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64 Drone Bases Located On American Soil

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the protect-and-serve dept.

The Military 234

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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American Weapons Found in United States (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321081)

News at 11.

Re:American Weapons Found in United States (3, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321205)

Drones, Keeping America Safe [salon.com] .... NOT!

Re:American Weapons Found in United States (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321359)

Drones, Keeping America Safe [salon.com] .... NOT!

Excuse me, sir, but I have a question. Does the word "nigger" offend you?

Re:American Weapons Found in United States (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321439)

Pool's closed.

Begun, the drone wars have (4, Funny)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321615)

Our republic has lost almost all pretense of democracy, and now there's a massive build up of drones?

What's next, buying an army of clones from North Korea?

And people questioned just how visionary George Lucas is.

Re:Begun, the drone wars have (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322311)

Most of those drone "bases" aren't bases for drones. Also, most of those drones are ity-bity guys that are hand launched or portable. Think of it like this.. every Army base that conducts training on a drone, is marked up there. The only controversial drones are the big guys like P/GH.

Woah! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321087)

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

Re:Woah! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321117)

Read the 3rd fucking amendment you dumbass liberal. NObama is using these drones to enforce his military dictatorship against the true citizens of this nation. This is the kind of fascism you get when you "elect" a socialist.

Re:Woah! (5, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321167)

The drones are staying in people's houses?

Re:Woah! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321341)

The drones are staying in people's houses?

No but they can peep in people's houses.

Re:Woah! (2, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321511)

Well, that's the wrong amendment. Calling someone a dumbass and then citing the wrong amendment is entertaining, though.

Re:Woah! (1)

j4w7 (2530032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321493)

Drones? No. But sleepy kids can be confused with drones.

Re:Woah! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321875)

The drones are staying in people's houses?

I am a drone you insensitive clod.

Re:Woah! (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321961)

Only briefly, then the recovery crew comes by to recover the wreckage!

Re:Woah! (4, Informative)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321169)

The Third Amendment prohibits quartering soldiers in private homes during peacetime. WTF are you on about? This is military equipment being stored on military bases, and being used for training and readiness operations like every other piece of military hardware on every other military base spread all throughout the United States. There are *thousands* of bases in the US for all five branches of the military (if you count the Coast Guard and separate out the Marines) in the US. I've personally served on half a dozen of them. These bases have existed from the founding of the country. Where else are you going to quarter soldiers other than bases, since we've obviously (and correctly) prevented them from being quartered in private homes?

Re:Woah! (2)

countach74 (2484150) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321719)

Except that the US didn't have a standing army at the "founding of the country."

Re:Woah! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321899)

What the hell was this then?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Army [wikipedia.org]

Re:Woah! (5, Informative)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322149)

Strictly speaking, the Continental Army was ordered to disband in 1783 by Congress and never was actually a US force under the Constitution.

That said, the example you are probably looking for is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_American_Regiment [wikipedia.org]

The First American Regiment, later called the the 1st Infantry Regiment, now called the 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), was founded in 1784 and obviously lasted through the Confederation and then the United States under the Constitution.

Still it must be pointed out that even though we always had at least some standing Federal force, it is historical that there was great distrust of standing armies at the time of the founding of the US, and that same distrust has had an effect on all sorts of decisions, from heavy use of the National Guard, to the fact that we refused to use naval ranks like Admiral or army ranks above Major General. (Even today, Major General is the highest permanent rank in the US Army, three and four star ranks are only granted while in positions requiring them. Unless you retire in such a position, you revert to your two star rank for retirement purposes.)

Re:Woah! (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322073)

As sibling states, there has been a standing Army of whatever counts as the "government" of the "United States" since 1775. I use the quotes because of course the Continental Congress was only nominally a government until after the end of the Revolution, and they didn't call themselves the United States until later, but where ever you count the "founding" of the country (unless you consider the "founding" to be the battles of Lexington and Concorde) there has pretty much always been a standing Army. The Army even predates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, let alone the Articles of Confederation or the Constitution. It hasn't always been a great Army, and at times it's been essentially a core of officers and NCOs intended only to form the backbone of a larger force in the event of need, but it's always been there.

Re:Woah! (3, Funny)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321277)

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

So, one has to assume that a drone is being quartered in your home without your consent, AC? Want a tip on how to defeat it? Watch the Terminator movies. They are probably the most informative, and action-filled set of documentary movies (I assume documentary, time-travel and all) that you will ever see.

