Fort Knox security
Discover the impenetrable fortress that safeguards America’s gold stores
The US’S gold reserves are held in several institutions across the country, but arguably none are more famous than the Fort Knox Bullion Depository near Louisville, Kentucky. Considered to be one of the world’s most secure vaults, Fort Knox hosts a significant proportion of the nation’s gold in the form of bars and coins (known as bullion).
Construction of the facility began in 1935 and was completed one year – plus over 450 cubic metres of granite, 3,200 cubic metres of concrete, 750 tons of reinforced steel and 670 tons of structural steel – later. Upon its completion, the Depository was placed under the jurisdiction of the US Mint, and the first shipments of gold arrived in 1937. This precious metal cargo had to be shipped by rail through the US Postal Service as it was too heavy to fly, and the Postal Service were the only couriers able to accept liability if any of the gold went missing.
Since then, the vault’s gold reserves have grown considerably, so protecting the facility is paramount. The Fort Knox Depository is reportedly equipped with an array of advanced security systems, some of which are outlined below. Understandably, many of the site’s security systems and protocols are classified. In the words of the US Mint, “perhaps the most advanced security system the Depository has to offer is its secrecy”.