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Looking Glass

Looking Glass is a codename for the E-6B United States Air Force Strategic Command's Airborne Nuclear Command Post (ABNCP)

The United States' nuclear strategy depends on its ability to command, control, and communicate with its nuclear forces under all conditions. An essential element of that ability is "Looking Glass." Its crew and staff ensure there is always an aircraft ready to direct bombers and missiles from the air should ground-based command centers be destroyed or rendered inoperable. Looking Glass is intended to guarantee that U.S. strategic forces will act only in the manner dictated by the President of the United States.

The now-deactivated Strategic Air Command began the mission on February 3, 1961. It took the nickname Looking Glass because the mission mirrored ground-based command, control, and communications. From that date, an Air Force EC-135 Looking Glass aircraft was in the air at all times 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for more than 29 years. On July 24, 1990, Looking Glass ceased continuous airborne alert, but remained on ground or airborne alert 24 hours a day. Crews accumulated more than 281,000 accident-free flying hours, an aviation phenomenon. On October 1, 1998 the Navy's E-6B Mercury TACAMO replaced the EC-135 in the Looking Glass mission.


See also Through the Looking-Glass (children's literature).


The Looking Glass Society is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting understanding and acceptance of transsexual/gender dysphoric people.



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