Steffan Watkins  Profile picture
I'm a research consultant, a writer, a source. I track aircraft & ships using publicly available info. I fact-check public officials regularly. I show my work.
🇺🇸 AtlantaAnne 🇺🇸 Patriot 🇺🇸 Jesus 🇺🇸 Profile picture Profile picture WalterPPK Profile picture 3 subscribed
Aug 11 54 tweets 22 min read
🇨🇦⚓️ Where #HMCSMontréal has been since March 26, when they departed Halifax on #OpPROJECTION, using @MarineTraffic AIS-T and AIS-S data. 🧵

This thread serves as a guide, to you the reader, of what to look for in Royal Canadian Navy communications; it's your crackerjack box secret decoder ring when they're vague.

All of this information has been broadcast by the ship's AIS transponder over the airwaves, picked up with every SIGINT satellite in orbit, military and commercial, every plane in line-of-sight(LOS), collected by every significant adversary, and included in a dossier with other intelligence, that was reported up their chain of command, before I woke up this morning.

Our military and government public affairs officials can, without compromising national security, speak plainly and include everything up to (at least) this level of information, because every adversary already knows; they told them. They got the memo.

This is also the minimum amount of detail that the public should expect in any media story about HMCS Montréal's deployment; all this information is at journalists' fingertips too. Public affairs should be more forthright to make journalists' lives easier. This information isn't a secret to the outside world.

All times in UTC, unless otherwise mentioned.
🇨🇦⚓️ Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigate #HMCSMontréal's first port of call was Lisbon for 4 days from April 4 to April 8.

Fighting erupted in Sudan on April 15. #OpPROJECTION

May 24 4 tweets 4 min read
🇬🇧 41% (9) of the RAF A400M Atlas fleet of 22 do not fly. Of the remaining 59% (13) that do fly, some of them are deployable, and some are homebodies doing training and certification. #ZM406 returned from the Airbus depot in Getafe, Spain 🇪🇸. Image 🇬🇧 RAF C-130J Hercules #ZH869 #43C198 was sent to Cambridge 🇬🇧 to be decommissioned, bringing the number of Hercs remaining to 5, all of which are flying regularly, except #ZH870 #43C04C hasn't flown in a week.. maybe they're next? 🪦
+ No coverage of the Herc flight to Benghazi. Image
May 21 13 tweets 11 min read
There's nothing that reinforces the stupidity of mankind like Facebook drama.

Two #USAF C-17 Globemasters (09-9212 #AE49C8 #RCH745 & 10-0214 #AE4D67 #RCH435) landed at in Calgary YYC and the USAF asked the Ground Handling Company to enforce a ban on pictures and video of the…… ImageImageImage Our review starts on 2023-05-13 when #RCH435 took off from Charleston and flew to JBA. #AE4D67,a… Image
May 19 17 tweets 14 min read
Hasn't anyone thought about the implications of what the government admits to doing?

Forget that they factually, deliberately, stopped transmitting Mode-S/ADS-B to hide their "training" operations over Ottawa; what is their data retention policy, on the data they collected from…… Let's review the flight data that shows the arrival of American-registered N330TT #A3978A call sign CAVE033 operated by MAG Aerospace (per contract) from when they arrived in Ottawa on Tuesday January 25, 2022 from Hagerstown, Maryland - immediately before the arrival of the…… Image
Feb 27 11 tweets 7 min read
"China promptly issued a protest on Monday after a US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane flew through the Taiwan Strait"

Monday, their time, is still 2023-02-27, ie today.

