Not long after the U.S.S.R. successfully tested their first atomic bomb, the brass hats who work in the Pentagon saw fit to take the first step in preparing to fight an atomic war: they gave the order to create an isolated subterranean headquarters to house a military command and control center for the U.S. and her allies.
"The finished chamber, according to local observers, will be 3,100 feet long, contain four suites for the top brass (the Joint Chiefs of Staff, among others), and provide operational quarters for some 1,200 technicians in peacetime, or 5,000 if atomic bombing threatens the Washington command."
Commonly known as "Site R", it is located not terribly far from the presidential retreat, Camp David, and in the subsequent years since this article first appeared, the complex has grown considerably larger than when it was first envisioned. Today, Site R maintains more than thirty-eight military communications systems and it has been said that it was one of "undisclosed locations" that hosted Vice President Dick Cheney (b. 1941) shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
We were startled to learn that the initial tunneling duties were not trusted to the Army Corps of Engineers, but rather the P.J. Healy Company; a construction firm that was highly praised at the time for having engineered the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City.
Additional magazine and newspaper articles about the Cold War may be read on this page.