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E-4B “Doomsday Plane” Just Touched Down at Tonopah; Defense Secretary Likely Onboard; What’s Going On?!


In a highly unusual move, the E-4B “Doomsday Plane” just touched down at Tonopah Test Range Airport (TTR).

There are two key pieces to this story.

#1. the E-4B Nightwatch aircraft is one of the U.S. Air Force’s most technologically advanced planes.

It is rarely used.

#2. Not only was this plane used, but it landed at the highly secretive TTR.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with TTR, it is perhaps the most secretive aircraft operating location in the entire country, with the exception of…

You guessed it: Area 51.

But that’s not all.

Preliminary reports appear to suggest that the Secretary of Defense was onboard when the plane landed.

This has many of us asking:

What’s going on?

This doesn’t appear to be a standard trip by any means.

More details below:

This unusual visit was noticed by those who track air traffic.

The Drive reports:

In a highly unusual move, one of the U.S. Air Force’s E-4B Nightwatch aircraft, also known as National Airborne Operations Centers, or NAOCs, touched down today at Tonopah Test Range Airport (TTR), one of the most famous secretive aircraft operating locations in the United States, only surpassed by nearby Area 51. What might have triggered this highly unusual visit is puzzling, to say the least, but it seems it could (me must stress could)have been related to a possible visit to the facility by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III.

Confirmation of the E-4B’s arrival into TTR was provided using data available from open-source flight data website ADS-B Exchange, with the jet, serial number 74-0787, using the TITAN25 callsign usually assigned when the Secretary of Defense is onboard.

Widely referred to as “Doomsday Planes,” the Air Force’s four existing E-4Bs are based on Boeing 747 airframes and are most famous for providing a robust and survivable airborne command post that offers a platform for the President of the United States, under a framework known as the National Command Authority (NCA), to initiate a nuclear strike. The planes have other functions, too, including directing large-scale military operations or a response to other major contingencies, such as major natural disasters. Also among their roles, the Nightwatch jets are often employed as a means of transporting the Secretary of Defense to foreign countries. You can read more about the E-4Bs and their missions, which are an essential component of overarching continuity of government plans, in this past War Zone piece.

A C-37A — a Gulfstream V used as a VIP transport by the Air Force — appears to have possibly landed at TTR about an hour before the E-4, although it appears to have turned off its transponder before touching down there, so the final part of its flight cannot be conclusively determined.

The Secretary of Defense had been expected to leave for a three-country tour of Asia sometime this week, but his exact departure date was not formally confirmed. With that in mind, it’s possible that Austin was making a visit to TTR ahead of leaving for Singapore, his first destination in Asia.

It’s notable that the Air Force’s latest Red Flag large-force combat exercise is now underway at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, which might have prompted a visit by the Secretary of Defense to the nearby TTR. Red Flag 21-3, which is making use of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), is a U.S. forces-centric version of the exercise and is employing F-117 Nighthawks in an aggressor role.

Usually, a press team will be is onboard the E-4B if it’s taking the Secretary of Defense on an overseas tour, and the arrival of such an entourage at the notoriously secretive TTR would be a significant event in itself. If press were onboard, they could have been told to wait on the aircraft with shades drawn or, possibly, they were included whatever went on there. But considering the extreme security at TTR, that would be really a major shift in access.

After all, the wider Nevada Test and Training Range area includes the Department of Energy’s legendary nuclear test site, Area 51, and other normally off-limits areas. Of these, TTR is where the F-117 Nighthawk program was run in secret in the 1980s, and where the stealth jet still flies today, while during the Cold War the base also hosted Soviet fighters that were flown clandestinely for testing and as adversaries against American and allied fighters. Today the base is known to support ongoing Foreign Materiel Exploitation (FME) programs, as well as far more clandestine operations, including those surrounding advanced unmanned aircraft and special operations capabilities. It is the top site in the country where a highly classified program would move from a developmental role at Area 51 into a semi-operational one, while still maintaining secrecy.

This would not be the first time a Secretary of Defense has quietly visited components of the NTTR to look at what is waiting in the shadows in terms of next-generation air combat capabilities, but we have never known of a visit to Tonopah and especially aboard an E-4B.

Another option is that the E-4B flew into TTR without the Secretary of Defense on board. Either way, we now also have an indication that the aircraft departed the Nevada base after only a few hours, taking off at around 3:00 PM local time, according to online flight-tracking sources. The aircraft is now heading toward Alaska, which would be indicative of a trip to Asia.

The timing of all of this is also notable.

Not only are the Olympics happening in Japan, but there’s been increased talk here at home about Biden’s obvious cognitive decline.

We do know for a fact that the Defense Secretary is headed to Southeast Asia.

That would appear to confirm the reports that he was onboard this plane.

According to VOA News:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is heading to Southeast Asia to reassure allies concerned by China’s growing military abilities as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple the region.

“It’ll be a really good visit,” Austin told reporters traveling with him to Alaska Friday ahead of his visit to Asia.

“We add value to the stability to the region, so my goal is to strengthen relationships,” he said.

Next week Austin will visit Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. It is the first trip to Southeast Asia by a top member of the Biden administration and Austin’s second trip to the Asia-Pacific region, which he referred to earlier in the week as the Pentagon’s “priority theater of operations.”

Murray Hiebert, a Southeast Asia analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told VOA the subregion is primed for U.S. engagement after “a general feeling” that “under the [former President Donald] Trump administration they didn’t pay that much attention to Southeast Asia.”

“And there has been some grumbling — media reports, think tankers have been writing, ‘Where the heck is the U.S.?’

“It’s seven months in [to the Biden administration] and they haven’t done anything yet,” Hiebert said.

Austin had planned to lead a large delegation in June to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, but the meeting was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. He is scheduled to deliver a keynote address for IISS on July 27 during his coming visit to Singapore, which likely will touch on Austin’s stated pursuit of a “new vision of integrated deterrence” of Chinese aggression across the region.

China’s coast guard and maritime militia vessels have frequently harassed fishermen inside the Philippine exclusive economic zone. Chinese vessels also have pestered oil and gas developers off the coasts of Malaysia and Vietnam, hindering their energy development.

Austin told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday he plans to reaffirm America’s commitment to freedom of the seas, which runs counter to what he called “unhelpful and unfounded claims” made by China in the hotly contested South China Sea.

“We don’t believe that any one country should be able to dictate the rules,” Austin said.

Last week, the USS Benfold destroyer sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands, located south of China and east of Vietnam, to challenge “unlawful restrictions on innocent passage” in a move known as a freedom of navigation operation, according to the Navy.

China claimed it “drove away” the U.S. warship, a claim the Navy immediately dismissed as “false.”

China, Taiwan and Vietnam each assert the islands are their territory and require either permission or advance notification before a military vessel passes near, which the U.S. did not give.

Other islands and atolls in the South China Sea are contested by Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. China considers much of the resource-rich sea its territory — despite the territorial claims of other nations — and has created hundreds of hectares of artificial islands to bolster its territorial claims.

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“It’s a dangerous place. Accidents could happen, that’s for sure,” Hiebert told VOA, adding that the expanded islands have enabled increased Chinese harassment and pressure.

The U.S. frequently conducts freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea to dispute China’s claims and to promote free passage through international waters that carry half the world’s merchant fleet tonnage, worth trillions of dollars each year.

If this were President Trump’s administration, there would have been “leaks” about what’s happening.

But because the media is loyal to the Biden regime, it is difficult to get a sense of what’s going on.

One thing is certain, however:

We are truly living in historic times.


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