Huge Strategic Exercise Is Underway With Half The B-2 Fleet Airborne Over The U.S.

It started around 4pm PST when no less than a dozen KC-10 tankers began to pop up over the central United States. Around the same time, spotters in Minneapolis-St. Paul looked up to see a quartet of B-2 bombers barreling their way towards the southwest, their contrails streaking across the sky. It seems that yet another group of two sets of two B-2s followed shortly after. That is half the B-2 fleet in the air together at one time—something was clearly going on.

Not long after those sightings, reports of a pair of B-52 bombers heading east across the midwest popped up, one of those aircraft has since flown directly over Manhattan on its way across the Atlantic, while its wingman peeled off to the south, heading down the eastern seaboard of the United States.

B-52 flying over Manhattan before heading out across the Atlantic.© Provided by TIME Inc. B-52 flying over Manhattan before heading out across the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, The War Zone was pointed to the fact that large concentrations of KC-135 tankers have been amassed at Moses Lake in Washington State, as well as in Phoenix. Some of the aircraft came from units based far from American shores.

Now an E-4B airborne command post has launched out of Andrews AFB. These aircraft function as a flying Pentagon during a crisis and the National Command Authorities can wage war from them and initiate the release of nuclear weapons from anywhere on the planet.