Raven Rock Underground
Command Center (Site R)
An underground complex, built by the Department of Defense as an emergency shelter and electronic control center. Located underneath 650 acres in the hills near the Pennsylvania/Maryland border, Raven Rock, AKA "Site R", reportedly had a full-time staff of 350 for much of the Cold War. Officially now called the Alternate Joint Communications Center, the bunker went on-line in 1954. Representatives of all the military departments and the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the federal government were reportedly located here as a contingency against a wipeout of the command structure in the event of a nuclear war.
The site has 700,000 square feet of interior space, and enough room for 3,000 people. A new tenant is the Defense Information Systems Agency, Western Hemisphere, which operates the communication and command center located in the bunker. It is still used as a Continuity of Government location, and Dick Cheney is said to have stayed here after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Site R was supported by nearby Fort Ritchie, MD, a 638 acre Army post, with over 2,000 employees. It is now administered out of Fort Detrick, MD.
The Raven Rock Mountain Complex (RRMC) is a United States government facility on Raven Rock, a mountain in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is located about 14 km (8.7 miles) east of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, and 10 km (6.2 miles) north-northeast of Camp David, Maryland. It is also called the Raven Rock Military Complex, or simply Site R.
Other designations and nicknames include "The Rock", NMCC-R (National Military Command Center Reservation), ANMCC (Alternate National Military Command Center), AJCC (Alternate Joint Communications Center), "Backup Pentagon", or "Site RT"; the latter refers to the vast array of communication towers and equipment atop the mountain. Colloquially, the facility is known as the Underground Pentagon.
At the RRMC, the Defense Information Systems Agency computer operations staff provides computer services to the National Command Authority, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and other United States Department of Defense agencies.
Its largest tenant is not the Defense Threat Reduction Agency; the largest tenants are the ANMCC (Alternate National Military Command Center), JSSC (Joint Staff Support Center), OSD/DHS (Office of the Secretary of Defense/Department of Homeland Security), and the 114th Signal Battalion. RRMC also houses the emergency operations centers for the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The facility runs more than 38 communications systems for its users.
Many of the facility's activities are classified, and distribution of most unclassified information about the facility is discouraged by the government.
Planning for the site began in 1948. After the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear weapon in 1949, a high priority was established for the Joint Command Post to be placed in a protected location near Washington, D.C., for swift relocation of the National Command Authorities and the Joint Communications Service. The site is near Camp David (then known as "Shangri-La"). In 1950, President Harry S Truman approved making Raven Rock part of Camp Albert Ritchie, Maryland. This new site was named the Alternate Joint Communications Center (AJCC) Site R. Construction of the facility began in 1951, and in 1953 it became operational.
In 1977, the Department of Defense created the Special Projects Office (later to become the Protective Design Center)to work on the classified Alternate National Military Command and Control Center Improvement Program, which sought to design a deep underground, hardened command and control center. The plans envisioned separate structures for command personnel, power, fuel, and water; more than three miles of air entrainment tunnels; and access shafts to the surface. The program was canceled in 1979.
The RRMC was one of the "undisclosed locations" frequently used by Vice President Dick Cheney following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
On May 25, 2007, the Federal Register published a Defense Department policy declaring that it is unlawful for any person "entering in or on the property" "to make any photograph, sketch, picture, drawing, map or graphical representation of the Raven Rock Mountain Complex without first obtaining the necessary permission.
The secret complex lies 650 feet below the summit of Raven Rock which stands 1,529 feet tall. This mountainous military facility has just about everything that you would ever need to survive here including a restaurant, fitness center, barbershop, legal services, chapel, 6 1,000 kilowatt generators and much more.
The 6 storey high underground facility was visited by 5 helicopters and a convoy of SUVs within hours of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon according to people who live nearby the facility: was it the President or Vice President taking cover in the granite fortress at Raven Rock?
Nobody knows for sure.
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