Secrecy News

Pentagon Lists 110 Potential Drone Bases in U.S.

The Department of Defense has identified 110 sites in the United States that could serve as bases for military unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones.  A new report to Congress lists each of the 110 sites “and the UAS likely to fly at that location.”  See “Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability,” Department of Defense, April 2012 (pp. 9-12).

The newly disclosed DoD report was first reported by

The actual or potential drone bases are located in 39 of the 50 states, from Fort McClellan in Alabama to Camp Guernsey in Wyoming, as well as Guam and Puerto Rico.

Currently, the DoD and the military have “88 active certificates of authorization (COAs) at various locations around the country” that permit them to fly UASs outside of restricted military zones, the report to Congress said.  COAs are issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

But “The rapid increase in fielded UAS has created a strong demand for access within the NAS [National Airspace System] and international airspace. The demand for airspace to test new systems and train UAS operators has quickly exceeded the current airspace available for these activities,” the report said.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, evidently receptive to this demand, said in its report on the FY2013 defense authorization act that integration of drones into domestic airspace should be accelerated.  See “Senate: Drones Need to Operate ‘Freely and Routinely’ in U.S.,” Secrecy News, June 8, 2012.

The website Public Intelligence previously identified 64 U.S. drone site locations.  See also “Revealed: 64 Drone Bases on American Soil” by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Wired Danger Room, June 13:

“UAS will not achieve their full potential military utility unless they can go where manned aircraft go with the same freedom of navigation, responsiveness, and flexibility,” the new DoD report to Congress said.

A bill “to protect individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles” (HR 5925) was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 7 by Rep. Austin Scott.  A companion bill (S.3287) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul.

3 thoughts on “Pentagon Lists 110 Potential Drone Bases in U.S.

  1. So what’s the Federation of American Scientists’ position on runaway drone and drone runway proliferation in the continental US?

    And what is exactly is the point behind publishing over and over how the powers that be recommend more drones everywhere, faster?

    Maybe there could be a report on how more ordinary out of work Americans could be employed to be drone drivers? Surely it can’t be that hard with the boom that’s going on.

  2. Demande technic.
    How does your button “”Traduction” work? When I choose the desired language, nothing happens, the text remains in English.

  3. I think I understand the importance of airspace for training purposes and development of the military capability drones offer. It challenges my imagination to consider a broad increase in military air traffic when I look at the volume of commercial and general aviation traffic already aloft. Two areas of concern seem to be: 1) what payloads will be permitted where they may affect civilian populations; and 2) are safeguards adequate to protect these assets from increasingly sophisticated and aggressive criminals?
    If a drone is in an accident, will it harm civilians or allow military technology to fall into inappropriate hands?

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