Star Trek and the NSA? Who knew that the National Security Agency, the hub of signal intelligence within the U.S., was a member of the United Federation of Planets. Or that NSA Chief Keith Alexander was a “Trekkie?” According to Yahoo! Finance on Sept. 17, the NSA chief revels in the NSA command center in Fort Belvoir, Va.,which was designed to mimic the famous flagship of the Federation – the Enterprise bridge.
The command center was built in 1998, three years before Alexander took the job. Reports that state the NSA director “designed” the workspace himself are inaccurate. The room was planned out by a Hollywood set designer, says the Washington Post.
That’s not to say though that Chief Alexander didn’t enjoy the digs.
An article from foreignpolicy.com says the intelligence center, dubbed the “Information Dominance Center,” came with “chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed.”
Lawmakers and officials got a kick out of sitting in the centrally placed leather “captain's chair” and stared in amazement “as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen,” the site says.
“Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,” says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.
Another example of government misuse of taxpayer dollars? Perhaps, but if you have a create a room with chairs and computers screens, what better floor model could you have than the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise?