National Geographic : 1965 Sep
still running through routine post-flight checks, it was all in a night's work. Some of SAC's planes are always in the air. One flight, called "Looking Glass," constantly orbits the central U. S. in eight-hour shifts (pages 310-11). This flying command post would direct U. S. nuclear retaliation if SAC headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska, and its alternate ground command posts should ever be wiped out. 316 Special planes, always ready for take-off, would provide emergency communications facilities. Other planes fly airborne-alert mis sions that last 24 hours. The number aloft at any time is classified, but it is enough to en sure survival of a strike force to retaliate in stantly against enemy attack, even if many of our planes on the ground were destroyed. Nothing stops such flights. At Glasgow, Montana, our northernmost domestic base outside Alaska, winter lashes with violent blizzards and temperatures far below zero.