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The Military Technology

64 Drone Bases Located On American Soil 234

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-and-serve dept.
MikeatWired writes "We like to think of the drone war as something far away, fought in the deserts of Yemen or the mountains of Afghanistan. But we now know it's closer than we thought, writes Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai at Danger Room. There are 64 drone bases on American soil. That includes 12 locations 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 — especially this little-known June 2011 Air Force presentation (.pdf) — it is arguably the most comprehensive map so far of the spread of the Pentagon's unmanned fleet. What exact missions are performed at those locations, however, is not clear. Some bases might be used as remote cockpits to control the robotic aircraft overseas, some for drone pilot training. Others may also serve as imagery analysis depots."
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64 Drone Bases Located On American Soil

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    News at 11.

  • Woah! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:09AM (#40321087)

    Wait, you mean the American military has bases on American soil?! Well stop the fucking presses!

    • One of the sites on the map is not far from where I live. The thing is that there is no "military" base in Okeechobee Florida so I did a little research...
      http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/design-architecture/are-non-military-drones-flying-into-regulatory-quagmire/4759 [smartplanet.com]

      ewww I am terrified. The Army corp of engineers are using small hand launched "drones" to monitor lake Okeechobee which is frankly a way cool use of tech folks. Yea this guy in a polo shirt throwing a model airplane from a bass boat terrifies me

      • Personally, I'm looking forward to our ubiquitous drone overlords.

        I can see this as a total win -

        1. Target practice - better than trap or skeet. I'll bet .22 bird shot would take down the little ones. For the bigger guys, it's always goose season around here....
        2. Spare parts - the local Radio Shack doesn't carry UAV stuff yet. I'd love to pick up a couple of those little guys when the batteries run down or they hit a tree.
        3. Cat practice for the ones in your backyard. Better than having the stupid a

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Wait, you mean the American military has bases on American soil?! Well stop the fucking presses!

      I think the conspiracy theorists are going "they're spying on us!!!" when in reality, a lot of those bases are used just ot launch and recover UAVs.

      What people don't realize is these UAVs have extremely long range (especially with in-flight refuelling) so unless they are needed at a moment's notice, stationing them inside the US is a good idea - all your parts are nearby, no supply chain issues, etc.

      It's just lik

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:10AM (#40321091)

    If someone overlaid a map of UFO sightings over the top of this...

    • by chill (34294) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @09:21AM (#40321627) Journal

      Make all the jokes you want, but a drone was confused as a UFO just yesterday in D.C. I expect the number of UFO "sightings" to skyrocket.

      http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/18785637/beltway-ufo-said-to-be-military-drone-aircraft?clienttype=printable [myfoxdc.com]

      • by Entropius (188861)

        This is DC. Next to Baltimore it has the highest density of morons and crazies of anywhere I've seen.

    • Not sure why this was moderated as Funny, such a mapping would be quite interesting and depending upon how far off something is when it is spotted, a drone flying overhead could easily be spotted but someone might not know what it is.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If someone overlaid a map of UFO sightings over the top of this...

      Anyone who hasn't seen a drone in flight - most people in the continental US for example - wouldn't be able to identify it, I mean consider a Predator drone [ddmcdn.com]. Its a weird-looking fucker at the best of times, now imagine seeing it lit up by a setting sun, flitting through low cloud... The Martians are coming, the Martians are coming!!!!!!! Definitely an "Unidentified Flying Object".

      And for gods same, don't try to take a photo of it with a long lens, while wearing arab dress.

      KABOOIEEEE!!!!!!

      Interesting time

  • by protonics (1269744) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:11AM (#40321095)
    Thankfully, the weapons are inaccessible until someone obtains at least a 5 point streak.
  • You're kidding!?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrgnDancer (137700) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:16AM (#40321131) Homepage

    ... Really?

    There are also more US Army, Air Force, and Navy bases in the US than in the rest of the world combined. Many of them have tanks, warplanes, aircraft carriers, howitzers, and many other weapons that can be loaded and armed with live ammunition and dangerous explosives. I mean, who knew right? Oh wait... Everybody knew. Of course we have drone bases in the US. They have to train people, provide headquarters and on going operational training for units not deployed, stored undeployed hardware... this is the stupidest thing I've ever read.

    What did these guys think? They send untested multimillion dollar drones over to Yemen where they hand them to an untrained unit and expect them to just figure out how they work in the field? It's just like any other military operation: for every deployed unit there are probably five waiting in reserve, getting readiness training, refitting, etc. Most of that happens in the US.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They send untested multimillion dollar drones over to Yemen where they hand them to an untrained unit and expect them to just figure out how they work in the field?

      Well, considering the targets dont shoot back they might just as well do the training in the field.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ebuck (585470)

        They send untested multimillion dollar drones over to Yemen where they hand them to an untrained unit and expect them to just figure out how they work in the field?

        Well, considering the targets dont shoot back they might just as well do the training in the field.

        The idea that our military attacks peaceful targets that don't even bother to defend themselves is beyond ridiculous. You should be ashamed for insuinuating such. You are demeaning the job of the military, and belittling the risk they are taking on your behalf.

