the Pit

The original home of the GI Joe team, this facility is an underground base five stories deep, one that is secreted within the Fort Wadsworth Chaplain's Assistant School on Staten Island. The facility itself is top secret in nature - nobody but the most highly placed members of the government even knows it exists, much less where it is. The Pit has these ingrained capabilities:

Armory: down on level four, the Pit has a very large assortment of personal arms for the Joe team to use while fighting evil. This armory stores all of the Joes varied gear, from flame throwers to laser rifles to rocket launchers. Furthermore, it's got a bevy of spare ordnance and firearms, should new Joes be assigned to the team without signature gear, or combat occur within the facility.

Backup Power: in addition to the main generator hard-wired into the Pit's foundations on level 5, the Joes have installed a back-up generator with which to keep their systems up and running in the event of a catastrophic failure of the main power plant. This back-up generator has the same staying power of the primary (about six months, assuming the generator fuel tanks are full).

Briefing Rooms: on level two of the Pit, one can find three different meeting rooms, each with a different purpose. The first is the situation analysis room, where current hot spots are tracked by Joe intelligence ops, the second is a holographic imaging chamber, with which the Joes can truly plan for enemy fortifications and the like, and the last is a generic meeting room, used when the others aren't necessary.

Concealed Nature: the Pit itself is underground, being essentially an inverted, five story building. On the surface, the Pit interfaces with Fort Wadsworth by posing as its motor pool, which consists of a garage and a fully functional repair / service bay; the ruse must be believable, after all, and besides, the Joes have to maintain their vehicles somewhere.

Communications Room: on the second level of the Pit, between the secondary staging area and the holographic imaging room, is the Joe team's primary communications facility. Usually staffed by Breaker and/or Dial-Tone while they're, this room has equipment that allows the Joes to keep tabs on their operatives in the field, wherever in the world they happen to be.

Computer Room: all of the systems in the Pit are controlled by a central computer bank that is located on the fifth level, where it can safely weather almost any calamity save for a complete rout of the Joe team. This computer has links to the Pentagon's computer network (via a secure land line wired into the second level) as well as most other, secured law enforcement agency databases.

Escape Paths: in the event that Cobra, or some other nefarious organization should determine the true location of the Pit and assault it, or if some other calamity should strike the base, the Pit is fully equipped with several escape paths. Every level has access to a tunnel that leads to the water tower behind the motor pool, though there is also a secondary escape path that leads from level 5.

Garage: the first level of the Pit primarily consists of a large vehicle storage bay, one that can accommodate a large array of vehicles and towed implements of destruction. One could probably fit over a dozen MOBAT tanks within this space, assuming the Joe team felt the need to have so many of them built at any one time. The garage also has two large hydraulic lifts for moving gear up to the surface and back.

Gym Package: half of the Pit's third level is comprised of a large training area meant to keep the Joes on their toes. It is fully equipped with sparring mats, target practice bays, combat dummies, and even a full-length pool for swimming laps! Of course, when training Joes for special missions, the gym can be fitted with all kinds of unique training mechanisms with which to prepare them for field conditions.

Life Support: the Pit is equipped with completely internal utilities, such as power generators, atmospheric recycling apparati, and food and water stores capable of keeping the Pit fully functional for six months, its bottom two levels doing so completely sealed off from the outside world. Furthermore, every level (and every room within) can be sealed off by the Pit's main computer, if necessary.

Living Quarters: the Pit has a very large space for living quarters on level four, basically consisting of all of that floor which isn't already taken up by the armory. There are enough bunks to man about a hundred Joes on this level, though there are also eight special 'suites' for commanding officers, visiting dignitaries (assuming they have the proper security clearance), and the like.

Power Room: this massive generator, built into the foundation of the Pit on level 5, is powered by standard fuels, and capable of running for six months in a pinch, should external power to the Pit be cut off. Should this occur, the generator will switch on immediately, causing a minimal loss of electricity and ensuring that the Joes don't find themselves caught without computer support in an emergency.

Radiation Shielding: built during the height of the Cold War, the Pit was designed with nuclear war in mind. The facility was constructed such that, should the surface of the Pit take a direct hit with a nuclear warhead, the bottom two levels could survive the blast and resultant radiation! While the rest of the Pit would be vaporized, the rest could continue to function for months, thanks to this Shift Z (500) defense.

