A U.S. E-6B Doomsday Plane is using “Trump” as radio callsign while flying over central U.S. right now

Mar 13 2016 - 16 Comments

By accident or not, a U.S. Navy E-6B is flying over CONUS using callsign “Trump.”

This is really interesting: at 18.15 GMT an E-6B Mercury (TACAMO – “TAke Charge And Move Out”) that appear to have departed from Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is flying at 29,000 feet over central U.S.

Based on the information gathered by Planefinder.net via ADS-B, the aircraft is serialled 162784 and it is flying more or less southbound over Arkansas, after crossing the airspaces over Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

And, most interesting, it’s using a somehow unusual callsign: Trump.

Trump flight

Not sure the reason behind this callsign.

Most probably someone thought that it was funny to give a “Doomsday” plane the name of the (controversial) candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election as a radio callsign. Or maybe something else. Who knows?

Anyway, the “Mercury” are U.S. Navy operated aircraft that play an extremely important role for U.S. National Security: they are used to relay instructions to the fleet ballistic missile submarines in case of nuclear war but also act as back ups of the four E-4Bs NAOC (National Alternate Operations Center), working as ABNCP (Airborne Command Post) platforms (hence “Doomsday Plane“).

They are often trackable online, while performing various critical missions: the so-called Looking Glass mission (mirroring the ground-based C3 center at Offutt AFB and relaying orders); talking to submarines trailing a 26,000 ft wire antenna; launching commands to ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles) via Airborne Launch Control System, and performing C3 (Command Control Communication) operations to forces operating in theatre.

But they were never seen or heard using such a callsign before Mar. 8, when E-6B 162784 was caught using “Trump” for the first time.

BTW, as “Trump” continues its flight southbound, another E-6B is flying over northeastern U.S. with a less weird callsign: “Leon 55.”

Leon 55

H/T @BalooganCamp for the heads-up. Image credit: screenshot from Planefinder.net.

  • AronLump

    That’s bizarre and a little tacky.

    • pyroclastic

      Yeah it is but we shouldn’t get sidetracked in this thread commenting on the life of Donald Trump. What do you think about the callsign?

  • jaydeflix

    Correction: The call sign is “TRUMP”. By putting it in proper case, you are automatically attributing it to being related to the idiot, as opposed to the far more likely word ‘trump.’

    • Spencerhut

      Which idiot are you referring to? The multi-billionaire? The guy that will likely be the next US President? Idiot compared to whom? (Don’t forget to call me a racist in your reply)

  • Jim Burrill

    Not unusual at all. “Trump” is a verb as well as a family name. Like “playing trumps” or ” My ace trumped his Jack”. I flew in both TACAMO squadrons over the years in EC-130s and this call sign follows all normal mission call sign conventions. No conspiracy theories here….sorry to disappoint you.

    • phuzz

      In British English it’s also slang for fart.

      • humptydumpty762 .

        Oh thank you for that, so perfect…

      • Pete Miller

        Let me guess, you’re British?

        In any case, it wouldn’t be relevant since the story is about Americans.

  • InklingBooks

    There’s probably a randomized list of call signs for this particular aircraft. This one just happened to come up “Trump.” Those who like to listen to the cryptic number-code messages from these aircraft might listen on 8.992 MHz, USB. There other frequencies for North Atlantic civilian air traffic, including 5,598, 8906, and 13306 MHz, also USB.

  • Kenny Plaetevoet

    This isnt the Radio callsign of this aircraft . its just for fun the crew putting it in the fmc . we seen ” goblue ” and like today LEON55 that is using MAGNA73 as Callsign in real live . so never believe the callsigns on planefinder or adsb !!

  • TJ

    Again nothing unusual. F-16CJ unit in US using TRUMP in 2007


    Call sign TRUMP has also been used by US command and control aircraft dating back to the 1970s.


  • Keith Jones

    I thought the Looking Glass flights were discontinued after Cold War ended ? Were they restarted ? Is this an attempt to let the world know they are flying again. Im sure the Russians would know already.

  • Adam Sylvester

    DO you actually believe in this conspiracy theory

  • McPosterdoor

    Man they make an effort to stay the hell out of Oklahoma don’t they?
    Go Big Red.

  • Pete Miller

    “Not sure the reason behind this call sign. Most probably someone thought that it was funny to give a “Doomsday” plane the name of the (controversial) candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election as a radio callsign. Or maybe something else. Who knows?”

    LOL. You’re giving away your left wing political bias. Odd, considering the type of site that this is.

    No, the reason for the call sign is likely very simple, the vast majority of American military members support Trump’s common sense and patriotic politics.

    • cencio4


      political bias? I’m not even American….it’s simply noticing something interesting. A coincidence or maybe not.