The NATO Joint Operations Centre at Kanne in Belgium was used as the Alternate War HQ for The 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force until about 1990. It was built in a disused stone quarry, and had a permanent staff of about 20 and a wartime establishment of about 200.
Sub Brit’s Bob Hankinson worked there during February and October on exercises for three years in the early 1980s, and was delighted to pick out his office from a declassified floor plan which Joep Orbons provided. Since he was on day shift, 12 X 7, he would see no daylight for a month, since it was dark on going in and dark on coming out. He recalled exploring with the firemen; going out of the emergency exit into the farmer’s quarry and seeing wall carvings and entering the site in the Netherlands and coming out in Belgium. The complex is now badly contaminated with asbestos and there is no possibility of access; the last visitors were obliged to wear white suits and respirators. NATO still have the lease, but are not looking forward to its ending, since the owner wants it back without the asbestos contamination.