[Ed. – An Australian news outlet picked up on commentary from plane-watchers speculating that the E-6B Mercury aircraft, which are used to disseminate strategic control information to Navy assets, had adopted a deliberately “visible” mode in civil air tracking with their IFF transponders. The implication was that it was a form of reassurance — e.g., to other nuclear-armed nations — about our strategic weapon systems remaining under positive control while the president is indisposed. U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) says no. The flights were previously scheduled and unrelated to Trump’s positive COVID test. Much too long to go into here, but there’s been a lot that needed updating in this regard since the end of the Cold War. Trump has probably done some of it, but I haven’t seen clues in the public record.]
Two Boeing E-6B Mercury planes were detected flying along both coasts of the U.S. mainland early Friday, around the time President Trump announced he and first lady Melania Trump were diagnosed with coronavirus — but the flights were “pre-planned” and the timing was “purely coincidental,” a U.S. Strategic Command spokesman told Fox News.
A senior defense official also told Fox News there has been “no change to the posture of the U.S. military” …
Trackers on social media noted that one Boeing E-6B Mercury was flying along the East Coast and another was spotted in the air above Oregon.