The Nation: Trial Run for Doomsday

Instead of flying home to Georgia last weekend aboard the usual Air Force One, Jimmy Carter and his family went via one of the world's most sophisticated aircraft: one of the three "Doomsday" jets that are constantly on alert at heavily guarded Andrews Air Force Base near Washington. Were a nuclear war to break out, Carter would be whisked aboard one of the jets — or sped via helicopter to any of several underground, nuclear-insulated command centers.

Why did Jimmy take the trip? "If we ever have an emergency," he explained, "I just want to make sure that the transition is...

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