Utah is a state in the western United States. It became the 45th state admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896. Utah is the 13th-largest, the 31st-most populous, and the 10th-least-densely populated of the 50 United States. Utah has a population of nearly 3 million (Census estimate for July 1, 2015), approximately 80% of whom live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. Utah is bordered by Colorado to the east, Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast.
Approximately 62% of Utahns are reported to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS (Mormons), which greatly influences Utah culture and daily life. The world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is located in Utah's state capital, Salt Lake City. Utah is the most religiously homogeneous state in the United States, the only state with a Mormon majority, and the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church.
The state is a center of transportation, education, information technology and research, government services, mining, and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Utah had the second fastest-growing population of any state. St. George was the fastest–growing metropolitan area in the United States from 2000 to 2005. Utah also has the 14th highest median average income and the least income inequality of any U.S. state. A 2012 Gallup national survey found Utah overall to be the "best state to live in" based on 13 forward-looking measurements including various economic, lifestyle, and health-related outlook metrics.
Slip-Stream's home is Provo (105,410), where I-15 passes Utah Lake in the north central part of the state.
PIT III: Southern Utah desert (7 Years)
After the destruction of the first Pit, a new G.I. Joe headquarters facility was planned. Built beneath a U.S. Army supply depot in the Southern Utah desert, the new facility was situated to avoid some problems with the site of the original Pit. The Fort Wadsworth site proved too dangerous to personnel and Staten Island residents when Cobra uncovered its location. Thus, a depot in the desert was chosen due to its relative isolation.
The new base was built beneath the U.S. Army Chaplain's Assistants Supply Depot in Utah's Escalante Desert. Anyone who passed by the facility saw little more than a cluster of three quonset huts inside a barbed wire fence. A small number of Joes usually inhabited the huts to maintain the illusion of a working supply depot. The new base lacked the huge vehicle lifts and elevators of the old Pit, and was accessible through a stairway beneath a trap door in the center quonset hut. The trap door was often covered by a rug and guarded by the Joe member Spirit, who sometimes sat on the rug and meditated. The final construction stages of the new Pit were completed by the Joes themselves. When the facility was finished, the older Joes dubbed it "Pit III," with a feeling of nostalgia for their original base.
The wide open spaces of the desert allowed for an even more ingenious method of getting vehicles and heavy equipment above ground than the original base. Pit III's first level held the main staging area. Larger than the first Pit's staging area, it could hold many of the Joes' large vehicles and was even vast enough to accomodate the space shuttle Defiant and it's crawler launch vehicle. At one end of the level was a huge set of sliding blast doors. When the doors opened, a set of hydraulic lifts lowered a ramp which was an artificial segment of the desert floor above. The ramp allowed vehicles of all sizes to exit and enter the Pit leaving no trace of the ramp after its use. This also allowed the Joes to use the desert as a launch site for the Defiant. The rest of the base's four levels included operations and supply, an armory, living quarters and a mess hall. Like the Joes' previous headquarters, the base was heavily armored and self-sustaining for long periods of time. The desert around the base was often patrolled by small groups of Joes.
Unfortunately, the Pit III was a target of Cobra as much as the original Pit. Cobra technicians took note of spy satellite images that showed a small base in the desert where more people entered and exited a quonset hut than could be comfortably quartered inside. Suspicious of the site, Serpentor sent Dr. Mindbender's cybernetically enhanced Star-Viper, who had reflexes and infiltration skills far beyond the average person. The Star-Viper found his way into Pit III and stole a top secret electronic "black box" from the Defiant's computer system. He would have escaped easily that night, but he interrupted a tender moment between Flint and Lady Jaye. The Joes sent the few armored vehicles they had above ground after the Star-Viper, but he escaped. The black box eventually forced the Joes into the Cobra Island civil war.
Some time later, Dr. Mindbender sent out an assault force to the location of the Pit. The Joes, however, had been tipped off. When Cobra arrived and destroyed the quonset huts, all they found beneath them was solid desert. The Joes had simply moved the huts a mile across the desert, keeping the Pit hidden under the desert floor. The Cobra troops, led by a humiliated and confused Dr. Mindbender, retreated back to Cobra Island. A less conspicuous attempt to infiltrate the base occurred after Zarana brainwashed Joe team members Clutch and Rock & Roll while they were held in the Cobra-controlled town of Broca Beach. The two seemingly normal Joes made it back to the team and were allowed into the Pit. Once there, their programming was activated, which was supposed to cause them to go on a violent rampage through the base. The Joes were spared from the incident when Clutch and Rock & Roll's own nature would not allow them to become murderers and overrode the brainwashing. A long time later, Cobra Commander staged another assault on the Pit, but was repelled by the G.I. Joe team.
Unlike its predecessors, Pit III was not destroyed, but simply closed after the G.I. Joe team was disbanded in the wake of Cobra's supposed abandoning of the United States. Most of the active Joes attended a ceremony to "retire the colors", folding up the base's American flag for one last time. Afterward, the gates were locked and "no trespassing" signs were hung up to keep people away. After briefly being used to stage one final mission, Pit III was never used by the Joe team again. Years later, the G.I. Joe team was reinstated by the military but moved on to another base which would also be dubbed "the Pit".
Pit IV: (2 Years): Northern Utah
The reinstated Joe Team returned to Utah for their Fourth Pit, but not the previously known located. Pit IV was located closer to Salt Lake City. It, however, did not last long, because Cobra suspected the Joes were based out of Utah again. It closed after only 2 Years.
Return to Pit III
In 2015, after an attack on Pit VII, Joe brass started renovating and expanding Pit III in preparation for G.I. Joe to move back into it.
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