Continuity of government

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Continuity of government (COG) is the principle of establishing defined procedures that allow a government to continue its essential operations in case of nuclear war or other catastrophic event.

COG was developed by the British government before and during World War II to counter the threat of Luftwaffe bombing during the Battle of Britain. The need for continuity-of-government plans gained new urgency with nuclear proliferation.

Countries during the Cold War and afterwards developed such plans to avoid (or minimize) confusion and disorder in a power vacuum in the aftermath of a nuclear attack.

In the US at least, COG is no longer limited to nuclear emergencies; the Continuity of Operations Plan was activated following the September 11 attacks and has been in effect ever since.

By country[edit]

Canada[edit]

Canada built numerous nuclear bunkers across the country, nicknamed "Diefenbunkers" in a play on the last name of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's government which was in power at the time.

Denmark[edit]

During the Cold War, Denmark built two bunker complexes, named REGAN Vest and REGAN Øst (Danish: "REGeringsANlæg", translated: "Government Complex West and Government Complex East"), in Jutland and Zealand respectively. The idea was to have half of the government and the royal family in one bunker, and the other half in the other, allowing continuity of government, even if one of the bunkers were destroyed or cut off.

France[edit]

The Centre d'Opération des Forces Aériennes Stratégiques (COFAS) is a hardened command centre for French nuclear forces at Taverny Air Base in Taverny, Val d'Oise. The alternate national command center is located at Mont Verdun near Lyon.

The hardened headquarters of Force Océanique Stratégique (FOST), France's nuclear SSBN fleet, is at Houilles, Yvelines.

Germany[edit]

Germany operated a government bunker (Regierungsbunker) to house the German government, parliament and all federal personnel needed to keep the government working in the event of war or severe crisis. It was decommissioned in 1997.

Norway[edit]

The Norwegian government operate a nuclear bunker called Sentralanlegget in Buskerud County. The bunker is meant to accommodate the Norwegian Royal Family and the government in case of a nuclear/military attack on the nation, and also function as a wartime headquarters. There is also a bunker beneath Høyblokka in downtown Oslo.

Russia[edit]

Very little is known about Russia's COG plans, one sprawling underground facility residing in tunnels cut into Mount Yamantau is likely to be related to the survival of Russia's government, given its size and decades long construction history.

Sweden[edit]

During the Cold War the Klara skyddsrum ("Complete shelter", "Klara bunker") was built underneath Stockholm. The bunker is designed to accommodate two thirds of the government and between 8,000 to 12,000 civilians in the case of a military attack on Stockholm. It is designed as a very large, two-story oval, with multiple entrances. During peace time, parts of it are used as a parking garage.

United Kingdom[edit]

The primary British COG headquarters is at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall. The Central Government War Headquarters was previously maintained in a quarry complex near Corsham, Wiltshire. The above-ground support facility was RAF Rudloe Manor.

Service command centres are Northwood for the Royal Navy Trident SSBN force, and RAF High Wycombe for the Royal Air Force.

United States[edit]

The Continuity of Operations Plan was activated in US following the September 11 attacks and has been in effect ever since.

See also[edit]

UK specific:

US specific:

External links[edit]