Continuity of Government Facility, Boonsboro
Clearly visible from several roads in the Boonsboro area is a FEMA Continuity of Government (COG) facility. This facility is located atop Lambs Knoll and is believed to be intended for housing civilian second-tier government officials (such as cabinet department undersecretaries) instead of senior-level officials.
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.
Boonsboro Maryland Map Photo Gallery
What’s There: From aerial observations, we know that the road from the gate proceeds to what appears to be a large farm silo. (On U.S. Geological Survey maps of the area, this is indicated to be a fire lookout, although it is clearly not that.) There are also several collapsible antenna masts. No additional aboveground structures are visible, so the bulk of this facility must be underground. There is a concrete helicopter landing pad a few hundred yards away from the “silo.” From the air, people wearing what appear to be blue jumpsuits have been observed; it is not clear what duties (security, maintenance, etc.) these people perform.
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: There is no public admittance to this facility and trespassing is prohibited, although there are no warning signs other than “private.” The front gate is electrically operated but unmanned.
Getting There: The facility can best be seen from southeast of Boonsboro on Highways 67, 17, or 40 Alternate; the closest public road is Reno Monument Road and the access road to the facility; the access road begins near a monument to General Jesse Reno, a Civil War hero. The area is known locally as Fox’s Gap.
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