The New Cold War, a rare look inside USSTRATCOM

Image courtesy of STRATCOM.MIL

Recent behavior of nations like Russia and North Korea have warranted the attention of the United States. According to the U.S. military, Russia has been developing counter-space capabilities and conducting malicious activities in cyberspace. Reports also show on October 15th, North Korea conducted an unsuccessful launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) near the northwestern city of Kusong. The failed missile launch and cyberspace activities were detected by US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) systems.

The USSTRATCOM, one of Shen Milsom & Wilke’s most notable and significant projects, was recently covered by David Martin, correspondent for CBS News: 60 Minutes. The episode, entitled “The New Cold War” gave viewers a rare look inside U.S. Strategic Command and the measures the military takes to ensure the most accurate and timely information is delivered to the President of the United States regarding nuclear weapons activity.

In November of 2009, SM&W received a call from HDR Architects in Omaha inquiring about our control room experience. HDR had a contract to design USSTRATCOM’s new headquarters, a 1.2 million sq. ft. facility with about 400,000 sq. ft. underground. Three days after that initial call, we traveled to Offutt Airforce Base in Omaha, central command for all U.S. forces.

Together, we worked with HDR and the United States government to create a command and control center that would combat weapons of mass destruction, as well as provides intelligence for global strikes; global missile defense; and global command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR). The importance of USSTRATCOM’s operations and the weight of responsibility we held providing acoustics, audiovisual and information technology design services was no small task.

Click to view CBS News: 60 Minutes episode “The New Cold War”60-minutes-with-david-martin-USstratcom


In the “New Cold War” episode David Martin states, “… The Cold War as we knew it may be over, but both the U.S. and Russia still keep enough nuclear weapons on alert to end civilization. And now a new Cold War is brewing with both sides developing more sophisticated and more accurate weapons”. Martin continues, “Tonight, we’re going to show you what this new Cold War looks like from inside the U.S. Strategic Command. STRATCOM, as it’s called, trains every day for the possibility of nuclear war…”

The above video gives viewers a tour of the existing facility. The new building is under construction with another 2 years or so to completion.


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