Re:Woah! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322277)

Without the consent of the owner. Expect a law soon that says all property owners must give consent... problem solved.

Re:Woah! (5, Insightful)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321401)

Yeah! Totally right! We need to end that freaking military occupation of land which rightfully belongs to the Native Americans!

Re:Woah! (2)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321431)

I'm no Obama fan, but it's just the Twilight Zone here at Slashdot today.

Re:Woah! (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322217)

I think what is happening is that people are conflating their fear of being observed by drones with the fact that they have a larger than expected presence on US soil and believe that this large presence actually means that it will be used for observing citizens. This is a logical leap with hilarity inducing results when they fail to express themselves clearly and make the needed connections evident.

Re:Woah! (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321621)

Wow. I am truly impressed by your lack of knowledge, ignorance, your false claims (did you actually read that amendment?) and ranting. Do you have even a close idea what any of the words you used (liberal, military dictatorship, fascism, true citizen, socialist, "elect") actually mean? I was tempted to include one or more derogatory comments on your person, but I shall refrain from doing so at this time.

Re:Woah! (2)

fredrated (639554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321691)

You wouldn't know a socialist if they kicked you in the ass with a steel-toed boot, fool.

Re:Woah! (2)

SixGunMojo (177687) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322185)

ppffffffft! Everyone knows it is fascists who wear steel toed boots.

Re:Woah! (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322301)

Yeah, I hate it when they land those drones on my couch, and don't let me move them. Makes my dog angry too since she can't nap there anymore, and she doesn't even have inalienable human rights. Where's the canine rights?!

No wait, the 3rd amendment doesn't apply, and you're a fucking idiot who enforces the conservative stereotype.

Oh, and "this is the kind of fascism you get when you elect a socialist" is an awesome statement, since fascism and socialism are polar opposites...

Re:Woah! (1)

j4w7 (2530032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321481)

I know. Next we'll completely misinterpret governmental use of them because we all enjoy pig and cow "sewage" in our drinking water.

I wonder if using the drones is actually cheaper, or if it might be an exercise for (future) combat drone pilots.

An analysis could be interesting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321091)

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

Re:An analysis could be interesting (4, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321627)

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]

Re:An analysis could be interesting (2)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322059)

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

Re:An analysis could be interesting (1)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321667)

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.

And UFO means???? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321761)

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 times, I tell ya.....

5 Point Streak (5, Funny)

protonics (1269744) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321095)

Thankfully, the weapons are inaccessible until someone obtains at least a 5 point streak.

Re:5 Point Streak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321127)

But they start invading your privacy with just a 3 point streak.

Just say it already (1)

longk (2637033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321097)

Come on, we all know you want someone to yell "OMG, they're going after US citizens!". Don't be shy now.

Re:Just say it already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321215)

In a world were we trust our government, people might point out that they are generally clustered around the current bases, or in places where they could be deployed for Defensive purposes, like a airstrike on the Capital or something.

But we dont live in that world, so: "OMG, they're going after US citizens! They will bomb us all!!"

Re:Just say it already (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321933)

Sure they are http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/325402#ixzz1vooIlTFd [digitaljournal.com]
The Vanguard Shadowhawk will give the Montgomery County Sherriff's Department
"unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is equipped .... and capable of firing rubber bullets, ejecting tear gas canisters and launching taser projectiles."
If you want you can get some nice grenade lunchers and 12-gauge shotguns upgrades too....
http://www.salon.com/2012/04/24/drones_for_urban_warfare/ [salon.com]
Don't worry its just for intelligence, search, reconnaissance ... just like all the new kit was only to be used in Iraq too...
Welcome to the domestic (U.S.) battlefront.

You're kidding!?! (5, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321131)

... 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:You're kidding!?! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321201)

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:You're kidding!?! (0)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321709)

[sarcasm]Because every bomb, missile, cruise missile ever deployed before this moment in time was against an enemy actively trying to shoot it down in that moment. Yes I remember when the US bombed Iraq's command centers in the first gulf war. The US had to wait till someone was on the roof shooting at the laser guided bomb before it armed itself.[/sarcasm]

Re:You're kidding!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321231)

Indeed, but it's probably also for self-deffense. It's not like there aren't threats targeting the system on US soil.

I hate labeling a part of the earth as a country, but that's another discussion.

Anyone who follows the news already knew they used them for training at home. This is not a public secret. In fact, they filmed it from the control centres themselves and military personal even explained this on camera.