Did anyone already identify which #USNavy Boeing P-8A Poseidon that was this morning? Very likely, yes. 👇

Feb 26 14 tweets 3 min read
Are you familiar with how MLAT works? I have a dataviz/infographic/GIS visualisation challenge that I'm coming to the realization I do not have the skills to adequately convey in a graphic, and am looking for some help. Basically, I'd like to show what Syria (say) would look like with a robust MLAT-gathering network of Mode-S receivers in an isometric 3D representation, showing overlapping coverage cones, and the density of receivers needed for border or nationwide MLAT, if that makes any sense.
Feb 25 5 tweets 8 min read
🇨🇦 #RCAF CC-177 Globemaster III (4/5, 80% ✅)

‣ 177703 flew the 3rd shipment of armoured vehicles to #Haiti 🇭🇹
‣ 177703 flew supplies from #14WingGreenwood to Sicily 🇮🇹 for the pair of CP-140 Auroras deployed to Ex #DynamicManta.,c…
#8WingTrenton #429Sqn Image 🇨🇦 #RCAF CC-150 Polaris (4/5, 80% ✅)

‣ 15001 is in #Hawaii for 🤷‍♂️ as call sign #CFC3120, via San Diego from Trenton.
‣ 15004 is in New Orleans for 🤷‍♂️ as call sign #CFC3133 from Trenton.
‣ 15002 is still at Mirabel.,c…
#437Sqn #8WingTrenton Image
Feb 25 14 tweets 6 min read
🇺🇸 Has anyone looked up the Mode-S of the #USNavy P-8 Poseidon used in this piece, and put together the timeline of this story yet? Mike is on the case, zeroing in on the time, which is what I needed! 😎

Feb 23 6 tweets 5 min read
Very interesting; if I'm not mistaken the #AusAirForce changed their emissions posture vis-a-vis their transponder between their 2020 and 2021 #OpARGOS missions. In 2020, either they didn't fly, or they obfuscated their patrols sufficiently to avoid open source scrutiny. From 2020-09-22 to 2020-10-24 🇦🇺 #RAAF P-8A Poseidon A47-010 #7CF9D4 was deployed on #OpARGOS, but they were never picked up using ADS-B flying any missions over the East China sea, only transits between bases. 🤔
Feb 21 4 tweets 1 min read
Some git that moderates the @flightradar24 subreddit censored easily accessible publicly available information. 🤦‍♂️ I'm going to need to tweet a lot more about the E-4, again, to raise awareness of their baseline, clearly! 🤦‍♂️

Feb 21 19 tweets 15 min read
Before I explain to the #AusAirForce 🇦🇺 comms ppl, please appreciate that their P-8A Poseidon fleet broadcasts its own location to anyone who will listen, using ADS-B. That signal will geolocate them from orbit. On patrol, their locations are the least secret thing over the SCS. This tweet, that has all the words in it you'd need to find it, gives you the tail numbers and ICAO Mode-S hexes of the whole #AusAirForce 🇦🇺 P-8A Poseidon fleet. You can follow them pretty much any day with the link that's included in the quoted tweet.

Feb 20 10 tweets 5 min read
Here's a way you may not have looked at the data #ADSBexchange gives you.

Planes using ADS-B transmit their precise location (lat/lon/alt/speed/etc) but planes using Mode-S need to be geolocated using multilateration (MLAT). like TRIangulation, but with 4 data points (Multi) 🧵 Here is an image (and link) representing *only* planes being geolocated using MLAT. Meaning, 4 or more #ADSBexchange receivers have them in line-of-sight (LOS); 10 of them.…
Feb 19 5 tweets 4 min read
The CAF display poor situational awareness re public visibility of 🇨🇦 #RCAF aircraft.

- #14WingGreenwood deployments to Keflavik
- #19WingComox #OpCARIBBE Jan/Feb 2023
- #CANSOFCOM ISR over #Ottawa Jan 27/28 2022
- Withdrawal x2 CC-130J from #OpIMPACT Aug 2022 What about #14WingGreenwood deployments to Keflavik?

It's only a matter of time before the CP-140 Aurora deployments to Keflavik, that coincide with Russian Navy movements through the GIUK gap, get traction in the press.

