Monday, 15 January 2007

Baden-Powell he say Be Prepared

Apparently this thing flew into London Heathrow the other day.

The modified 747 is the so-called 'National Airborne Operations Center' (NAOC) — informally known as the 'Doomsday Plane' because it is designed to serve as the Pentagon's backup headquarters in case of a catastrophic attack on the United States. The NAOC on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week — although there are four identical planes that rotate duty, and also serve as backup to Air Force One. When President Bush's plane blew some tires while in Vietnam recently, the NAOC flew in to drop off the spare set that it routinely carries for itself. Unlike Air Force One, the NAOC can refuel in midair and is designed and supplied with engine oil, and food and water for the crew to be able to stay aloft for days. Its full crew includes intelligence analysts, communications specialists, maintenance troops, and even its own security force. It constantly monitors all major U.S. commands and the location of nuclear forces, keeps an eye on potentially hostile military troops, gathers intelligence data, and monitors the whereabouts of every U.S. government official in the line of succession. The NAOC also carries with it at all times about a dozen of the most relevant war plans in case senior officers need them at hand.

I have italicised the bit “can refuel in mid-air”. Nothing wonderful about that John you may well say. Yes but it is meant to “ serve as the Pentagon's backup headquarters in case of a catastrophic attack on the United States”. Catastrophic is the word to note. So, just where will the tankers get the fuel from? Oh – plenty in store suitably dispersed about the USA. The same lucky dispersal applies to the tankers. Still, at least there is some arrangement. Just wonder what we here in UK have. I would like to think we have no equivalent and that B.Liar and those who have done so much to jeopardise and downgrade our defences were well involved at the heart of any catastrophe. Maybe we could bribe a rogue RN officer to set any up as a target any airborne Number 10 with the nice new Trident resources.

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