And ofcourse the US government is going to use them on their own territory when they need them. Who couldn't do the same thing?

Re:You're kidding!?! (0, Redundant)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321275)

Anyone who follows the news already knew they used them for training at home. This is not a public secret. In fact, they filmed it from the control centres themselves and military personal even explained this on camera.

And ofcourse the US government is going to use them on their own territory when they need them. Who couldn't do the same thing?

Actually, it's against the law for the US military to perform military operations in the USA (with exceptions for insurrection and war, of course - both of which require an Act of Congress)....

Re:You're kidding!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321339)

Training isn't a military operation. And using them when needed is already a result of war and war is already a result of an act of congress... "WAR on terrorism" ring any bells? ;-)

Re:You're kidding!?! (0, Flamebait)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321467)

Actually, it's against the law for the US military to perform military operations in the USA (with exceptions for insurrection and war, of course - both of which require an Act of Congress)....

Which is why they do it with NATO troops [wordpress.com] instead.

Re:You're kidding!?! (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321931)

Which is why they do it with NATO troops [wordpress.com] instead.

Training exercise.

Re:You're kidding!?! (2)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321539)

There is a difference between military operations, where the mission is directly against a citizen of the state and within the confines of its borders, and military training. I believe the parent author is referring to the latter.

Interestingly, the Posse Comitatus Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act) only covers the Army and Air Force. So the Marine UAV bases could still be used against state citizens.

Re:You're kidding!?! (1, Insightful)

RCourtney (973307) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321385)

I think the difference that might make people rightly question how UAVs on American soil are used even for just training purposes is that they are primarily for spying purposes. My biggest questions are:

While on training missions within the United States what surveillance is done with them for the purposes of training?

What information is stored from those training missions?

How is that information used or is it shared with the CIA, FBI or local police?

I think all of those are valid and necessary questions given what we know from our country's past actions and the skirting of domestic safeguards since 9/11 in the name of national security.

Re:You're kidding!?! (3, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321487)

I don't disagree. Your questions are valid, and had the article been written in a reasonable fashion, asking those questions and wondering how we might find out the answers it would have been a much more useful piece. As it is the piece is a written in tones intended to make the reader panicked over the hardly surprising fact that the US military is storing and using US military hardware inside the US. As if anyone should be even slightly surprised over this fact. Of course we're doing this, the bulk of all US military personnel and equipment are in the US; and except for a few periods of heavy action (the World Wars, mainly), the bulk of US military personnel and hardware are *always* located in the US. Home territory is simply the most convenient place to do most of what nondeployed need to do.

Re:You're kidding!?! (5, Informative)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321737)

1. Keep in mind that the UAV operators are lower ranking people, usually E-2 to E-5, that really just want to go home and drink or play WoW. We usually pick some random car, read the license plate, then test the auto-follow feature for a few minutes, then test it again. It is really anti-climactic. Training flights are the worst, 16 hours of nothing happening gets old really quick.

2. The information is basically stored until the drives are full. Nobody really pays attention to it until the maintainers (former me) come along and format the drive. Yes, I will admit that UAV's have caught the occasional nude sunbather in the backyard and such. Since I was in Georgia, it was not nearly as common as some other areas. So I cannot speak to the efficacy of peeping-tom drones in the San Diego area.

3. I'm sure the CIA, FBI, or local police could get the information, but first they would have to know the drone was even up there. Flight schedules for military aircraft are considered secret and are not published on a bulletin board or anything. UAV flight schedules are kept decently secure, because of their sensitive equipment. If they call the military asking if there were any drones in the air, they are really grasping at straws. Second, with a camera range of 30+ miles, there's a lot of area to cover. Third, during my 3 years at one of these "drone" bases, we never heard anything from any law enforcement or spy agency.

"We" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321529)

Of course we have drone bases in the US

1. Do NOT try to imply that I (and everyone else in this country) support the military policies of government. I had no say in the decision-making process. My opinions count for nothing to them, and that is exactly why the US government spends orders of magnitude more on war (and preparing for war) than any other country in the world.

2. If you think that the US government had your interests in mind ("we") while building the largest and most profitable military-industrial complex this world has ever seen, you're dreaming.

