Five RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. Air Force reconnaissance jets from Offutt Air Force Base have been moved to MacDill because of a record horrific flooding in Nebraska.
The U.S. Air Force reported that five RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft assigned to the 55th Wing, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, were evacuated during the weekend from Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha as the Missouri River overran its banks and covered portions of Offutt’s flight line. Nearly a third of the base was underwater, officials said.
The relocation to MacDill AFB ensures the aircraft remain out of harm’s way until they can safely return to their home station.
The RC-135s support theater and national level consumers with near real time on-scene intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities.
The aircraft is an extensively modified C-135. The Rivet Joint’s modifications are primarily related to its on-board sensor suite, which allows the mission crew to detect, identify and geolocate signals throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. The mission crew can then forward gathered information in a variety of formats to a wide range of consumers via Rivet Joint’s extensive communications suite.
The interior seats more than 30 people, including the cockpit crew, electronic warfare officers, intelligence operators and in-flight maintenance technicians.
Offutt is the training base for the 55th Wing’s 29 reconnaissance jets and four E-4B Nightwatch airborne command-and-control aircraft, and also hosts U.S. Strategic Command.