Tag Archives: E-6B Mercury

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.