Presidential Emergency Facility Site 7 -Corkscrew"


On Lambs Knoll, South Mountain near Boonsboro (Maryland) 
Lambs Knoll near Boonsboro, Md.
Elevation              
 1,758 ft. (535.8 m)
Location
Location
 Frederick CountyMaryland
Range
 South Mountain Blue Ridge Mountains
Coordinates
 +39.448712 N  -77.62749 W

Lambs Knoll is a peak of South Mountain on the border of Washington County and Frederick County in the state of MarylandUnited States. The 1,758 feet (536 m) peak is the second tallest on South Mountain in Maryland behind Quirauk Mountain.

The peak is located to the south of Fox and Turner's Gaps, and marks the beginning of geographic change in South Mountain from a solitary narrow ridge to a broad highland plateau, as it nears the convergence with Catoctin Mountain.  Lambs Knoll is also the site of a deactivated microwave relay station, that was used during the Cold War. The unit was encased in a 103 ft. tower, and known as the "Corkscrew” Site 7. 

Tower History and Purpose
                                                     
Corkscrew was one of several presidential emergency facilities and related communications relay stations constructed in the early 1960s in the Washington, DC region. Construction of Corkscrew tower was completed in 1965.  Named Corkscrew, the cylindrical tower and bunker was used as a potential relocation site for key members of the White House.  The tower was part of a microwave network designed to provide reliable communications to the President of the United States and emergency communications in the event of a nuclear attack. The Microwave route connected Camp David and other key bodies of government directly to the White House.

The installation is no longer in service as a presidential shelter, and is now used by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has altered the exterior (and, presumably, the interior) of the facility for its purposes. These alterations include the addition of a self-supporting steel lattice tower supporting a large high-frequency (shortwave) rotating log-periodic antenna for backup radio communications. The FAA's most recent construction project included adding and replacing several surface structures and converting the grass helicopter landing zone into an asphalt-paved parking lot.

The FAA compound is a restricted area and is protected by security personnel and systems. Visitors are not admitted unless on official business.

For at least some it’s operational life, the PEF shared the mountaintop with two unrelated facilities: an AT&T microwave relay station and a fire-lookout tower. The AT&T facility was made obsolete by fiber-optic cables and has been demolished. The fire tower was converted to a radio tower serving multiple Maryland state and local government agencies. That tower, which was in very poor condition, has been replaced by a modern tower and building performing the same function.

 Corkscrew Tower
Arial view of Lambs Knoll
Google Earth view of Corkscrew on Lambs Knoll
Corkscrew Tower
Ariel View of Corkscrew
This annotated image shows the installations on Lambs Knoll as of August 2006.


  Cross Section View of Tower 



   



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