Tags: star trek | nsa | room

Star Trek NSA Room at Fort Belvior Mimics Bridge of Star Enterprise

Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 03:23 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Whenever National Security Agency Director Keith B. Alexander wanted to impress members of Congress, all he had to do was bring them into the Star Trek-like command center at Fort Belvior and make them feel like Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, an Army official said.

Foreign Policy reported that the Information Dominance Center, which was built in 1998 at the Army's Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvior, was created to mimic the bridge of Starship Enterprise from the "Star Trek" movie and television empire, complete with captain's chair in the center of the room and big screen in front of the room.

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Alexander, a fan of science fiction, enjoyed showing off the facility to Congressmen and guests.

"Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard," a retired officer in charge of VIP visits told Foreign Policy.

The Guardian's Glen Greenwald said the "Star Trek" information-gathering room demonstrates Alexander's "cowboy" attitude with collecting information.

The Star Trek digs were part of Alexander's strategy to charm his visitors and then "demonstrate a command of the subject without intimidating those who had none," an official said.

"Alexander is 10 times the political general as David Petraeus," a former administration official said. "He could charm the paint off a wall."

The Star Trek-like center was built in 1998, so it was already in place when Alexander came on board in 2001.

Retired Army officer Joel Harding said in a 2010 Washington Post interview that the room has eight wide screens, a graphics processor, and a stainless steel captain's chair.

"It was always called the Captain Kirk chair," Harding told The Washington Post, adding it was created with the help of a Disney consultant. "The whole thing was Star Trek, Star Trek to the max."

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