Charlie Sheen isn't an F-18, but he is an EC-130 cargo plane specially configured for psy-ops. Some EC-130 flights over Libya have been going by the call-sign "SHEEN"— as in, "SHEEN 53, what's your altitude?" Other flights are "CYLONs."
A Dutch radio enthusiast who goes by the name Huub has been scanning the airwaves for public military communications related to the air assault on Libya—even active military flights have to broadcast information about their whereabouts to avoid collisions with civilian aircraft—and publishing his findings on Twitter. Most of it is enthralling gibberish. But so far we've seen flights called "SHEEN 53" and "CYLON 41."
SHEEN 53 was an EC-130, a specially outfitted plane designed to broadcast psy-ops messages to the enemy. Huub caught it landing at U.S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay in Greece, just across the Mediterranean from Libya.
He also heard CYLON 41 and CYLON 36, two E8-C radar surveillance aircraft, prowling the skies over Libya. Typically, the Air Force will assign similar groups of aircraft on similar missions the same callsign, with shifting numbers, so it's likely there are other SHEENS and CYLONS out there making lethal, horrible war over Northern Africa. Will it comfort the dead to know that they were felled with the help of machines named for TV show robots and drug-addled porn-star-fucking flailing hedonists? Probably, right?
[Photo of EC-130 via Defense Department]