They pretend it's not happening. We see them. 🤦‍♂️
Feb 15 9 tweets 4 min read
🇺🇸 People stop me on the street all the time and ask me, Stef, how can you tell where in the United States there are too few #ADSBexchange receivers to geolocate aircraft that aren't broadcasting their precise location data using multilateration (#MLAT)?
Great question! Here's what you do:
filter by altitude, between 10,000-40,000 ft, that restricts the results to aircraft which are flying high enough that we should home four or more receivers are in line of sight, a requirement for #MLAT.
Feb 14 12 tweets 14 min read
🇨🇦 #RCAF CC-177 Globemaster III (4/5, 80% ✅)

‣ 177701 flew from Trenton to Ottawa to Whitehorse on 2023-02-12 presumably related to the 🎈
‣ 177704 seems to be out of comission at #CFBTrenton, it hasn't flown in over a month.,c…
#8WingTrenton #429Sqn Image 🇨🇦 #RCAF CC-150 Polaris (4/5, 80% ✅)

‣ 15002 is still going through some stuff at Mirabel, possibly out of commission for months.,c…
#437Sqn #8WingTrenton Image
Feb 2 31 tweets 15 min read
Let me understand this really well, 🇺🇸🇨🇦 #NORAD QRA fighters didn't shoot down the 🇨🇳 Chinese spy balloon in American, then Canadian, then American airspace? 😂


🤦‍♂️ They flew right through the #ADIZ that the media get their bloomers in a bunch about when the Russians fly antiques through, and VIOLATED American and Canadian airspace, which the Russians never do, and the Chinese continue to do; did I get that right? What a bunch of bullsh!t.
Feb 1 4 tweets 5 min read
"The operation involved (...) supporting and operating four F-35s, three CF-18s, four KC-135s, one CC-150, one E-3, and one CH-149."

Okay, let's add them up. 🧵 🇺🇸 #USAF E-3 Sentry 83-0009 #AE11F2 #CACHE50

Flights identified using #ADSBexchange
Jan 13 5 tweets 2 min read
🇨🇦 Here's the distribution of the Canadian-registered Top Aces Alpha Jet fleet. I took the superset of everything registered to them, worked back to 2022-09-01, identified everything that's flown in that time, and flagged those that haven't flown in a month+. Image 🇨🇦 CFB Cold Lake (4)
🇨🇦 CFB Bagotville (5)
🇨🇦 Halifax (1)
🇩🇪 Fliegerhorst Nordholz (2)
(+5 haven't flown in over a month)

The idea is, if they haven't flown in over a month, they may be going through some maintenance; or not, I can't tell. 🤷‍♂️
Jan 13 4 tweets 4 min read
While this article is 5 years old, and likely out of date regarding the operations that are being carried out from Keflavik 🇮🇸, it makes it clear to me that the "rotational" deployments of large numbers of #USNavy P-8A Poseidon and #RCAF CP-140 Aurora aircraft are a #NATO mission It's also clear that #RCAF and #USNavy operations out of NAS Keflavik 🇮🇸 and NAS Sigonella 🇮🇹 are related, it's basically the same mission, the only difference is #Keflavik surges when the Russian Navy is brining a submarine through the GIUK gap, making a very obvious tell for us
Jan 12 15 tweets 18 min read
🇨🇦 Where is the #RCAF today? 🇨🇦 #RCAF CC-177 Globemaster III (4/5, 80% ✅)

‣ 177701 just got back from Haiti
‣ 177702 is somewhere on the other side of the planet
‣ 177703 is still in San Antonio 🇺🇸 (since August 🧑‍🔧)
‣ 177705 arrived in Bagotville yesterday,c…
#8WingTrenton #429Sqn Image
Dec 8, 2022 7 tweets 5 min read
🇨🇦⚔️ Can we figure out which aircraft brought the #CANSOFCOM members back from Niger who were deployed on #OpNABERIUS 🇳🇬? If the person in charge was trying to be nice they would have sent something comfortable, like a CC-150 Polaris... did they? Let's look.,c…