Many New Yorkers were alarmed this afternoon by a USAF C-130 and several Black Hawk helicopters that could be seen circling at low altitudes over Manhattan. Per the Washington Post, U.S. Air Force Col. Nicholas Broccoli, the vice commander of the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing, said the aircraft were conducting “standard military training.” That said, there is seemingly very little that is “standard” about a C-130 circling at low altitudes over Manhattan for 30 minutes. According to Buzzfeed deputy news director Tom Namako, the NYPD was not notified of military aircraft expected to be flying at low altitudes over the city.
The aircraft apparently flew in a crisscrossing pattern over Midtown Manhattan with the center of the pattern roughly aligned over Trump Tower. So while the mission of the aircraft has still not been revealed, it’s certainly not difficult to see how it might have something to do with defending President-elect Trump. Efforts to confirm details about the purpose of the aircraft with the FAA received the following ambiguous response. Meanwhile, several anxious New Yorkers took to twitter to post sightings of the aircraft.