Advanced Fallout Shelter
Door type Mk IV West-Tek blast door
Leaders Chairman of the Company (Bethesda)
General of the facility (intended)

The United States Navy Advanced Fallout Shelter No. 1 was a military-grade fallout shelter built underneath the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. AFS #1 was just one of over a dozen such planned fallout shelters, all of which were part of an effort known as Operation Phoenix. The effort to construct these complexes were primarily focused around major military installations, with the Bethesda National Naval Medical Center being the location of the first shelter.


AFS shelters, known also as PDI fallout shelters (or "PDI Vaults", colloquially), were intended as hubs for the United States Government in Exile, the Enclave. From these shelters, mass quantities of data could be collected, stored, and transmitted. Because of the potential permanency of global nuclear destruction, and the required upkeep of the databases the AFS shelters were home to, it was deemed necessary to develop fallout shelters that were what the Vault-Tec Vaults were advertised as -- self-sufficient, self-replenishing shelters.

Initially, the Enclave commissioned a much smaller and simpler shelter, designed for a small team to last for just twenty years. However, General Buzz Babcock, who took charge of PDI after Sid Preston retired, recognized the necessity for a shelter with more longevity in the event of a nuclear holocaust, and as a result the small shelter was expanded exponentially. The first AFS, under the National Naval Medical Center, became a twenty-five level complex, each one spanning the breadth of the city under which it was built. Thirty such shelters were planned by the time AFS No. 1 was completed, but only around a dozen were complete to the point of necessity, and several more in construction, by the time the Great War hit.

AFS No. 1 refers specifically to the NNMC's shelter, while AFS No. 2 refers to the expanded-upon Site R, Raven Rock. AFS No. 7 was the only subaquatic shelter, built under the guise of an oil rig off the coast of California, while AFS No. 9 was located beneath the West Tek institution.


Each fallout shelter is constructed around a subterranean super-computer, which is at the center of the facility. The upper twenty levels are dedicated to the livelihood of the inhabitants, and as such, consist of the water filtration plant, the artificial farms, and the other necessities to live a self-sufficient life. The lowest five levels are used for classified projects and reasons; the armory, the laboratories, the manufacturing plants, and the generator levels are located on the lowest five levels. There is a lower twenty-sixth "level", which consists of nothing more than a monitoring station.

The interior design, in contrast to that of the Vaults, is very basic. The walls are unpolished and undecorated, apart from the occasional marking denoting the level and wing in which the marking is located. Each level has an assigned level, going from highest to lowest (25 - 0). The markings differ thus:

  • Yellow indicates a living area, such as an office or a place of residence.
  • Green indicates an artificial farm or green-house.
  • Blue indicates the water purification plant.
  • Red denotes high-tier access only -- that is, the generators, the armory, and research laboratories.

The Bethesda shelter made use of a General Atomics International generator, and an highly-improved version of the water-chip which was installed most Vault-Tec Vaults. In addition, the Bethesda and West-Tek shelters both made use of the same pressurization, temperature, and humidity control systems. Most materials were to be manufactured or refined by hand, so the automation of those procedures, which was common place in Vault-Tec facilities, unnecessary -- thereby lessening the chance of irreparable failure, and actually marking a significant difference between the military-designed PDI shelter and the Vault-tec Vaults.

The shelter's door is also vastly different from that of any Vault-Tec design. Where the Vault doors were intended to appeal to civilians (as with the rest of a Vault-Tec Vault), the PDI shelter's doors were intended to be pure utilitarian. The outer door design was based upon that of the blast doors of, for instance, a rocket testing facility. They weren't intended to survive for much longer than the time taken to close the inner door, which was based upon the hatches of a ship. First, the outer door would close (which was a fast process), and then the inner door would be closed behind it.


See alsoEdit

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