Staging Areas: the Pit has two large staging areas, spaces designed for Joes to muster their forces for a mission. The primary staging area of the Pit is on level three, adjacent to the gym, whereby Joes can move their gear straight from the training stage of a mission to the preparation stage. The secondary staging area is on level two, where further gear and heavy ordnance can be stored in a pinch.

1984 Variations

the Pit 2

When Cobra discovered the location of the Pit, Hawk deflected this fact by assembling one of the GI Joe team's pre-fab fortresses within the Pit, raising it when Cobra appeared to give them a convenient target to destroy. This plan ultimately worked, though the resultant battle severely damaged the Pitt. After rebuilding from scratch, the all new, second Pit had these additional features:

Boring Device: the original Pit had two escape tunnels, one which led to the water tower outside, and a secondary tunnel that exited in an undisclosed location. However, as a more efficient back-up escape plan, in the event of a total collapse in the Pit (which ultimately happened), a boring device (with Poor (4) ranked super digging) is kept on the bottom level, just in case.

Hangar Package: though the Joes house their heavy duty aircraft (Skystrikers, X-30 Conquests, etc.) at McGuire AFB, they still keep a few Dragonfly helicopter gunships and other VTOL vehicles within the Pit. These are kept in an expanded portion of the vehicle bay on the Pit's first level, and have access to the surface thanks to their very own hydraulic lift and motor pool 'expansion' building.

ICBM Silo: in addition to all their other defenses and sneakiness, the Joes added a missile silo to their headquarters; the citizenry of New York City would probably have kittens if that ever got public. This silo can fire a missile with global range, one that can fly at Shift Z (500) speeds, and may be armed with anything from conventional explosives, to ABC warheads if required to do so.

Kitchen Package: with the rampant growth of the GI Joe team, a growth that coincided with Cobra's own throughout the eighties, it became necessary for the Joes to have their own source of food, instead of just sharing space with the chaplains above them. The team has months' worth of canned goods, meat, and frozen foods available, the equipment to prepare such food, and a mess hall to serve it in.

Laboratory Package: usually manned by Flash whenever he's de-engineering some Cobra device or testing out new Joe gear, this electronics laboratory is fully stocked with all kinds of electronic testing gear, reams of spare components, and a bevy of experimental, yet classified devices that you're not cleared to know about. Flash, along with other Joe techies, uses the lab to great effect.

Medical Package: situated on the third level of the second Pit, the Joes added an infirmary within their headquarters, as the membership of their unit has grown considerably; the infirmary is usually staffed by Doc and/or Lifeline, while they're on duty - or whenever they're needed. This facility is fully equipped with operating bays, essential medical supplies, and everything needed to patch Joes up after a mission.

Rec Room Package: since the Joes aren't always fighting Cobra forces on some mission in a godforsaken corner of the world, it goes without saying that they sometimes need to blow off steam - or just relax. Adjacent to the new mess hall, the Joes' recreational and relaxation room is chock full of televisions, pool tables, video game machines, ping pong tables, and more.

1986 Variations

the Pit 3

After a second assault on Fort Wadsworth by Cobra forces, this time led by Cobra Commander and Serpentor, the Joes went mobile for a while (since the second Pit was utterly destroyed). While their equipment was on the move, many of the Joes participated in the construction of a third headquarters, this time situated in the middle of nowhere, deep within the deserts of southern Utah.

This third Pit has all the capabilities of the first two Pit facilities, though expanded yet again. For instance, the vehicle bay / hangar had to be large enough to contain the GI Joe space shuttles and their crawler vehicles, not to mention everything else they throw at Cobra on a regular basis. It is still underground, and cleverly disguised as three Quonset huts fenced off by the Army.

While Cobra eventually determined the location of this third headquarters, the Joes managed to successfully defend it on several occasions, ultimately teaching that terrorist outfit that the Joes weren't about to go to the trouble of building yet another base on their account. The GI Joe team used this facility as its primary base of operations until it was ultimately disbanded back in 1994.

When the team was activated anew a few years later, they made use of the third Pit as a main headquarters once more. Depending on the continuity involved, this may be but one of several bases in use, or just might be the repurposed remains of another facility that was previously constructed for a much different, much more fantastic reason. But either way, it has the same features as the previous Pits, if grander in scope.

Extra Goodies:

Pit Universal Heroes Text File Download

GI Joe directories featuring a version of the Pit:

  1982 1984 1986  

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