After the United States had abandoned their military bases in Europe and put an abrupt end to eight decades of NATO history, the nations of Europe had to restructure their forces from the ground up in order to fill the gap left by their former allies who were now minding their own business on the other side of the Atlantic. The ECA military planners realised that Europe would need its own strategic bombing capabilities in order to play in the same league as the other global superpowers. Showing a sound degree of foresight, the planners decided that the most suitable country to house and operate the assets would be the United Kingdom, which has been regarded as an 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' since the dawn of military aviation. As a result, Bomber Command made a reappearance as a distinct entity within the RAF command structure and a conglomerate of British and European defence contractors provided the necessary aircraft in the form of the Vulcan B.3 bomber. Thanks to its powerful engines, the Vulcan has a very short response time for a bomber of its size. Its main armament is extremely precise Smart Bomb - comically dubbed the '16-ton-weight' by Vulcan crews.