The Raven Rock Mountain Complex (RRMC) is an American military installation with an underground nuclear bunker near Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, at Raven Rock Mountain that has been called an “underground Pentagon.
The bunker has emergency operations centers for the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force. Along with Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center in Virginia and the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado, it formed the core bunker complexes for the US Continuity of Government plan during the Cold War to survive a nuclear attack.
The installation’s largest tenant unit is the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and RRMC communications are the responsibility of the 114th Signal Battalion
The facility has 38 communications systems, and the Defense Information Systems Agency provides computer services at the complex. Additional names for the installation are Raven Rock Military Complex, National Military Command Center Reservation (NMCC-R), “Backup Pentagon”, Site R, or “The Rock
The Raven Rock Mountain Complex, also called Site R, is a deep underground relocation and communications facility for the Pentagon. As part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing efforts to
promote openness and transparency at all levels of government, Site R is proud to open up its top
secret defense facility for public tours. Because of the remote location and stringent security
requirements, tours are offered only through the White House’s Weekend at Camp David program.
Tour guests will arrive via the six and a half mile tunnel between Camp David and Site R. Guests must proceed to the Security Building and follow the Site R Entry Control Procedures (Reg 380-1).
Staff from the Fire & Emergency Services will conduct a briefing on the fire evacuation plan and the use of the emergency escape masks. While an evacuation is highly unlikely, the safety briefing is required for all Site R visitors. Flashlights will be issued to all guests in the unlikely event the entire facility is suddenly plunged into complete darkness.
The tour will begin outside the facility. Guests will be driven to the top of Raven Rock Mountain to Site RT to view the massive antennas and communication equipment that link Site R to the Pentagon and to military facilities around the world.
After a demonstration of the rotating antenna system, you will climb to the top of our AT&T microwave tower for an outstanding view of the Pennsylvania countryside. On a clear day, you can even see the Gettysburg Battlefield! Then you’ll head down to the pedestrian adit; take a long elevator ride; and proceed to the inner tunnel to continue your tour.
A supervisor from the Power Support Division will escort you to the busy construction area of our West Power Plant. Then you’ll head over to our new diesel fuel storage facility to see the giant tank farm in the recently enlarged cavern. You’ll also learn how the fill station and pump house operates.
We’ll stop by the East power plant to see our old generators in action and learn how the chillers, pumps, air handling units, heat exchanger, boiler, and sprinkler suppression system works.
You’ll hear the story about the 1990 explosion; what caused it and what’s being done to prevent it from happening again.
The Raven Rock facility is located deep inside a mountain and requires a sophisticated ventilation system to continuously control and monitor the air quality.
You will meet with staff from the RRMC Life Support Division who will show you the important components of our multi-staged collective filtration system including the carbon absorbers; chemical, biological and radiation filters; and the high efficiency particulate absolute filters.
You’ll watch our centrifugal, rotary and reciprocating compressors in action; and you’ll see how we operate the systems and controls for the blast protection and over-pressure management systems.
The tour continues to the Emergency Actions Operations Center where you will have an opportunity to see the exciting day-to-day activities up close.
The RRMC serves as a National Military Command Center (NMCC) and Alternate Joint Communications Center (AJCC). As such, all communication links between the Pentagon and military installations throughout the world are routed through Site R.
Members of the 114th Signal Battalion will accompany you on this part of the tour to answer questions. Tour guests are requested to refrain from touching any of the electronic equipment, especially any red buttons.
You’ll be briefed on our important role as a National Gateway Center. Carefully watch the messages coming in through our Defense Message System (DMS) monitors. You may get lucky and see one from the White House Communications Agency, CIA, or even “Eyes-Only” communications between General Officer personnel and the National Command Authority!
You’ll tour our technical control facility to learn how our Defense Red Switch Network is configured. If time permits, each guest will be able to sit down at a workstation and monitor worldwide activities using ourGlobal Command and Control System (GCCS).
An RRMC miner from the “hard rock drill and shoot” team will then accompany you to the Phase 4 Construction area where you will see firsthand the Project DIDLAS (Dig it Deeper Longer and Steeper) tunnel excavation and expansion work.
The new tunnel will eventually connect Site R to the Pentagon via the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, an astounding 97.5 total miles!
You’ll also learn about the safety measures incorporated in our rock bolt plan and try your hand at operating our pneumatic drills and hammers.
Guests will proceed to the enormous deep freshwater reservoir to climb a steel ladder up to a catwalk over the illuminated greenish-blue water that stretches far into a dark cavern. You will also be briefed on the pumps, compressors, and the steam system used to generate hot water for the facility.
Finally, you will head over to view a demonstration of the bomb blast doors at the the main personnel entrance. The entire installation is sealed off by these 30-ton bomb blast doors, 3 feet thick, that can be hydraulically closed in less than a minute.
The tour ends with a quick stop at the Granite Cove dining facility located in Alpha corridor (1A55). Deli sandwiches, hot food, rotisserie chicken, fruit, snacks, desserts, and beverages are available for purchase.
Enjoy the view outside the fake windows while waiting for our Installation Commander to stop by and share the critical information requirements for supporting the Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan for the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff. Be sure to ask about our $32 million “Administrative Facility” renovation project providing additional COOP tenant space.
Following the 20 minute snack break and restroom stop, you will head back to the Pavilion to be escorted back to the Camp David Tunnel entrance for your return trip to Camp David. View the tour map.
DISCLAIMER: This tour takes place in a deep underground hardened command and control facility, with no daylight and with breathing air subject to the successful operation of aging mechanical air intake devices. IT INVOLVES EXPOSURE TO A VARIETY OF MACHINE AND EQUIPMENT OPERATIONS, HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, FUMES CREATED BY DIESEL ENGINES AS WELL AS OTHER INDUSTRIAL IRRITANTS SUCH AS DUST, HIGH NOISE LEVELS, AND TEMPERATURE EXTREMES. The rock located within the facility contains Actinolite and Tremolite, which are a naturally occurring form of ASBESTOS, and may potentially pose a health hazard.
Furthermore, you will be required to climb stairs and walk concrete roadways up to a mile in length up and down hills. Because of the great likelihood of a major smoke event and total darkness should a fire break out during a tour, participants must maintain a flashlight and also be issued and trained to use an emergency escape breathing apparatus. Emergency escape will require a long walk while under considerable duress.
While on tour, you may notice signs posted around the facility that read “Ready Always Period”. Tour guests may be required to stay for longer than the duration of the tour for up to multiple days due to “slam door and button up” emergency lock downs. Tours may be shortened or canceled in response to an increased readiness posture or an elevation in the DEFCON or Continuity of Government level. The Raven Rock Mountain Complex periodically runs drills for emergency operations. During these drills when the facility is operating under hasty access and/or Blue Light and Iron Gate procedures, tours will be suspended until the standard access procedures resume.
A security clearance is not required for the Site R tour. However, potential guests are investigated beforehand and certain categories of information found in the Domestic Surveillance database at the secret Bumblehive facility may impact eligibility.
RAVEN ROCK SOUVENIR T-SHIRT
Official Raven Rock t-shirt with the Site R logo and clever caption “Raven Rocks!” on the front and the Distinctive Unit Insignia of the 114TH SIGNAL BATTALION on the back. Note: This is the SAME stylish t-shirt that President Obama was recently spotted wearing while on vacation in Hawaii!Read a review of this tour from a recent guest. View photos from President Obama’s tour of Site R.