During the Cold War, the United States government came up with a contingency plan to ensure that the military was able to maintain power in the face of an existential threat. At the time, the threat that they had in mind was some type of nuclear attack, but this also includes a biological threat, like the one the world is currently facing.
This strategy is known as “Continuity of Government” and it involves a variety of different plans that are intended to help the U.S. government and military maintain control of the region during times of emergency.
These new precautions included the implementation of a lengthy line of succession for people who will fall into the executive role if something should happen to the president or vice president. However, the plan goes much deeper than that and also includes a network of underground bunkers, typically tunneled into mountains, where essential military personnel are to be stationed during times of emergency so they can re-emerge unscathed from the crisis and reinstate order if the government’s control of society has broken down.
During a recent press conference hosted on Facebook, Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, announced that the U.S.’ Northern Command was sending teams of essential staff to the military’s underground bunkers to be stationed during the pandemic.
Join us for a NORAD & USNORTHCOM townhall meeting via Facebook Live, Tuesday, 24 March at 2 p.m. MDT. Our Commander, General O'Shaughnessy; the Command Surgeon, Dr. (Captain) Kane; and our Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Sergeant Major McKenna, will answer questions and discuss our commands' COVID-19 priorities: 1) protect our force and their families, 2) protect our readiness to defend the homelands, and 3) support our interagency partners addressing the crisis.Submit questions to: https://go.usa.gov/xdJ5F Click "Got a Questions"
Posted by U.S. Northern Command on Monday, March 23, 2020
“Our dedicated professionals of the NORAD and NORTHCOM command and control watch have left their homes, said goodbye to their families, and are isolated from everyone to ensure they can stand the watch each and every day to defend our homeland,” O’Shaughnessy said.
O’Shaughnessy did not reveal the exact locations or specific staff members that will be on standby during the pandemic, but there is a lot of public information available about these bunkers.
The facilities used in these types of situations include Cheyenne Mountain, the Presidential Emergency Operations Center under the White House, Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Pennsylvania, and Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center in Pennsylvania.
It is possible that additional members of the government will also be sent to isolated bunkers if the situation becomes more dangerous on the surface. There is no indication that further mobilizations are planned, but considering the secrecy of the operation, it is unlikely that such plans would be formally announced.
The history of these top-secret bunkers is detailed in Garrett M. Graff’s book, Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself—While the Rest of Us Die.
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