Monday, October 5, 2020

U.S. Air Force evacuates missile-tracking planes to Travis Air Force Base

The U.S. Air Force has moved several RC-135S large reconnaissance aircraft, which flies Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed missions of national priority to collect optical and electronic data on ballistic targets, to Travis Air Force Base, California in preparation for stormy weather in Nebraska.

Already this week, heavy rains — some 3 inches or so — have caused lowland flooding in south-central Nebraska.

As the News Channel Nebraska reported, Strong to severe storms could materialize on Sunday afternoon and evening along a cold front moving through the area. The timing of the front remains somewhat uncertain, but it appears that the best potential for severe storms will be primarily in southeast Nebraska, north central Kansas, and southwest Iowa.

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Large hail, damaging wind gusts, and a few isolated tornadoes are possible early in the night with heavy rainfall possible if storms develop.

The potential for strong storms and heavy rainfall will continue through Monday.

The RC-135S Cobra Ball is a measurement and signature intelligence MASINT collector equipped with special electro-optical instruments designed to observe ballistic missile flights at long range. The Cobra Ball monitors missile-associated signals and tracks missiles during boost and re-entry phases to provide reconnaissance for treaty verification and theater ballistic missile proliferation. The aircraft are extensively modified C-135Bs.

The RC-135S, equipped with a sophisticated array of optical and electronic sensors, recording media, and communications equipment, is a national asset uniquely suited to provide America’s leaders and defense community with vital information that cannot be obtained by any other source.

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Executive Editor

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