Citing the decreasing likelihood of a nuclear strike against the United States, the Pentagon is largely abandoning its operations at a Cold War icon: the hulking iron-and-granite complex known as Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colo., the Washington Post reported.
Since 1966, teams of U.S. and Canadian military personnel belonging to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, have provided round-the-clock staffing to the site’s high-tech “war room” and its 15 buildings, which are located about 2,000 feet underground at the eastern end of the Rocky Mountains.
At any given time, about 200 NORAD personnel monitored equipment capable of tracking missiles, long-range bombers and objects in space, including an apparent test of a North Korean missile earlier this month.
The facility will remain in “standby” mode, with a few people continuing to work there in case it needs to be reopened. No jobs will be lost in the process, the military said. Others will resume their duties at nearby Peterson Air Force Base, where the commander of NORAD already works.
Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, NORAD’s commander, assured reporters, according to the Post, that “moving the missions from a hardened facility to Peterson AFB does not change the level of security.”