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E-4B Used To Fly Defense Secretary?  
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12523 posts, RR: 35
Posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8306 times:

I notice that Bob Gates is using the E-4Bs quite a lot for his travels; what kind of interior does this aircraft have? I had always assumed that there were mostly systems/electronics on board.

What is their normal operation; it's one type in the USAF fleet that you don't hear a lot about.

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12158 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8316 times:

The upper deck is equipped for VIP travel. Jimmy Carter once flew in an E-4B, and referred to it as the "doomsday airplane".

User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8250 times:

When ever the Us Defence Secretary visits the UK or Europe he arrives in an E-4B.

Its a great way of saying i am here and its the best way for the Secretary to stay in touch with what the US Military machine is doing, The E-4B being a an Emergancy Airbourne Command post.

Rolling Stone Magazine once called the E-4A/B The Flying Führer Bunker.

 old 


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12742 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8164 times:

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
In January 2006, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced the entire E-4B fleet would be retired starting in 2009. However the current Secretary reversed this decision in May 2007. The E-4B fleet will remain in service until at least 2015

So I guess Sec. Gates likes flying around in a big showy airplane. Wouldn't you?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8141 times:

Rumsfeld flew to "his last" Munich Security Conference onboard an E-4B and a.net photodase shows some more occasions where it was used for VIP travel.

User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8641 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 8105 times:

While some focus on the high cost of operating the E-4B, I figure if you're the Secretary of Defense, then a fully staffed 747 is just 0.0001% of the budget you are managing.

By that standard, most company CEOs shouldn't even have a Toyota to get around. Let alone their own jet. Gates runs a department with a $750 billion per year budget and millions of employees, hundreds of ships, aircraft, etc. 11 aircraft carrier battle groups. The list goes on and on.


User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8018 times:

The E-4B has a small crew operating it and has a lot less room inside than most people realise due to all the Military equipment thats cramed into its skin.

It beeing the National Emergancy opeartions centre NAOC,It used to known as NECAP National Emergancy Air borne Command Post. It is basicaly a Larger version of the Old EC-135 Looking Glass air borne command posts.

But they E-4s still do Standing Duty at Andrews AFB waiting for the day that hope fully will never come World war 3.

The closest thats ever come to was 9/11 when the USAF launched the E-4B that was at Andrews AFB it was shown climbing out over the white house on TV news with a reporter saying J**** they Launched the Dooms Day plane!!  Wow!  Wow!
     

[Edited 2008-03-19 15:35:56]

User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7965 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):
By that standard, most company CEOs shouldn't even have a Toyota to get around. Let alone their own jet. Gates runs a department with a $750 billion per year budget and millions of employees, hundreds of ships, aircraft, etc. 11 aircraft carrier battle groups. The list goes on and on.

While fuel costs account for much of the operational costs, especially on long-haul travel, fuel costs are not much of an argument in military aviation. Fuel is just "there" and consumed cost-wise. Most squadrons have a flight-hours-target which they have to meet. The fuel consumed is just a dependent variable.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):
While some focus on the high cost of operating the E-4B, I figure if you're the Secretary of Defense, then a fully staffed 747 is just 0.0001% of the budget you are managing.

That is not much of an argument. The DefSec has a certain need for time efficiency and security and that has to be met at lowest cost. There is no relation between the budget a minister is responsible for and the budget he has got at his disposal for "business travel".


User currently offlineFtrguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7957 times:



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 6):
But they E-4s still do Standing Duty at Andrews AFB waiting for the day that hope fully will never come World war 3

They don't stand Alert at Andrews. That's mostly done at Offutt AFB.


User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 7862 times:

Must have Changed as i have seen an E-4 parked on a remote stand at Andrews with Large yellow pipes plugged into the machine cooling the on-board avionics waiting for days at a time.

Along with a Couple of Engine Starters close by.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8641 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7856 times:



Quoting PADSpot (Reply 7):
The DefSec has a certain need for time efficiency and security and that has to be met at lowest cost.

