Tag Archives: Doomsday Plane

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.

Enjoy a Guided Tour Inside the E-4B NAOC Doomsday Plane

The E-4B is one of the so-called Doomsday planes.

In the event of a nuclear war, a terrorist attack, an alien invasion or, generally speaking, Armageddon, the U.S. Air Force’s four E-4B planes based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska will be responsible to keep the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top personalities alive whilst Obama would be on board the Air Force One.

The E-4B is a modified B747-200 that serves as National Airborne Operations Center providing a flying command, control and communications center to direct nuclear (and conventional) forces, by receiving, verifying and relaying EAM (Emergency Action Messages).

One aircraft is usually airborne every 12 hours, with another one ready for departure with a 5-minute notice.  An E-4B always supports Air Force One’s trips abroad. If national command centers on the ground are attacked or unavailable, an E-4B is immediately scrambled.

The following video gives you the opportunity to take a guided tour inside one of these interesting and important planes.

 

H/T to Jonathan Kohn for the heads-up

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

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“Doomsday” planes will keep U.S. decision makers alive in case of Mayan Apocalypse on December 21st

Even if scientists have already debunked the Mayan Apocalypse myth, there is a lot of people who still take the alleged imminent end of the world quite seriously.

People around the world is taking different precautions for the many ways the end of the world could become a reality by the end of the week, the most popular of those is the use of shelters or survival pods capable to withstand massive solar storms, huge waves, weather events and so on.

However, if you were among the few U.S. “decision makers”, your escape plan would already have been established and your survival pod would come in the form on an E-4B plane.

In the event of a war, a terrorist attack, a zombie apocalypse, alien invasion etc., whilst the President of the U.S. would be on board the Air Force One,  the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top personalities would be kept alive on board the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of four E-4B planes based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

The aerial platform (supported by several tankers) would give the U.S. military the capability to direct nuclear (and conventional) forces, by receiving, verifying and relaying EAM (Emergency Action Messages).

Nicknamed “doomsday planes”, such modified B747-200s serve as National Airborne Operations Centers providing “a highly survivable, command, control and communications center to direct U.S. forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities.”

One aircraft is usually airborne every 12 hours, with another one ready for departure with a 5-minute notice. If national command centers on the ground are attacked or unavailable, an E-4B is immediately scrambled: that’s why a “doomsday plane” was seen orbiting above Washington DC minutes after a hijacked plane had crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

The E-6B Mercury can do the same job.

Built on the Boeing 707 airframe and using a B737 cockpit, this aircraft has a range of 5,500 miles, and accommodates 23 crew members. The U.S. Navy has a total fleet of sixteen E-6Bs. It can perform the so-called Looking Glass mission (mirroring the ground-based C3 center at Offutt AFB and relaying orders), it can talk to submarines trailing a 26,000 ft wire antenna, it can launch commands to ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles) via Airborne Launch Control System, and can perform C3 (Command Control Communication) operations to forces operating in theatre.

For this reason they are often deployed abroad: they were monitored in Iraq and have been deployed to the UK in the past.

One E-6B mysteriously circled above the British islands during the Osama Bin Laden raid.

Hence, on Dec. 21, there’s nothing to worry about. Still, if you live near Andrews Air Force Base, and see the Air Force One leaving accompanied by some E-4Bs, maybe it’s time to run towards the nearest shelter…

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