Gen. Keith Alexander, the current chief of the National Security Agency, apparently previously ran the Army's Intelligence and Security Command at a facility that was designed to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise. The "Star Trek" inspired operations room was even designed by a Hollywood set designer. But new reports dispute previous sources who claimed Alexander commissioned the command center, according to The Washington Post on Sept. 16.
There's no doubt the facility at Fort Belvoir, Va., looks a lot like the Jean-Luc Picard's bridge on "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Check out some photos on pbs.org.
The question arose who built the place? Sources say how Alexander is supposedly quite the science fiction nerd.
But even though he reportedly relished the place, and often gave tours of the facility known as the Information Dominance Center, it actually was built three years prior to his arrival.
The place is replete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and even doors that make a "whooshing" noise when they slide open or closed.
A retired Army officer very familiar with the room described as having eight wide screens, a graphics processor designed in consultation with Disney, as well as the infamous stainless steel captain’s chair that was always called the Captain Kirk chair.
E! News reports that "lawmakers and other important officials" took turns sitting in the leather captain's chair prominently placed in the center of the room. Visitors and guests would watch as Gen. Alexander showed off his data tools on the large TV screens.
Although some sources have claimed that Alexander commissioned the Star Trek-like room built, the Post cites a source who states the facility was actually built back in 1998, three years before Alexander even took charge.
Meanwhile, a retired officer in charge of VIP tours said how everyone who visited wanted to sit in the chair at least once and pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard.
It's likely General Alexander was one of them.