Defense Infrastructure: Full Costs and Security Implications of Cheyenne Mountain Realignment Have Not Been Determined

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) built the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center located near Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the early 1960s to withstand a multimegaton-yield-weapon strike and to provide protection against chemical and biological warfare. The mission of the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate is to monitor, process, and interpret air, missile, and space events that could threaten North America or have operational effects on U.S. forces or capabilities. This mission is conducted at five major centers--the Command Center, Air Warning, Missile Correlation, Operations Intelligence Watch, and Space Control--all currently located ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 21, 2007.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) built the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center located near Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the early 1960s to withstand a multimegaton-yield-weapon strike and to provide protection against chemical and biological warfare. The mission of the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate is to monitor, process, and interpret air, missile, and space events that could threaten North America or have operational effects on U.S. forces or capabilities. This mission is conducted at five major centers--the Command Center, Air Warning, Missile Correlation, Operations Intelligence Watch, and Space Control--all currently located within Cheyenne Mountain. Elements of United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and Air Force Space Command are also located in Cheyenne Mountain. The Air Force's modernization of the attack warning systems within Cheyenne Mountain will cost more than $700 million from fiscal years 2000 through 2006. DOD officials have stated that they no longer need to continue operating in this hardened facility considering that the threat of an intercontinental ballistic missile strike in today's environment is low. In July 2006, the former Commander of NORAD and USNORTHCOM announced plans to move certain functions from Cheyenne Mountain and create an integrated command center at Peterson Air Force Base, which he projected at that time would save between $150 million and $200 million per year. Additionally, USSTRATCOM announced plans to relocate its missile warning mission from Cheyenne Mountain to Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, and Air Force Space Command is in the process of moving the Space Control Center from Cheyenne Mountain to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and USNORTHCOM officials told us that after these functions have been moved, Cheyenne Mountain will be used as an alternate command center, a continuity of operations relocation facility, and a training center. You asked us to determine (1) the estimated costs, savings, and benefits associated with moving functions from Cheyenne Mountain to other locations; and (2) how DOD evaluated the security implications associated with moving the functions, and what these implications are."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 21, 2007

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Defense Infrastructure: Full Costs and Security Implications of Cheyenne Mountain Realignment Have Not Been Determined, text, May 21, 2007; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301116/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.