It’s called “Night Watch.” That‘s the nickname given to the military’s E-4B 747 airplane. But none of those names stack up to its more ominous descriptor: “doomsday plane.” After learning just a few facts about the aircraft, you realize quickly the name is appropriate. For example, it has an electromagnetic pulse shield as well as thermo-radiation shields that protect the plane in the event of a nuclear strike. It has its own security team, can fly for days without refueling, and it can even communicate with submarines underwater. And it can be scrambled almost immediately, like it was after 9/11. “If the command centers that are on the ground in the United States have a failure of some sort, or attack, we immediately get airborne. We’re on alert 24/7, 365,” Captain W. Scott “Easy” Ryder, Commander, NAOC, told ABC News. “Constantly there’s at least one alert airplane waiting to get airborne.” ABC’s Diane Sawyer recently toured the jet as it ferried its usual client, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates:
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