The U.S. Air Force will retire the last five EC-135 Looking Glass aircraft in a ceremony at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Friday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. (CDT).
The EC-135C performed the flying command post mission for Strategic Air Command mission until 1992, and then for the U.S. Strategic Command until the present, for a total of 37 years, serving as a survivable, nuclear response airborne platform.
It provided a key element of the U.S. nuclear deterrence and was a significant contributor to U.S. victory in the Cold War.
For nearly 30 of those years, the Air Combat Command's 7th Airborne Command Control Squadron, or ACCS, (which, until 1992 operated as the 2nd ACCS) at Offutt flew at least one EC-135C operational Looking Glass mission 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Its mission was to control bombers and missiles if ground control was lost at the U.S. Strategic Command's Underground Command Center.
Upon the EC-135's retirement, the 7th ACCS transfers the Looking Glass missions to a fleet of Navy E-6B Tacamo aircraft based at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. Operational Looking Glass missions will be flown from an Offutt-based detachment of the Tinker wing.
For more information, call the 1st Lt. Jonathan Riley, at the 55th Wing public affairs office, (402)-294-3663.