2016-06-22_14-20-35


Background


Looking
Glass (or Operation Looking Glass) is the code name for an airborne command and
control center operated by the United States. It provides command and control
of U.S. nuclear forces in the event that ground-based command centers were
destroyed or otherwise rendered inoperable.


In such an
event, the general officer aboard the Looking Glass serves as the Airborne
Emergency Action Officer (AEAO) and by law assumed the authority of the
National Command Authority and could command execution of nuclear attacks.


The AEAO is
supported by a battle staff of approximately 20 people, with another dozen
responsible for the operation of the aircraft systems.


Declassified Documents


 Staff
instructions and training modules for Airborne Command Post (ABNCP) / Looking
Glass
[178 Pages, 3.7MB] – Released from STRATCOM.


Declassified Photos


General view of Boeing EC-135 looking aircraft. View to west. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Looking glass aircraft with open main entry door and cockpit hatch. View to south. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


General view showing rear of looking glass aircraft. View to north. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


View showing underside of wing, looking glass aircraft. View to north. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Head-on view of looking glass aircraft. View to southwest. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Detail of forward fuselage showing open cockpit hatch and ladder. View to southeast. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Interior of cockpit showing pilot and co-pilot seats with console and overhead instrument panels. View to northeast. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Interior of cockpit showing pilot consoles and flight engineer seat with instrument panel. View to east. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Interior view of electronics compartment. View toward rear of aircraft. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Interior view of communications compartment. View toward front of aircraft. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Interior view of communications compartment. View toward rear of aircraft. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Interior view of battle staff compartment showing the general's chair. View toward front of aircraft. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Photographic copy of photograph, n.d. (original photograph in 55th Wing Historian files, Offutt AFB, Bellevue, Nebraska). Looking glass aircraft on runway. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Photographic copy of photograph, n.d. (original photograph in 55th Wing Historian files, Offutt AFB, Bellevue, Nebraska). Detail of funnel-shaped drogue that holds the trailing wire antenna, a component of the aircraft's communication system. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Photographic copy of photograph, n.d. (original photograph in STRATCOM Historian files, Offutt AFB, Bellevue, Nebraska). Interior view of crew members at work in battle staff compartment. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Photographic copy of photograph, 1973 (original photograph in 55th Wing Historian files, Offutt AFB, Bellevue, Nebraska). Interior view showing Major General Jerry Johnson and crew at work in battle staff compartment. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B


Photographic copy of photograph, 1971 (original photograph printed in "55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing: A Decade at Offutt AFB, 16 Aug. 1966 to 16 Aug., 1976," by Col. Guy H. Winstead, Jr. and SSGT Jerome E. Schroeder, 55th Wing Historian files, Offutt AFB, Bellevue, Nebraska). Interior view of Lt. General Glen W. Martin "turning the key" during a practice launch of minuteman missiles. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B



Photographic copy of photograph, 1970 (original photograph in STRATCOM Historian files, Offutt AFB, Bellevue, Nebraska). Interior view of two crew members operating the data display system in the battle staff compartment. - Offutt Air Force Base, Looking Glass Airborne Command Post, Looking Glass Aircraft, On Operational Apron covering northeast half of Project Looking Glass Historic District, Bellevue, Sarpy County, NE Photos from Survey HAER NE-9-B

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