In the mid 1950s the north end of the Depot property was transformed into a special weapons area. These special weapons areas (19 in total in the United States) were designated as “Qs”. Becoming a Q area represented the highest security levels known at that time because their mission was to house atomic weapons which indeed were very special weapons.
The Q was built over two years and consisted of about one square mile of area, eventually resulting in 64 igloos, some of them atomic bomb blast resistant. The Q had its own security force, specially trained Military Police who patrolled the Q 24 hours a day. The Q area had a triple wall fence surrounding it, with the middle fence being electrified at 4800 volts. No one was allowed inside the Q without a heavily armed MP escort.
Although the Army still does not acknowledge that storage of atomic weapons occurred within the Seneca Depot, other documents found by SWD suggest that the Seneca Army Depot was the US Army’s largest arsenal of atomic weapons and the second largest atomic stockpile in the entire United States. Besides atomic bombs, the Depot also housed atomic artillery shells for Atomic Annie, a long range artillery gun only fired once in Nevada.
Today, the Q is peaceful once again, this time being leased by Finger Lakes Technologies Group, as it recycles some of the igloos for secure document storage.
photo at right: MP Headquarters