Multiple “Doomsday planes” were tracked flying over America’s east and west coast just half an hour before President Trump revealed on Twitter that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Tim Hogan noticed an E-6B Mercury flying off the east coast shortly after 12 am EST.
RT There's an E-6B Mercury off the east coast near DC. I looked because I would expect them to pop up if he tests positive. It's a message to the small group of adversaries with SLBMs and ICBMs. pic.twitter.com/3ta9PmPxZD
— Tim Hogan (@TimInHonolulu) October 2, 2020
He saw another on the west coast a few minutes later.
Hogan said he believes that “Stratcom wants them to be seen.”
Here's another E6-B that just popped up visible on MLAT on the west coast. IMO Stratcom wants them to be seen. pic.twitter.com/nvN03Rnnh9
— Tim Hogan (@TimInHonolulu) October 2, 2020
Harvard professor and CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem chimed in, writing: “30 minutes before Trump’s announcement, the fail safe planes are put into air to deter foreign adversaries. Part of continuity protocols. As I said, we have a plan.”
Sorry. No data so far.
“Without being dramatic, these are the doomsday planes (we should probably change the name) established during Cold War in event of presidential death or illness to deter adversaries,” Kayyem said in a follow-up tweet.
Kayyem later deleted the tweets because she wasn’t sure if the two events were linked.
US Strategic Command on Friday put out a statement saying the missions were “pre-planned” and the timing is “purely coincidental.”
From Business Insider:
US Strategic Command, which oversees the US strategic nuclear forces, told Insider in a statement that “these flights were pre-planned missions,” adding that “any timing to the President’s announcement is purely coincidental.”
“There’s been no change to DoD alert levels. The US military stands ready to defend our country and interests. There’s no change to the readiness or capability of our armed forces. Our national command and control structure is in no way affected by this announcement,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
Here’s some info on the “Doomsday planes” from the US Air Force:
The E-4 is a militarized version of the Boeing 747-200 and serves as the National Airborne Operations Center for the president, secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was delivered to the Air Force for operational use in December 1974 and assumed alert status from the EC-135J 35 years ago this month. Since then, the aircraft and her Nightwatch team have been continuously ready, serving “hot” alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“The E-4B is the most technologically advanced airborne system in the world,” said Lt. Col. David Gaskill, 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron commander, who oversees the day-to-day operations of the aircraft. “From the front to (the) back of the jet, we’ve got some of the brightest and most professional Airmen in the Air Force.”
Originally known as the National Emergency Airborne Command Post, the E-4’s mission during the late 1970s and 1980s was to provide the president a safe location to conduct wartime operations in the event of a nuclear attack, earning the jet the dubious moniker, “the doomsday plane.”
“Though the Mercury doesn’t carry any weapons of its own, it may be in a sense the deadliest aircraft operated by the Pentagon, as its job is to command the launch of land-based and sea-based nuclear ballistic missiles,” National Interest reported in 2018.
“…[T]he E-6’s sinister purpose is to maintain the communication link between the national command authority (starting with the president and secretary of defense) and U.S. nuclear forces, even if ground-based command centers are destroyed by an enemy first strike. In other words, you can chop off the head of the U.S. nuclear forces, but the body will keep on coming at you, thanks to these doomsday planes.”
[Updated with statement from US Strategic Command.]
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