Published September 23, 2015
An Air Force E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft sits at the international airport in Bogota,Colombia Oct. 3, waiting for Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jerry Morrison)
AF File Image
The E-4B, a militarized version of the Boeing 747-200, is a four-engine, swept-wing, long-range high-altitude airplane capable of refueling in flight. The main deck is divided into six functional areas: a command work area, conference room, briefing room, an operations team work area, communications area and rest area. An E-4B may include seating for up to 112 people, including a joint-service operations team, Air Force flight crew, maintenance and security component, communications team and selected augmentees.
The E-4B is protected against the effects of electromagnetic pulse and has an electrical system designed to support advanced electronics and a wide variety of communications equipment. An advanced satellite communications system provides worldwide communication for senior leaders through the airborne operations center. Other improvements include nuclear and thermal effects shielding, acoustic control, an improved technical control facility and an upgraded air-conditioning system for cooling electrical components.
To provide direct support to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the JCS, at least one E-4B NAOC is always on 24-hour alert, 7-days a week, with a global watch team at one of many selected bases throughout the world.
In addition to its national and NC2 mission, the E-4B provides support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides communications and command center capability to relief efforts following natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
Air Force Global Strike Command is the Air Force single-resource manager for the E-4B, and provides aircrew, maintenance, security and communications support. E-4B operations are directed by the JCS and executed through U.S. Strategic Command. USSTRATCOM also provides personnel for the joint airborne operations center battle staff.
The E-4B evolved from the E-4A, which had been in service since late 1974. The first B model was delivered to the Air Force in January 1980, and by 1985 all aircraft were converted to B models. All E-4B aircraft are assigned to the 595th Command and Control Group at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The 595th CACG aligned under Eighth Air Force October 1, 2016.
Point of Contact
Air Force Global Strike Command, Public Affairs Office; 245 Davis Avenue East, Suite 198; Barksdale AFB, LA 71110; DSN 781-1305 or 318-456-7844; e-mail: email@example.com