Air Force Drone Pilots Use Civilian Cars As Target Practice
July 9th, 2012
By Kim M
Corporate Media Exposed
July 9, 2012
According to a New York Times article released Friday, U.S. Air Force pilots training to fly drones at Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico use civilian cars driving down a nearby highway as target practice.
The pilots fly Predator and Reaper drones over the highway and their partners — the “sensor operators” — practice keeping the traveling cars within the cross hairs on their video screens, “directing missiles to their targets with a laser.”
“When I visited the base earlier this year with a small group of reporters, we were taken into a command post where a large flat-screen television was broadcasting a video feed from a drone flying overhead. It took a few seconds to figure out exactly what we were looking at. A white S.U.V. traveling along a highway adjacent to the base came into the cross hairs….
“’Wait, you guys practice tracking enemies by using civilian cars?’ a reporter asked. One Air Force officer responded that this was only a training mission, and then the group was quickly hustled out of the room.”
— Mark Mazzetti, “The Drone Zone”
I’m sure you’ll be comforted to note that the “vocation” of flying combat drones is taken very seriously by the pilots…
Retired Colonel Luther (Trey) Turner III was quoted in the New York Times article as saying, “I firmly believe it takes bravery to fly [an unmanned aerial vehicle], particularly when you’re called upon to take someone’s life.” An unnamed pilot was quoted as saying, “We’re not just playing video games here.”
Which is especially comforting in light of the fact that the U.S. maintains three separate drone programs; two secret and the other not:
“The first is the publicly acknowledged program run by the Pentagon that has been operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. The other two are classified programs run separately by the C.I.A. and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, which maintain separate lists of people targeted for killing.” — Mark Mazzetti, “The Drone Zone”
Couple this information with the facts that…
1) States like Florida — former home of the recently-axed space program — are apparently vying to be the new “drone capitals” of America…
“The demand for drones is expected to be so high during the next few years that the state of Florida is devoting a large chunk of funding in hopes of someday being the country’s hub for unmanned aerial vehicles….
“Soon the United States will settle on just six test sites across the country to try out the tiny aircraft, though, and Florida officials say they hope they make the final cut.”
— Russia Today, “Florida vies to be America’s drone capital”
2) Some sheriffs’ departments are apparently vying to have their surveillance drones fitted with “non-lethal weapons” …
“Law enforcement near Houston, Texas will soon have a $300,000 robotic surveillance drone in their arsenal, and if Montgomery County’s chief deputy has his say, it’s only a matter of time before that aircraft will be equipped to fire from above.” — Russia Today, “Police drones to be equipped with non-lethal weapons?”
3) A recently-leaked U.S. Army document reveals that military police have been training for potentially-lethal domestic operations against Americans since at least 2006 …
“A newly leaked US Army Military Police training manual for ‘Civil Disturbance Operations’ outlines how military assets are to be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.” — Paul Joseph Watson, “Army Manual Outlines Plan To Kill Rioters, Demonstrators In America”
And there is ample reason for concern.
Not to mention the fact that the drones themselves can be used to kill people:
“’In five or ten years you have 30,000 drones in the airspace,’ Todd Humphreys from the University of Texas at Austin Radionavigation Laboratory tells Fox News. ‘Each one of these could be a potential missile used against us.’” — Russia Today, “Police drones to be equipped with non-lethal weapons?”
Found at: http://corporatemediaexposed.com/air-force-drone-pilots-use-civilian-cars-as-target-practice/
[Colour fonts and bolding added.].