In a rare move, the E-4B “Doomsday” plane made a visit to the secretive Tonopah Test Range Airport in Nevada with the U.S. Secretary of Defense onboard.
E-4B “Doomsday Plane” Makes Unannounced Stop At Secretive Test Base
The E-4B is also known as the Nightwatch aircraft and the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC). There are four in the fleet and these modified Boeing 747-200 aircraft were built to serve as a nuclear command center that could withstand a nuclear blast and allow the President of the United States to launch nuclear retaliation. These jets can also be used to direct military operations and are used to transport the Secretary of Defense.
The visit was not published, but discovered by a correspondent for The Drive, with the arrival of 74-0787, the registration for the jet, noted at Tonopah Test Range Airport (TTR). The aircraft was also using the callsign TITAN25, which is reserved for when the Secretary of Defense is onboard (like Air Force 1 is only the call sign when the U.S. President is onboard).
— Thenewarea51 (@thenewarea51) July 25, 2021
In addition the E-4B, an Air Force Gulfstream V (C-37A) typically used as VIP transport also “possibly” landed at TTR about 60 minutes before the E-4B. While the C-37A appeared to be enroute to TTR, that is a guess since the aircraft turned off its transponder before reaching its destination.
It could be that the C-37A was used to transport Austin To Area 51 or another place during his visit, leaving other passengers (and potentially a press pool) onboard the E-4B with window shades closed at TTR.
The E-4B took off after a few hours, with Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III tweeting out when the plane made a technical stop in Alaska. Austin is headed to Asia this week.
Wheels down in Alaska. pic.twitter.com/vjrpLW8LF3
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) July 24, 2021
This is all so mysterious. The E-4B itself, the odd stop at Tonopah Test Range Airport, the Gulfstream V, and the nature of the visit. While the clandestine operations of the U.S. government may not be as sexy or fascinating as some of us imagine, it is nevertheless interesting to ponder what was the nature of that stop in Nevada.