NSA $3.2 Billion “Site M” Expansion Planning Documents Reveal Cyberwar Command Center

An overview of the NSA's facilities at Fort Meade. Site M, as well as Sites F and G, are located on the golf courses at the right side of the image. The NSA's headquarters is located at the far left. Photo Bing Maps.

Public Intelligence

In July 2010, the NSA revealed that it was expanding into a 227-acre parcel of land at Fort Meade called “Site M”, constructing a series of buildings that could cost as much as $5.2 billion.  This expansion would displace two golf courses currently occupying the land and provide the NSA, which already occupies 630 acres at Fort Meade, with more space to build “an operational complex and to construct and operate consolidated facilities to meet the National Security Agency’s (NSA) continually evolving requirements and for Intelligence Community use”.  The project has been shrouded in secrecy throughout its existence and there are only a few references to “Site M” in DoD budget planning documents.  However, a recently discovered collection of development planning documents for the Site M project provide detailed information about the proposed $3.2 billion expansion, indicating that the facility will be a centralized command center for the NSA’s evolving cyberwarfare capabilities.

The documents which are part of the “Site M Area Development Plan and ATFP Study” were found on a publicly accessible FTP server operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  When the documents were discovered on June 10, 2011, they had already been removed, though a cache of the files was available via Google.  After reconstructing the documents and making them available, a thorough analysis shows that the Site M facility will be the national command center for U.S. Military cyberwarfare capabilities, integrating a variety of agencies from throughout the U.S. intelligence community into a single complex to conduct joint operations in cyberspace.  The documents indicate that the US Cyber Command Joint Operations Center (USCYBERCOM JOC) will be located at Site M, taking up approximately 204,000 square feet with a cost of $118,822,000.  The USCYBERCOM JOC is described in site layouts as the central hub of the entire facility, surrounded by up to eleven other buildings housing agencies from within the intelligence community.  While the occupants of most of these buildings have yet to be determined, at least one of the buildings will house US Marine Corps Forces Cyber (MARFOR CYBER) and it is expected that other subordinate units in USCYBERCOM will also be located at the facility. The development at Site M will also feature a 315,000 square foot High Performance Computer Center (HPCC) that will require more than 100 Megawatts of total power and cost more than $778,070,000.

According to the report, Site M has been proposed for development since the Fort Meade Comprehensive Expansion Master Plan (CEMP) was completed in May 2005. Site M, along with Sites F and G, are component parcels of the Applewood and Park golf courses and total approximately 435 acres dedicated to future development as part of the Fort Meade CEMP. The golf courses will be relocated to free land at the core of Fort Meade for development of secure government activities, including “administrative buildings, operation buildings, High Performance Computing Centers (HPCC) and associated support facilities.”

The facilities at Site M will accommodate more than 5,000 employees, with room for approximately 500 employees for each of the agencies housed at the facility.  The USCYBERCOM JOC will accommodate more than 1,300 employees and each of the buildings will have its own five-story parking garage.  Together, the facilities will consume more than 200 MW of energy, enough to power tens of thousands of homes according to current estimates.  In fact, the Site M complex will mainly be powered by its own 150 MW power substation.  The entire project is expected to cost more than $3,232,445,000 with more than $400,000,000 going to power, electrical and telecommunications costs.

Site M Key Facts

Overview of Building Specifications

(U//FOUO) High Performance Computer Center:

  • 90,000 square feet (SF) of raised floor
  • 315,000 SF footprint
  • 630,000 gross SF
  • 50 people
  • 40 parking spaces
  • 60 Megawatts (MW) Tech Power
  • 105 MW Total Power

(U//FOUO) Operations Center:

  • 531,000 gross SF
  • 225,000 SF footprint
  • 120,000 SF Operations Center
  • Two – 178,000 SF mission support buildings (4 levels about grade – 1 basement level
  • 55,000 SF of support services
  • 1,375 people
  • 1,100 parking spaces
  • 50 MW total power
  • 28 MW generator back-up

(U//FOUO) Recapitalization Building:

  • 178,000 gross SF
  • 35,600 SF footprint
  • 4 floors above grade – 1 basement level
  • 500 people
  • 400 parking spaces
  • 4 MW total power

(U//FOUO) Additional Administration Buildings:

  • Up to 11 additional Administration Buildings with the same program as the Recap Building

Site M Cost Analysis

LOCATION U/M Quantity Unit Cost COST
B1 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B2 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B3 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B4 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B5 USCYBERCOM JOC Building SF 204,000 594.11 (118,822)
B6 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B7 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B8 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B9 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B10 Recapitalization Building SF 148,432 533.19 (79,142)
B11 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B12 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B13 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
B14 Administrative Building SF 187,980 481.98 (90,603)
LEED – Primary Facilities @ 2% LS (25,177)
Antiterrorism/Force Protection LS (113,424)
Building Cabling LS (8,144)
P1 –  Parking Garage SF 151,875 73.61 (11,180)
P2 –  Parking Garage SF 151,875 73.61 (11,180)
P3 –  Parking Garage SF 151,875 73.61 (11,180)
P4 –  Parking Garage SF 151,875 73.61 (11,180)
P5 –  Parking Garage SF 465,000 73.38 (34,122)
P6 –  Parking Garage SF 151,875 73.61 (11,180)
P7 –  Parking Garage SF 151,875 73.61 (11,180)
P8 –  Parking Garage SF 151,875 73.61 (11,180)
P9 –  Parking Garage SF 151,875 73.61 (11,180)
P10 –  Parking Garage SF 151,875 73.61 (11,180)
P11 –  Surface Parking Lot LS (219)
Spine Building A SF 109,800 276.01 (30,306)
Spine Building Pavilion Entry A SF 3,600 935.81 (3,369)
Spine Building Loading Dock A SF 3,000 381.33 (1,144)
VCP Booths & Barriers SF 400 (777)
150 MVA Electrical Substation LS (50,636)
Electrical Site Distribution LS (122,172)
Generator Plant w/Fuel Storage SF 10,000 4,593.50 (45,935)
Chiller Plant SF 20,000 6514.65 (130,293)
Chilled Water Piping Site Distribution LS (9,670)
Rainwater Capture System LS (3,091)
Reclaimed Water System LS (14,662)
Water Site Distribution LS (17,560)
Waste Water Site Distribution LS (1,061)
Natural Gas Site Distribution LS (693)
Telecom LS (41,322)
Storm Water Site Distribution LS (5,669)
PSAT Fence LS (5,148)
Access & Service Roadways LS (18,935)
Sitework LS (12,192)
Site Landscaping LS (45,209)
Country Club Modifications LS (2,576)
LEED – Support Facilities @ 2% LS (696)
Antiterrorism/Force Protection LS (3,134)
BG&E Connection Fee LS (1,360)
Estimated Contract Cost 2,134,518
Contingency Percent 5.0 % (106,726)
Subtotal (2,241,244)
SIOH 5.7 % (127,751)
Design Cost 4.0 % (85,381)
H1 HPCC (778,070)
Total Request (3,232,445)

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