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Boeing E-4 Coming to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for the First Time
May 23, 2018 - For the first time ever, the United States Air Force Global Strike Command is bringing a Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. The E-4 is a modified Boeing 747 used as a mobile command post for the National Command Authority. Each E-4 has more than a dozen external communications systems, giving those aboard the ability to run the country from the sky in case of a disaster.
E-4 Aircraft Commander Lt. Col. Mike Brazelton said many people confuse the E-4 with Air Force One, and that even he did not know much about the E-4 until he began working with it.
“A lot of people don’t know about this plane,” Brazelton said. “In fact, when I applied to come here, I didn’t even know about it. For the public to see something like this at an airshow, I think, is pretty awesome.”
The Air Force has four E-4 aircraft, and at least one of them is on alert at all times. They are able to fly anywhere in the world, with the anywhere being Oshkosh during AirVenture this year. The huge airplane will fly three passes for the gathered crowd.
One of the E-4’s missions is ferrying the Secretary of Defense around the world, a job Brazelton said ranks among the best moments for him in his time with the Air Force.
“Probably the coolest part of our job is we get to fly the Secretary of Defense whenever he goes overseas,” Brazelton said. “I’ve flown with Secretary [James] Mattis probably five times now, and in my 24 years in the Air Force that will probably go down as the highlight of my career.”
The trip over Oshkosh will be only the second time an E-4 has appeared at an air show in the last several years, making the historic flybys a signature Only in Oshkosh moment.