Re:You're kidding!?! (1)

ThreeDeeNut (1061050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321559)

I think you are painting a naive picture. No one doubts that we make war machines here in America. That is a no-brainer. The real problem is the legislation that effectively turns US war machines against it's people and that with conventional war machines, the pilots had the ability to object to an order. Now, in a closed room with high level officials having direct and immediate access to the pilots, the reasonable thought that pilots may object is removed. Whats more, because there is not a specific pilot to blame for an occurrence, one could assume that these pilots would be protected by anonymity. Lastly, these machines are considered secret weapons, so, if one crashed in a suburb, what exactly will be done? Team of military personnel, maybe self destruct, who knows. In my opinion it is a shadow weapon and a the biggest threat to individual sovereignty that we have ever faced. Imagine a day when drones are the size of a small bird and there are thousands of them... you will never be alone again, you will never not be watched, you will never have any semblance of privacy. I love the wonderful things drones could do for humanity, but am certainly very skeptical and fearful of what may actually come of their deployment. Great article on the topic. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/06/07/where-is-outrage/ [foxnews.com]

A bit sensationalist? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:A bit sensationalist? (4, Funny)

saider (177166) | more than 2 years ago | (#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]

OMG al Queda HACKERZ!!1! (1, Troll)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321935)

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.

Exact purposes? (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321135)

Well, now they are targets.

Airplanes and Ships have bases too (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Airplanes and Ships have bases too (0, Redundant)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321499)

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.

Right. I mean, they are planning to deploy 30,000 drones over US skies [shiftfrequency.com] , so obviously they bases for all those drones.

Re:Airplanes and Ships have bases too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322205)

Not really going to rely on a 9/11 truther.

Re:Airplanes and Ships have bases too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322315)

The bill says nothing about surveillance or any specific numbers. In fact, it appears to be about incorporating UAVs for atmospheric/wildlife research, as well as doing the regulatory due-diligence to enable unmanned commercial flights, should airlines begin to move that direction.

How is the more interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321147)

than a map of all the military bases that deal with helicopter operations (ZOMG! which could be possibly armed and used against civilains!), or all the military bases with tanks, or all the military bases with access to satellite feeds?

Is it news to anybody that "remotely piloted vehicles" are piloted remotely, or command centers access data from field operations?

OH NO, DEFENSES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321179)

What next? Going to complain about walls? Oh wait, that is already happening.

Drones are a fantastic defensive system if done right.
To not have them up would be retarded.

If you don't like it, start complaining about the military budget being too big.
You'll be the one crying when the System Lords attack.

Many are for science (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321191)

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.

Not news (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321239)

This isn't news. Michael Moore has informed us years ago that the USA is already full of mindless drones! ( ;-) )

Re:Not news (2)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321753)

And not just the US. I guess anybody ever participating in a public discussion of a decent size knew that for a few thousand years.

What about latency? (1)

commodore73 (967172) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321245)

If they control drones overseas, what about the lag time between signal from the pilot and action by the drone? Does a delay here just not matter with drones?

Re:What about latency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321281)

It depends. If you can get a secure wired link to within a few hundred miles of the front, it shouldn't be much more than a normal internet connection, say 300ms after going through a few wireless repeaters at altitude. If it's via satellite, all bets are off.

Re:What about latency? (1)

keot (667523) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321309)

The latency between the pilot moving a control stick and the control surfaces moving on the UAV can be as high as 750 ms via satellite.

According a talk I attended by the US Airforce, a latency of 250 ms in a simulator is enough to lose control of the aircraft. I guess they use an autopilot.

Re:What about latency? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321411)

Or a hybrid. Onboard computer does the rapid-response compensation for changing atmospheric conditions, while the operator tells it where to and where to point the cameras. Should be able to do everything at 750ms you'd want from a drone - they aren't used for dogfighting.

Re:What about latency? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321625)

If they control drones overseas, what about the lag time between signal from the pilot and action by the drone? Does a delay here just not matter with drones?

Of course not. It's only a drone, after all!

Seriously though, I suspect that most remotely piloted drones have a significant level of self flight capability. The pilot isn't doing the moment by moment compensation for turbulence and drift, but is acting more as a guide. The closest car analogies I can think of are systems like automatic transmissions and anti-lock brakes. The on-board systems deal with all the fiddly bits, and the operator does the higher level control. Some craft, such as the predator and the reaper, can operate completely autonomously, going from takeoff to landing completely without human control.

Keep in mind that the military has some pretty high bandwidth, low latency comm channels it can use, and if it really becomes an issue, they can move the pilot closer to the action.

