North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a combined organization of the United States and Canada that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and defense for Northern America. Headquarters for NORAD and the NORAD/United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) center are located at Peterson Air Force Base in El Paso County, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The nearby Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker has the Alternate Command Center. The NORAD commander and deputy commander (CINCNORAD) are, respectively, a United States four-star general or equivalent and a Canadian three-star general or equivalent.

The bunker is built to deflect a 30 megaton nuclear explosion within 2 kilometres (1.2 mi). Within a mountain tunnel are sets of 25-ton blast doors and another for the civil engineering department. The doors were built so that they can always be opened if needed. Should a nuclear blast hit the building, they are designed to withstand a blast wave. There is a network of blast valves with unique filters to capture air-borne chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear contaminants.

Asbestos Abatement of the Generals Quarters


The complex was built under 2,000 feet (610 m) of granite on five acres.[14] Fifteen three-story buildings are protected from movement by an earthquake or explosion by a system of giant springs that the buildings sit on and flexible pipe connectors to limit the operational effect of movement. A total of more than 1,000 springs are designed to prevent any of the 15 buildings from shifting more than one inch. The complex is the only high altitude Department of Defense facility certified to be able to sustain an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). There is a large quantity of cots for most of the personnel and suites for “top brass” within the nuclear bunker. Amenities include a medical facility, store, cafeteria, and fitness centers inside and outside the mountain.