A USAF Bombardier E-11A (reg. 11-9355) orbited for about two and a half hours off the Lebanese coast.
Further south, a USAF Boeing KC-135R (reg. 58-0112) orbited for about the same time, probably carrying out an AAR mission for assets in the area (but not tracked).
We don’t know if the two missions are related, but both aircraft departed from airbases in the Gulf area.
The Bombardier E-11A carries the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) , an airborne communications relay and gateway system.
BACN enables real-time information flow across the battlespace between similar and dissimilar tactical data link and voice systems through relay, bridging, and data translation in line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight situations. Its ability to translate between dissimilar communications systems allows them to interoperate without modification.
Because of its flexible deployment options and ability to operate at high altitudes, BACN can enable air and surface forces to overcome communications difficulties caused by mountains, other rough terrain, or distance. BACN provides critical information to all operational echelons and increases situational awareness by correlating tactical and operational air and ground pictures.