The USAF’s E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft resumed service on 8 February, after undergoing an 11-month maintenance programme at Boeing’s Wichita facility.

The aircraft will provide connected and protected air travel returns to senior government and military decision makers, in support of the centre’s mission.

A modified Boeing 747-200, the E-4B serves the US president, secretary of defence and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

The E-4B aircraft provides a highly survivable command, control and communications centre to direct US forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities, during national emergencies or destruction of ground command control centres.

During the upgrade, Boeing performed an extensive programmed depot maintenance upgrade on the aircraft.

The upgrade was done to ensure the E-4B receives the repairs and system upgrades it needs to operate effectively and meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety requirements.

A full mod block upgrade will be performed on the next E-4B scheduled to enter maintenance.

The upgrade will include the addition of a senior leadership communications system and improvements to the aircraft’s global air traffic management system, audio infrastructure and interior.

The air force fleet of four E-4Bs is based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.