Come on, Slashdot ... seriously. (3, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

Re:Come on, Slashdot ... seriously. (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321781)

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)

An airbase is an airbase. (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321311)

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

Re:An airbase is an airbase. (3, Insightful)

virg_mattes (230616) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321823)

It's the nature of the device in question. There are many reasons to have an airbase in the continental U.S., like training and defense in the case of attack. Drones, on the other hand, currently serve one and only one purpose, and that's aerial surveillance. Having drones based in the continental U.S. is only useful if the drones are being used over U.S. territory (failing border patrol) and having the U.S. military running surveillance essentially on civilian populations raises the hackles of many people. We've heard the whole "we'll only use it against the bad guys!" line too many times to believe it any more.

Virg

Re:An airbase is an airbase. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322001)

Domestic use, the new terms in the NDAA, less posse comitatus, the US been seen as a battlefront, loitering ability of a drone ...
Add in the http://articles.cnn.com/2012-06-11/us/us_maryland-drone-crash_1_drone-crash-site-routine-training?_s=PM:US [cnn.com]
at $176 million apiece and the vision FAA of 30000 US drones.
http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-02-08/news/31036604_1_drones-unmanned-aircraft-new-bill [businessinsider.com]

Russia and China will be pissed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321325)

They where told the one in antarctica is the only one left on earth!

Mt. Washington, NH a drone base? Really? (2, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 2 years ago | (#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".

Re:Mt. Washington, NH a drone base? Really? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321415)

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.

Re:Mt. Washington, NH a drone base? Really? (2)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321707)

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.

Conversion error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321351)

Actually there are 1,000,000 bases on American soil. The non-profit group thought they were looking at a binary number.

Next Headline (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321357)

Nuclear missiles based in America

obviously (2)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321369)

they're for suppressing any american uprising, stupid. like OWS, or whatever comes next.

Relax... (1)

sfhock (1308629) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321377)

Obviously they're readying themselves for the impending Zombie Apocalypse.. would you rather go toe to toe with those brainless bastards?

Re:Relax... (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321845)

I'm a little confused - are you talking about zombies, or politicians here? One group is always looking for brains, while the other would prefer their prey to be brainless, but apart from that...

Capt'n Obvious and the Oxymoron Kid to the rescue! (-1, Redundant)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321437)

64 Drone Bases Located On American Soil

No fucking shit. We also have airplane bases, ship yards, army bases, missile silos. This is not news (much less sensational/controversial ones). This is stupid trivia that should be obvious for anyone with an IQ above the one of a pineapple.

In other news, we have army bases full of soldiers in US soil. The Afghan War is here! More at 7 in the Half-Wit Channel.

Incorrect info (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Incorrect info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322203)

Lots.

For example, Evans Army Airfield is not in Evans, GA. It's co-located with Wright Army Airfield, which on their map is listed as a seperate location. You could walk from one to the other in less than ten minutes.

Candid question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321537)

Just where did the OP think these drones were coming from?

Why All the Hysteria About Drones? (2)

MikeyC01 (231948) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321597)

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 a piloted aircraft.

Hmm one per state (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321651)

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

I'll be fine as long as I'm wearing my tinfoil hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321683)

I'll be fine as long as I'm wearing my tinfoil hat.

And??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321693)

How is this news?

Where else are we going to store our military equipment when its not being used overseas?

How is this legal to reveal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321771)

This is department of defense information... It's a matter of national security... And now all the people at those facilities would be a risk because--those facilities won't be popular with anyone else on the planet. Wreckless. I hope those involved with the site end up with loved ones that work at those locations and can appreciate how they've been put at risk for telling the public something they do not have the right or need to know.

Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321783)

While the politicians are upset over Wiki Leaks and the 99% here we have a situation that could be of real aid to an enemy during a sudden attack. This really is military information that needs to be restricted. Julian Assange was for liberty and justice whereas there can be no good motives for publishing locations of weapons of war.

Keep yer knickers on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321799)

The military's job is to protect the nation.

The real question is: Can the Presidents control the military? Fuck, they can't even control the DHS, let alone the NSA and the CIA.

Activities != Bases (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40321871)

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.

Let me be the first to say it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322189)

AAAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!

Not so fun when it's your house the drone is hovering over, huh?

But then again I have little hope that this is enough to get the couch potatoes off their asses and into the streets. There was basically zero reaction to NDAA. You guys need to take this stuff seriously before it's too late.

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