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263Re: Federal Support Center

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  • Hooligan@xxx.xxx
    Jun 1, 1999
      I had visited the exterior of this site numerous times in the
      mid/late 1980s, and again one year ago. I was inside the facility in the
      late 1980s.

      > From: Albert LaFrance <ALaFrance@...>

      > Curiously,
      > there's no sign at the gate telling what the place is. The only indication
      > is a small (maybe 24" square) metal sign saying only "Federal Support
      > Center" located about 30' *inside* the gate.

      That sign itself is relatively new.

      > Just inside the motorized sliding gate, there's a small guard shack

      In the 1980s, that gate was usually left open during daytime hours.

      > One entrance to the bunker is visible in the distance. It consists of a
      > concrete wall with a normal-looking double metal door, flanked by two side
      > walls holding back the earth.

      That's the loading dock area. I seem to recall the power plant being
      located nearby inside, with a couple big diesel generators.

      > I saw two cars, apparently parked atop the bunker.

      Yes, main parking lot & helipad (just a painted LZ marking) are atop the

      > Most of the bunker is hidden by trees.

      Well, I thought it was hidden by dirt & grass, but... ;)

      > Nearby is a pile of large rusting metal objects, like appliances or filing
      > cabinets. There used to be a small decrepit wood-frame structure near the
      > road, but it fell down and was removed a year or two ago. A couple of
      > ancient light fixtures (inverted enameled-metal bowls on posts, as were
      > used long ago at gas stations, etc.) remain.

      I suppose at this point I'll mention that this FEMA facility is at the
      former Nike site W-93L, which according to Morgan & Berhow's 'Rings of
      Supersonic Steel,' deactivated as a Nike site in 1960.


      > On the grounds are at least four pairs of short steel towers, and a pair of
      > wood poles, each pair supporting a multi-wire, center-fed HF dipole.

      Only thing of interest that Albert missed were the handful of
      'pop-up' HF antennas located out in the fields. Only thing you see are small
      white pyramids, about 2 or 3' tall scattered about.

      > A short distance to the east on Riggs Rd. is a Maryland National Guard
      > armory. There are striking similarities between the two facilities,
      > notably in the guard shacks and underground reservoirs, which make me think
      > they might have been built as part of the same activity.

      I think Albert is right! This was the administrative & barracks
      compound for the W-93 Nike installation.

      > Finally, the greatest mystery of all. In the SE corner of the FSC site,
      > fronting on Riggs Rd., is a heavily wooded area, in which reside two horses
      > and what I think is a donkey! I checked carefully and verified that the
      > animals are in fact on the FEMA property.

      Somewhere, I have photos of sheep and/or horses grazing on the grass
      right next to some of the pop-up HF pyramids.

      Attached is a photo of the entrance gate, taken last year. The image
      is for your personal use only.

      Tim Tyler
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