Upgraded E-6B Mercury visits Europe for the first time

June marked the first deployment of a Block I standard E-6B Mercury to Europe, as it arrived at RAF Mildenhall in the UK. Bob Archer details what new changes this update has brought to the E-6B fleet, as the US Navy prepares for the Block II upgrade

The US Navy’s Boeing E-6B Mercury fleet has recently passed the midpoint of its planned service life and has been the subject of a recent upgrade to Block I standard, with Block II updates about to commence.

Known as TACAMO – based on the World War Two-era US Marine Corps saying ‘Take Charge and Move Out’ – the role is a dual-hatted tasking, providing secure communications between the National Command Authority and the triad of nuclear weapons systems, comprising the Ohio-class nuclear submarines stationed across the world and the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and strategic bomber forces.

The E-6

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