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Continuity of Government Facility, Mercersburg

This facility is another Continuity of Government facility designed to shelter essential government personnel in case of nuclear war or other catastrophe.

The Continuity of Government program built a “ring” of fallout shelters around Washington for the use of government personnel in case of a nuclear war. These shelters were intended to house essential government officials and necessary support staff. Unlike the legendary Mount Weather in Virginia, none of these “secondary” shelters were designed to withstand a direct nuclear hit but instead were meant to provide protection against radioactive fallout.

What’s There: Aerial photographs show that most of this facility must be underground inside Cove Mountain. There are several surface-level concrete structures, including what appears to be a helicopter landing pad and antenna structure. A road runs from the front gate to what seems to be a surface entrance. This interior of this facility is believed to be very similar to the Mount Pony COG facility that was decommissioned in 1992. That would include shared bedrooms for high-ranking officials and shared “hot bunks” for the rank and file; the maximum number of people that can be accommodated here is believed to be in the low hundreds. Food, basic medical supplies, defensive weapons, and communications equipment are also certainly here.

Getting a Look Inside: Because of its isolation, visitors are definitely unwelcome here. There is a guarded gate with security cameras, and visitors are often brusquely turned away by guards with a lecture about national security regulations.

Getting There: This facility is located west-southwest of Mercersburg. It is reached by an unmarked eastbound road off Highway 45.

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