The Cold War has left many remnants. A lingering geopolitical competition with Russia, vast stocks of nuclear weapons, and a plethora of great movies. But nothing has probably captured the public’s imagination like the deep underground military bases the US built during that period.

What’s the Purpose of Such Bases?

Many of these underground bases were designed to provide protection from weather, war, or famine. Yet, some of them are still shrouded in mystery as to their actual purpose and function.

Some of these underground bases house nuclear defense technology, while others are said to potentially contain alien life. One of the bases is even used as a command post for high-ranking government officials in the event of war or a major natural disaster.

Regardless of each base’s stated purpose, the common theme for each is its security, allure, and relatively secretive existence.

In this article, I’ll explore four of the most interesting underground bases used by American military or government personnel.

1) Cheyenne Mountain Complex

4 Deep Underground and Secret US Military Bases Cheyenne Mountain Complex
A rare glimpse of the Entrance into the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee/US Air Force)

First on our list of deep underground military bases is the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, located on the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station near Colorado Springs. According to,

“At the height of the Cold War in the late 1950s, the idea of a hardened command and control center was conceptualized as a defense against long-range Soviet bombers. The Army Corps of Engineers supervised the excavation of Cheyenne Mountain and the construction of an operational center within the granite mountain.  The Cheyenne Mountain facility became fully operational as the NORAD Combat Operations Center on Feb. 6, 1967.

The installation came to house elements of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), US Strategic Command, US Air Force Space Command and US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). Under what became known as the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC), several centers supported the NORAD missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control and provided warning of ballistic missile or air attacks against North America.”