moving its NORAD headquarters to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. But this year the military started mysteriously moving back into the Cold War Complex.
Is the Military Preparing for EMP attacks?
Although the military is pretty tight-lipped on exactly who is moving back into the Cheyenne complex, and refuses to specify the ultimate purpose of that move, it looks like some of the reasoning may be to protect the military from an EMP attack.
Peter Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force, a bipartisan congressional commission, is saying the move is meant to protect sensitive military electronics from a potential EMP attack.
“What it could do, these various threats, is black out the U.S. electric grid for a protracted period of months or years,” warned Pry, “Nine out of ten Americans could die from starvation, disease and societal collapse, if the blackout lasted a year.”
Pry said a $700 million contract, awarded to the Raytheon Corporation, will upgrade electronics inside Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain facility. Since 2013, the Pentagon has awarded contracts worth more than $850 million for work related to Cheyenne Mountain.
And some military officials seem to be backing those claims…
The move back into the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to help the military protect the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said.
Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command said “Because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain is built, it’s EMP-hardened,” … “It wasn’t really designed to be that way, but the way it was constructed makes it that way.”
In a Pentagon press conference on April 7, 2015 Gortney told reporters that Cheyenne may still be needed.
“My primary concern was, are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there?” Adm. William Gortney told reporters. “I’m not at liberty to discuss who’s moving in there, but we do have that capability to be there.”
What is an EMP, and how big of a threat is it?
An electromagnetic pulse (commonly referred to as an EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation caused by the detonation of a nuclear device above the earth surface. In my opinion, this is one of the worst case scenarios that we can think of, because it could shut down the entire country’s power grid for years, possibly permanently.
While a number of nations possess the technology required to launch an attack, how likely they are to do so is really up for debate. That being said, earlier this year Iranian plans were uncovered that detailed how their military could launch a strategic EMP attack on the U.S., targeting the nation’s power grid.
While some say the risk is small, the fact that the U.S. military is moving back into the Cheyenne base suggests they have intelligence that the threat may be more serious than we’re being told.