        Whether you desire the military to be active in a particular location or not, give them the respect due to a person who is willing to follow out the wishes of our government, despite their personal feelings, in the hope that we do make the world a b

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:17AM (#40321133)

    "But we now know it's closer than we thought" It has been common knowledge that drones are stationed on and piloted from US soil. Just wait until the author finds out how many soldiers, tanks, and even nuclear bombs are also located on US soil.

    • by saider (177166) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:50AM (#40321375)

      [kent brockman]
      Just miles from your doorstep, hundreds of men are given weapons and trained to kill. The government calls it the Army, but a more alarmist name would be ... The Killbot Factory.
      [/kent brockman]

    • I just saw a investigative report about this just last night on the Colbert Report. What's to stop Al Kaida from hacking in, taking over our drones and dispensing some Hellfire lovin' to the red-white-and-blue?!!!! Norton?! We need to base these fuckers in theater so there's not threat to the homeland from Anonymous.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:17AM (#40321135) Homepage Journal

    Well, now they are targets.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:18AM (#40321145)

    We keep fighter jets, ships and even nuclear missiles on American soil (and waters) should we be worried about those too? It's barely newsworthy! I'd actually be surprised if there weren't drone bases here.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I know quite well that many of these are for things like weather and hurricane monitoring. They're certainly not all deployed to kill people and watch for terrorists.

  • by tgd (2822) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:33AM (#40321251)

    You don't have to try this hard to jump the shark. The shark was jumped a decade ago.

    These stories are just making a mockery of the mockery that Slashdot has become.

    Just to keep the ball rollin', there's probably GPL violations, Microsoft software and patented things at those bases, too!

    • by azalin (67640)

      Just to keep the ball rollin', there's probably GPL violations, Microsoft software and patented things at those bases, too!

      but does it run Linux? (sorry, couldn't resist)

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:42AM (#40321311) Homepage

    And the USAF has many of them in the USA. Why do they suddenly become especially evil because some of the aircraft are unmanned?

  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:47AM (#40321343)

    Mount Washington in New Hampshire's White Mountains shows up on the map, which surprised me a bit. It is in a fairly remote area (relative to major population centers) and happens to be one of the major tourist attractions in the area (Don't forget your "This car climbed Mt. Washington" bumper sticker if you make it up and down the Mt. Washington Auto Road). There's not a whole lot there - a cafe and weather station at the peak, hiking trails, forest land and ski resorts nearby. It's located within a State Park. This suggests the disclaiming statements at the end of the summary probably apply to a lot of the 64 "drone bases" referred to by the dramatic headline. As the highest peak in the Northeast (6,288 ft or 1,917 m), it seems like a good spot for communications or sensing equipment. Or, since the weather is quite wild and variable at the summit (held the record for the highest recorded wind gust for 76 years), it could be a good spot to stress-test a drone under severe conditions. Hardly a "Drone Base".

    • Mt. Washington seems to me to be a good place for testing/training under difficult conditions.

      One thing the article didn't consider is some of these sites may be for development.

    • It's also a good location to do special ops training which you can tease out from the presentation that was listed. Furthermore, the presentation also indicates that RQ-11 Raven [wikipedia.org] and Wasp III [wikipedia.org] drones are what are operated. These are small "backpack" drones that are used for scouting which would make sense if they are being used for special ops training exercises.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Almost as if the US military does something in isolated mountainous areas...

      • by c0d3g33k (102699)

        You missed the part about it being a popular tourist destination. It's isolated in the sense that it's up on top of a mountain in a National Park rather than somewhere in the middle of the I-95 East Coast Megalopolis, but doesn't mean there aren't people around nearly all of the time. It's still visited by thousands of tourists/day during the temperate parts of the year, and is within a few miles (and plain view) of a major ski resort that recieves lots of visitors in the winter months. It's on top of a

  • Nuclear missiles based in America

  • by smash (1351) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:49AM (#40321369) Homepage Journal
    they're for suppressing any american uprising, stupid. like OWS, or whatever comes next.
  • Incorrect info (Score:4, Insightful)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @09:04AM (#40321471)
    At least one marker is totally incorrect. Syracuse NY, Hancock Field, 174th Fighter Wing (ANG) [wikipedia.org] shows its status as "Future". As of March 2010, they sent the last of their F-16's out and fully transitioned to MQ-9 Reapers.

    Wonder what else here is incorrect.
  • How are unmanned flying vehicles any different than manned helicopters and airplanes used by various agencies during the course of duty? Manned aircraft are used daily for any number of law enforcement (surveillance, speed traps, border protection, etc), fire protection, crop dusting, and even news and traffic gathering?

    Why is not having a pilot in the actual aircraft a reason to pull out the tinfoil and white noise makers?

    "But they can arm them" isn't a valid excuse because there's no reason they can't arm

  • Plus a few others, many presumably for National Guard training prior to deployment overseas.

  • Activities != Bases (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    As stated in the presentation, these are "activities" and not necessarily permanent locations. Though many probably are permanent, it's a bad assumption to think they are not just sites for demos, storage, or training. Don't forget UAVs can be as small as the remote control toy airplanes you can buy for your kids at the store. Also, this "little known" presentation was marked for public distribution and was given at an AFCEA function which is hardly some conspiratorial organization.

  • ...with the black helicopters.

    Slashdot is turning into AM Coast To Coast.

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