Why was a USAF ‘Nuke Sniffer’ flying close to the Brazilian Coast

Was there any reason for intelligence-gathering flights to hide behind an aircraft on an already highly unusual mission? Sérgio Santana examines the possible reasons for a WC-135R flight close to the Brazilian coast

On January 14, 2023, at 10:02 Pacific Standard Time, a McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender tanker operated by the United States Air Force’s 6th Air Refueling Squadron, 60th Air Mobility Wing, and serial number 85-0029 callsign ‘SKATR15’ departed from its home at Travis Air Force Base, California, and flew toward the Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, where it landed some hours later. 


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