One of the Pentagon’s Doomsday Planes Goes by the Callsign ‘Trump’
Every day, there will usually be a U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury somewhere over North America, in case of nuclear war. Four-engined E-6B Mercurys roam the skies while packed to the gills with communications gear.
The mission is officially known as Take Charge And Move Out — or TACAMO. More popularly, the E-6Bs are known as America’s “doomsday planes.” It’s up to them to transmit orders to nuclear submarines, bombers and missile silos if the United States comes under nuclear attack.
You can easily track them online, as they typically broadcast their callsigns and locations.
Now one doomsday plane goes by the callsign “Trump.”
Above — ‘Trump’ in the air. Planefinder screencap. At top — an E-6B takes off from Offutt in August 2015 on a TACAMO mission. U.S. Air Force photo
Journalist David Cenciotti of The Aviationist wrote:
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?
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 theater.
But they were never seen or heard using such a callsign before March 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.”