May 10, 2018 Slideshows » News

NORAD's 60th — a look behind the blast doors 

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NORAD is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018. The command center gave a rare tour into "America's Fortress" to the media. Here's a look at what it takes to withstand a nuclear blast, and control the skies over North America.  
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Matthew Schniper
During the Cold War, one of two blast doors was always shut.
Matthew Schniper
During 9/11 was the last time the doors were shut for threat reasons.
Matthew Schniper
Hydraulics can close the door in 45 seconds. It can also be closed manually in a minute-and-a-half.
Matthew Schniper
The world's only binational command center, between the U.S. and Canada.
Matthew Schniper
Springs would keep the shockwaves from a blast from destroying the building.
Matthew Schniper
Navy-grade steel encases 15 buildings underground.
Matthew Schniper
Cheyenne Mountain is solid granite; NORAD's 2,000 feet deep.
Matthew Schniper
A NORAD slogan.
Matthew Schniper
Steve Rose, 721st Mission Support Group Deputy Director, the media's tour guide of CMAFS.
Matthew Schniper
The NORAD and USNORTHCOM command center.
Matthew Schniper
Royal Canadian Air Force Colonel Travis Morehen, NORAD and USNORTHCOM Command Center Director, discussing the center's advanced capabilities.
Matthew Schniper
A view of air traffic over Washington, D.C.
Matthew Schniper
A look at every flight above the U.S. at that moment.
Matthew Schniper
"Most Americans are surprised at how involved Canada is in defending the U.S."
Matthew Schniper
A simulation of a missile strike — essentially what command operators would see if a true situation was happening.
Matthew Schniper
Office humor. So yes, there are aliens in the mountain. This is one of a few, we're told.
Matthew Schniper
A look down the tunnel leading to the blast doors. It's about 3/10's of a mile long. The blast doors aren't directly at its end, but offset to mitigate blast pressure and force.
Matthew Schniper
Just another day at work under the mountain for some people.
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Matthew Schniper22 images
Indy staff13 images
10/18
Matthew Schniper
The NORAD and USNORTHCOM command center.

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