Raven Rock Mountain Complex

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Raven Rock Mountain Complex
Liberty Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States
Raven-rock-site-r-logo.png
Site information
Owner U.S. Government
Condition Fully Operational

The Raven Rock Mountain Complex (RRMC) is a United States government facility on Raven Rock, a mountain in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

RRMC is located in Liberty Township, Adams County, about 14 km (8.7 mi) east of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, and 10 km (6.2 mi) north-northeast of Camp David, Maryland. It is also called the Raven Rock Military Complex, or simply Site R. Other designations and nicknames include "The Rock", NMCC-R (for National Military Command Center Reservation), ANMCC (for Alternate National Military Command Center), AJCC (for Alternate Joint Communications Center), "Backup Pentagon", or "Site RT"; the latter refers to the vast array of communication towers and equipment atop the mountain. Colloquially, the facility is known as an "underground Pentagon".[1]

The facility runs more than 38 communications systems for its users. The Defense Information Systems Agency computer operations staff provides computer services to the National Command Authority, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and other U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agencies.

Its largest tenant is the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.[2] RRMC also houses the emergency operations centers for the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Disclosure of information[edit]

Many of the facility's activities are classified, and distribution of most unclassified information about the facility is discouraged by the government.[2]

On May 25, 2007, the Federal Register published a DoD policy declaring that it is unlawful for any person "entering in or on the property ... to make any photograph, sketch, picture, drawing, map or graphical representation of the Raven Rock Mountain Complex without first obtaining the necessary permission."[3]

History[edit]

Planning for the site began in 1948. After the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear weapon in 1949, a high priority was established for the Joint Command Post to be placed in a protected location near Washington, D.C., for swift relocation of the National Command Authorities and the Joint Communications Service. The selected site is near Camp David (then known as "Shangri-La"). In 1950, President Harry S Truman approved making Raven Rock part of Camp Albert Ritchie, Maryland. This new site was named the Alternate Joint Communications Center (AJCC) Site R. Construction of the facility began in 1951, and in 1953 it became operational.

In 1977, the DoD created the Special Projects Office (later to become the Protective Design Center) to work on the classified Alternate National Military Command and Control Center Improvement Program, which sought to design a deep-underground, hardened command and control center. The plans envisioned separate structures for command personnel, power, fuel, and water; more than three miles (5 km) of air entrainment tunnels; and access shafts to the surface. The program was cancelled in 1979.

The RRMC was one of the "undisclosed locations" frequently used by Vice President Dick Cheney following the September 11 attacks.[4][5]

Army support[edit]

The army unit that currently runs communications for the RRMC is the 114th Signal Battalion.[6]

The army support unit for the RRMC has been moved around the army hierarchy several times.

  • Between 1953 and 1971, it reported directly to the army's Joint Support Command.
  • In 1971, as part of the Strategic Communications Command move to Fort Ritchie, the communications unit was redesignated as the Directorate of Telecommunications, and placed under the Fort Ritchie garrison commander.
  • In 1976, the unit was redesignated the USACC Site R Telecommunications Center, a direct reporting element to the 7th Signal Command.
  • In 1978, the unit was moved back under the command of the Fort Ritchie garrison, as the Directorate of Telecommunications.
  • In October 1981, USACC Site R Telecommunications Center was reorganized and redesignated as USACC Site R under Headquarters, 7th Signal Command.
  • In May 1984, USACC Site R was redesignated as USAISC-Site R, remaining as a direct reporting unit to 7th Signal Command.
  • In October 1988, USAISC-Site R was redesignated as the 1111th U.S. Army Signal Battalion and placed under the 1101st U.S. Army Signal Brigade, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., as the Army support battalion responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and communications of the AJCC Site R.
  • In October 1993, the 1111th U.S. Army Signal Battalion was placed under the 1108th U.S. Army Signal Brigade, Fort Ritchie, Maryland. Most base operations activities were removed from the battalion’s mission, leaving communications as the primary unit mission.
  • The 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission directed the relocation of U.S. Army Signal Command units and some Base Operations support personnel from Fort Ritchie to Fort Detrick, which became the home of East Coast long-haul communications. These units included the 21st Signal Brigade (formerly the 1108th U.S. Army Signal Brigade), the 114th Signal Battalion (formerly the 1111th U.S. Army Signal Battalion) and Information Systems Engineering Command-Continental United States. The 1110th U.S. Army Signal Battalion, already at Fort Detrick, is now the 302nd Signal Battalion and is assigned to the 21st Signal Brigade. More than 1,140 military members and civilian employees were transferred under the order. Site R and its personnel came under control of the Fort Detrick commander October 1, 1997. The actual movement of units began October 1, 1996, and Fort Ritchie was closed by September 30, 1998, well ahead of schedule.[7]

The site has been declared part of the Pentagon Reservation under 10 U.S.C. § 2674(g).

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the TV series Jeremiah, Raven Rock is known as Valhalla Sector, the main antagonist group in Season 1.
  • In the TV series Prison Break, General Krantz mentions Raven Rock while briefing his daughter, he tells her that Raven Rock was the secure location that Scylla was being moved to.
  • It is implied that Raven Rock is the stronghold for the remains of humanity in the 2013 film Oblivion.
  • Raven Rock appears as the east coast headquarters of the remnants of the US government, the Enclave, in the video game Fallout 3.
  • It is possibly the location of District 13 in The Hunger Games trilogy.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Life on the Newsfronts". Life. March 1, 1954. p. 40.
  2. ^ a b Sharon Weinberger (June 11, 2008). "How To: Visit a Secret Nuclear Bunker". Wired magazine. 
  3. ^ DoD policy concerning conduct on the Pentagon Reservation and Raven Rock Mountain Complex
  4. ^ Steve Goldstein (July 20, 2004). "Undisclosed location' disclosed: A visit offers some insight into Cheney hide-out". The Boston Globe (Knight Ridder). 
  5. ^ Dennis Roddy (December 16, 2001). "Homefront: Site R is secure, but it's not undisclosed". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  6. ^ "Battalion Mission". 114th Signal Battalion, "Signal Masters of the Rock",. Archived from the original on 2005-11-26. Retrieved 2005-11-26.  (dated copy at archive.org)
  7. ^ Raven Rock Site R Alternate Joint Communications Center (AJCC) - United States Nuclear Forces

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°44′02″N 77°25′08″W / 39.734°N 77.419°W / 39.734; -77.419