Looking Glass (airplane)

Looking Glass (airplane)

Looking Glass (or Operation Looking Glass) is the code name for an airborne command center currently operated by the U.S. Navy. It provides command and control of U.S. nuclear forces in the event that ground-based command centers are destroyed or rendered inoperable.The Looking Glass was initiated by the U.S. Air Force's Strategic Air Command in 1961.

The command center is referred to as "Looking Glass" because its mission mirrors ground-based command, control, and communications. It has also been called (much less frequently) the "Doomsday plane," since one of its roles would be to direct NORAD forces and help ensure continuity of government in the event of a massive nuclear attack on North America (this latter nickname may also refer to the Nightwatch mission and/or aircraft, however). Looking Glass can refer to both the Looking Glass mission and the Looking Glass aircraft itself.

The Strategic Air Command began the mission on February 3, 1961, using EC-135C aircraft based at its headquarters at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. Looking Glass aircraft were airborne 24 hours a day for over 29 years, until July 24, 1990, when "The Glass" ceased continuous airborne alert, but remained on ground or airborne alert 24 hours a day.

Today, the EC-135C has been replaced with the E-6 Mercury TACAMO commanded by USSTRATCOM, which is also based at Offutt AFB.

Current status

On October 1, 1998, the U.S. Navy's fleet of E-6Bs replaced the EC-135C in performing the "Looking Glass" mission, previously carried out for 37 years by the U.S. Air Force. This new mission allows the President and the Secretary of Defense direct command and control capability for America's strategic forces of ballistic nuclear missile submarines, intercontinental nuclear missiles and strategic bombers. With the assumption of this new mission, a battle staff now flies with the TACAMO crew. [ [http://www.tacamo.navy.mil/wing/index.asp TACAMO - Take Charge And Move Out ] ]

There is some speculation that the "mystery plane" seen flying over the White House on 9/11 was some newer incarnation of Project Looking Glass. Maj. Gen. Don Shepherd (Ret.), speaking on the cable news channel CNN on September 12, 2007, stated that the plane circling the White House on 9/11 resembled an E-4B, and appeared to be equipped with the same communications pod typical of the "Doomsday plane." As noted above, however, this term can also refer to Nightwatch aircraft.

ee also

*TACAMO
*Boeing EC-135
*Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post ("Nightwatch")
*E-6 Mercury
*Decapitation strike
*Continuity of Operations Plan
*Single Integrated Operational Plan
*Nuclear utilization target selection

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Looking Glass — may refer to: *Looking glass is another term for mirror. *Looking Glass (airplane) is a codename for an airplane that provides command and control of U.S. nuclear forces. Two different models of planes have been used: **E 6B United States Navy… …   Wikipedia

  • Through the Looking Glass (Jefferson Airplane album) — Infobox Album | Name = Through the Looking Glass Type = compilation Artist = Jefferson Airplane Released = 1999 Recorded = Genre = Folk Rock Rock Length = 63:36 Label = Get Back Metrodome Producer = Reviews = *Allmusic… …   Wikipedia

  • Through the Looking Glass (disambiguation) — Through the Looking Glass is a work of children s literature by Lewis Carroll.Through the Looking Glass or Thru the Looking Glass may also refer to:In film: * Through the Looking Glass (film) (1976), a film by Jonas MiddletonIn music: *… …   Wikipedia

  • Jefferson Airplane — Infobox musical artist Name = Jefferson Airplane Background = group or band Img capt = Alias = The Airplane Years active = 1965 – 1974 1989 Origin = San Francisco, California, United States Genre = Psychedelic rock, acid rock, folk rock, hard… …   Wikipedia

  • 'Best Of' Jefferson Airplane albums — Infobox Album | Name = Best Of Collections Type = compilation Artist = Jefferson Airplane Genre = Rock Label = various labels Best Of Jefferson Airplane Albums is a guide to the many albums with best of Jefferson Airplane in their titles. The… …   Wikipedia

  • The Roar of Jefferson Airplane (album) — Infobox Album | Name = The Roar of Jefferson Airplane Type = compilation Artist = Jefferson Airplane Released = 2001 Recorded = Genre = Folk Rock Psychedelic Rock Length = Label = RCA Producer = Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|4|5 [http://www.allmusic …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury-Atlas 6 — For the Looking Glass airplane, see E 6 Mercury. Mercury Atlas 6 Mission insignia Mission statistics Mission name Mercury Atlas 6 Spacecraft name Friendship 7 …   Wikipedia

  • Works influenced by Alice in Wonderland — Lewis Carroll s books Alice s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have continuously had a large cultural influence since they were published. Even today, Alice and the rest of Wonderland continue to inspire or influence many… …   Wikipedia

  • Alice's Abenteuer im Wunderland — Alice im Wunderland (englischer Originaltitel: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) ist ein Kinderbuch des britischen Schriftstellers Lewis Carroll. Illustration von John Tenniel (1865) Die fiktionale Welt, in der Alice im Wunderland angesiedelt ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — Alice im Wunderland (englischer Originaltitel: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) ist ein Kinderbuch des britischen Schriftstellers Lewis Carroll. Illustration von John Tenniel (1865) Die fiktionale Welt, in der Alice im Wunderland angesiedelt ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”