We like to think of the drone war as some thing far away, fought in the deserts of Yemen or the mountains of Afghanistan. But we now know it is closer than we believed. There are 64 drone bases on American soil. That contains 12 areas housing Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, which can be armed.
Public Intelligence, a non-profit that advocates for free access to information, released a map of military UAV activities in the United States on Tuesday. Assembled from military sources — specifically this tiny-known June 2011 Air Force presentation (.pdf) – it is arguably the most complete map so far of the spread of the Pentagon’s unmanned fleet. What precise missions are performed at these places, however, is not clear. Some bases may well be employed as remote cockpits to control the robotic aircraft overseas, some for drone pilot training. Others may also serve as imagery analysis depots.
The medium-size Shadow is utilised in 22 bases, the smaller Raven in 20 and the miniature Wasp in 11. California and Texas lead the pack, with 10 and six websites, respectively, and there are also 22 planned locations for future bases. ”It is really likely that there are a lot more domestic drone activities not included in the map, but it is designed to provide an approximate overview of the widespread nature of Department of Defense activities throughout the US,” Michael Haynes from Public Intelligence tells Danger Space.
The possibility of military drones (as well as those controlled by police departments and universities) flying over American skies have raised concerns among privacy activists. As the American Civil Liberties Union explained in its December 2011 report, the machines potentially could be used to spy on American citizens.
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:24 pm Location: Earth, for now Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:01 am ” by Evildweeb Revealed: 64 Drone Bases on American Soil By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai June 13, 2012 1:41 pm Categories: Air Force, Drones, Spies, Secrecy and Surveillance We like to think of the drone war as something far away, fought in the deserts of…