Well I suppose, but there is no cost constraint. Our military operates as it deems appropriate... cost is not something they worry about.

I am not endorsing this, but I have to say, if anybody does need a flying 747 command center, that individual is probably the Defense Secretary of the US. Even more so than the President, IMO.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7844 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Our military operates as it deems appropriate... cost is not something they worry about.

Well, in combat and alert situations that is probably true. But for the sake of clarity to others who might be reading this thread and thinking "Oh my God, those military ninnies are just throwing our tax dollars away without a care in the world!" cost is a major factor in what the military does on a day-to-day basis.

I take it you never had to work up a budget for your unit or section, come up with a five year plan, decide who went TDY, etc. There's a great big Air Force out there beyond the flightline.


User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1261 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7836 times:



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 9):
Must have Changed as i have seen an E-4 parked on a remote stand at Andrews with Large yellow pipes plugged into the machine cooling the on-board avionics waiting for days at a time.

IIRC, the E-4Bs do frequent Andrews for various reasons, so its entirely possible that one was standing by on the ramp for a period of time. But ftrguy is right, their "home turf" is Offutt.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7829 times:

This is what Wiki has to say about the E-4B a long time ago pre9/11 i visited Mildenhal lAFB as a Spotter and got to stand behind an E-4B which was on a Ramp that over looks some houses next to the base its Very impressive(

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_E-4


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31124 posts, RR: 85
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 7764 times:
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When Rumsfeld signed the order to retire the E-4B fleet, there was speculation they would go to FEMA since they could serve as mobile command posts. The C&C function would then be offloaded to the USN's E-6 TACAMO planes who already oversee the SSBN leg of the strategic triad.

Personally, I think keeping the E-4Bs around for a bit longer makes sense. It is true that the VC-25A has much of the same functionality, which has rendered the need for the E-4B in the NEACP role to be mostly redundant, but it is a very functional and capable C3I platform.


User currently offlineBrewha From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 7 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7216 times:

Hello,

What I've learned about the E-4B -- the plane is a CJCS asset (not USAF), handled through STRATCOM and operated/managed by ACC.

Apparently they re-thought Andrews as a primary foward operating base bacause as part of their mission, continuity of government is a primary mission and in an all out nuclear or other type of enemy attack...Andrews would probably be a poor place to be on alert

The mission is NAOC and is the most survivable arm of the NMCS. The functionality, mission and therefore mission package is very different from the VC-25.


User currently offlineMoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2350 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7206 times:



Quoting Brewha (Reply 15):
Apparently they re-thought Andrews as a primary foward operating base bacause as part of their mission, continuity of government is a primary mission and in an all out nuclear or other type of enemy attack...Andrews would probably be a poor place to be on alert

"Back in the day" before the VC-25 was around with its C&C capabilities, the E-4 did pull alert regularly at Andrews - it was always within a certain distance of POTUS in the NEACP role. We used to get the E-4 pulling alert at Grissom AFB when POTUS was in the the area. They had a dedicated facility and support staff at the opposite end of the field from our tanker alert facility. They let some of us crew dogs tour the plane and facility once - some neat stuff inside.



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12523 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7044 times:

I note that Atlas Air has recently won a USAF contract to train E-4B crews.

User currently offlineMedAv From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6904 times:

I don't think they should be retired, but for the Defense sec to to travel on them might be overkill, I think. Even the vice president usually just uses the C-32/752 (although he has used the VC-25 for some overseas trips).

User currently offlineJgarrido From Guam, joined Mar 2007, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6893 times:

On his last trip to Asia Sec. Gates took the big boy (VC-25).

User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5929 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6693 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
The upper deck is equipped for VIP travel.

No.

Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 6):
The E-4B has a small crew operating it and has a lot less room inside than most people realise due to all the Military equipment thats cramed into its skin.

You have no idea.


User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6684 times:

Thats right Wedgetail737 since I have never been inside an E-4B and I will probably never get the chance.

Still I like the big Beasts visiting the UK it gives me somthing diferent to look at besides the Normal Traffic at LHR and Mildenhall.

 old 


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