N.O.R.A.D. (North American Aerospace Defense Command), the U.S.-Canadian partnership that runs it, has a diminished role because of the new facility in downtown Colorado Springs called the U.S. Northern Command, set up in 2002. Creating even more duplication of effort is Canada’s own Canada Command.
While the two groups work together, streamlining operations could save $350 million a year. The new command post at Peterson Air Force Base carries out much of the same surveillance, with access to all the same data. That post lies northeast of Cheyenne Mountain. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), FBI, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and others have offices at the new site.
U.S. Navy Admiral Timothy Keating said, “That money could fund important defense projects. We would use it to partner with industry and provide … a single radio system to link federal, state and local civilian police with military forces.”
Stargate Command is housed deep inside the mountain, under N.O.R.A.D., on the fictional television series.
Military analysts say that terrorists may someday weild nuclear weapons. “It still may not be worth the money of burrowing in that deeply,” said Michael O’Hanlon, military analyst at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D.C.
“It actually would be desirable, to be blunt, if terrorists would attack a military command facility rather than a city, but it’s not likely to be a target,” he said. So combining the two facilities would actually help the situation. Of course, the 800 folks who staff Cheyenne Mountain might disagree.
“I don’t know that the N.O.R.A.D. of today is going to be the same N.O.R.A.D. in 2011, five years from now,” Keating said.
Who knows — Stargate Command might need the extra room!