Despite apparent progress in peace negotiations with North Korea, the United States military is not letting its guard down. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is still keeping a close eye on developments and monitoring the situation. NORAD is the US and Canadian partnership that works together to monitor possible incoming threats through the air. Even though tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world have eased over the last few months, NORAD still receives a handful of intelligence reports each day in an effort to keep apprised of any developing situations.
Although the primary NORAD command center is located at Peterson Air Force base in Colorado Springs, there is an alternate command location at the nearby Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The official protocol states that operations would migrate to the highly secure Cheyenne Mountain Complex during a real-life nuclear threat. The Cheyenne Mountain Complex is located almost one mile deep into a mountain and is guarded by two 23-ton doors, designed to protect against any nuclear strike. In the event of an attack, the complex would be able to maintain all communication efforts with the intent of keeping the government defense system functioning. The terrorist attacks of September 11 is the only time that the doors to this bunker have been officially sealed.
There are approximately 30 people located in the center at any given time. Officials are trained to put on blinders when reading the latest news so that they maintain the same level of vigilance regardless of all the optimistic news about peace on the horizon. Even if the US is able to work through negotiations with North Korea and achieve the ultimate goal of denuclearization, there are always other threats to consider. Following this week’s announcement by President Donald Trump that the US is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, there is now a heightened sense of worry that tensions in the Middle East will once again escalate and give rise to additional threats to be monitored by NORAD.