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Former SecDef Hagel to speak NAOC 60th anniversary gala

  • Published
  • 8th Air Force

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. – The E-4B aircraft’s National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) mission turned 60 this year and the NAOC team is celebrating the milestone with a special gala in Omaha, Neb., Aug. 6.

Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is slated to be the keynote speaker at the celebration.

The event will be hosted by the 595th Command and Control Group and NAOC co-commanders, a local area civic support organization, as well as community partners and defense industry sponsors.

“Today we are honoring the men and women of the NAOC who have kept a constant, nonstop vigil for the past six decades,” said Col. Brian Golden, 595th Command and Control Group and NAOC commander, who oversees the operation and sustainment of the NAOC mission and its service members.

The NAOC, which is located aboard the E-4B, serves as a key component of the National Military Command System for the President, Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by providing a survivable, airborne, nuclear command, control and communications center.

What is now the NAOC mission originally began in February 1962 as the National Emergency Airborne Command Post (NEACP) aboard a different airframe, the KC-135A.

However, one aspect of the Nightwatch program has remained the same. There is always at least one jet on 24-hour alert, 7 days a week, with a global watch team of more than 75 personnel from all of the Services at one of many select bases throughout the world.

The NAOC 60th Anniversary Gala will take place at the Chi Health Center, 455 North 10th St., Omaha, Friday, Aug. 6. Interviews with former SecDef Hagel and Col. Brian Golden, the NAOC commander, will be offered.

Media representatives who are interested in attending the gala are required to register in advance with Mr. Justin Oakes, Public Affairs Director at (214) 709-2277 or email Tickets are required for entry and attire is formal. There is zero cost for media, but seating is limited. All media attendees are asked to be in place by 5 p.m.