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

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.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • 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?

  1. 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.’

    • 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 !!

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