R.A.F. Drones should be made illegal. It’s a pilots job, actually above the target, to decide. This is a slippery slope. I.M.H.O.

UK starts controlling drones in Afghanistan from British soil

RAF’s unmanned Reaper aircraft had been operated from Creech airforce base in Nevada, but missions from Lincolnshire began this week

A Reaper UAV drone

A Reaper UAV. The RAF will have 10 Reaper aircraft deployed in Afghanistan by the summer. Photograph: Cpl Steve Bain Abipp/PA
Remotely controlled armed drones used to target insurgents in Afghanistan have been operated from the UK for the first time, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.
Missions of the missile-carrying Reaper aircraft began from a newly built headquarters at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire earlier this week – five years after the MoD bought the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor and attack the Taliban.
Since then the UK has been controlling the RAF’s five Reaper aircraft from Creech airforce base in Nevada because the British military did not have the capability to fly them from here.
However, the MoD made building a new UAV hub at Waddington a priority following the 2010 strategic defence and security review, and the centre “stood up” at the end of last year.
Waddington has become the home of XIII squadron, and defence officials said pilots from the unit have now started to take command of Reapers, working in tandem with the team in America.
There are three operating terminals at the base in Lincolnshire, and they had to go through extensive technical trials before they were deemed ready for use.
“We aren’t flying any more operations than we were before, but with the time differences between the US, Afghanistan and the UK, it is now possible for pilots at Waddington to work in relay with the those in the US,” said a source.
There are no current plans to disband the squadron in the US, which is expected to continue operating until the end of next year, when all Nato combat operations in Afghanistan will finally come to an end.
The RAF has bought five more Reaper aircraft, which are expected to be deployed in Afghanistan over the summer, bringing the total to 10. British UAVs have flown 45,000 hours in Afghanistan, and fired 350 weapons, including Hellfire missiles.
Though the MoD insists it operates with aircraft only in support of British troops, and only in Helmand province, the use of UAVs has been dominated by the CIA’s controversial programme to target insurgent leaders in Pakistan.
These strikes have sometimes caused civilian casualties, and have raised questions over the legality and morality of using remotely piloted systems in areas that are not conflict zones.
The disclosure comes at a sensitive time for the MoD – just two days before a protest outside RAF Waddington organised by CND, the Drone Campaign Network, Stop the War and War on Want.
The coalition has warned that switching control of drones to Waddington from US bases marks an unwelcome expansion in the UK’s UAV programme.
“Drones, controlled far away from conflict zones, ease politicians’ decisions to launch military strikes and order extra-judicial assassinations, without democratic oversight or accountability to the public,” said Rafeef Ziadah, from War on Want.
Chris Nineham, vice-chair of the Stop the War Coalition, added: “Drones are being used to continue the deeply unpopular War on Terror, with no public scrutiny. They’re using them to fight wars behind our backs. These remote-controlled killing machines should be banned.”

The R.A.F. have such a massive place in my heart, they taught me everything about defending Britain, weapons training, tactics and actual flying, as a Cadet Warrant Officer. Ban the drones, it’s a slippery slope. It needs to be stopped. I have a warrant to serve our country, I take it very seriously.

C.W.O. Sean Hadley.

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7 thoughts on “R.A.F. Drones should be made illegal. It’s a pilots job, actually above the target, to decide. This is a slippery slope. I.M.H.O.

  1. Anonymous

    The same sentiment Sean.As someone whose family has a long history in the RAF that married into another RAF family doesnt mean to say we have the old school manning these things ! Just take a look at the story today about a copper tasering a bloke covered in petrol enough said.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    The criminals behind this decision do not represent the people of this country.This move will make us hated by the nations under attack, reviled by all other right thinking nations,and increases the threat by way of retribution from the affected groups under attack. Bring the troops home,no wars for Israel.Old Miner.

    Reply
  3. tonydj

    Since the invention of the crossbow whenever new weapons have been invented or introduced there have been attempts to ban them or punish their users, usually by the side that does not have them.A quick resume would include The Longbow, The Dum-Dum bullet, poison gas, the flame-thrower, land mines and cluster bombs.A general common denominator of these weapons is that they are designed or likely to cause injury rather than outright death or that many are more likely to cause civilian deaths. That having been said War on Want and other persons quoted in the article have remained silent for decades on Muslim and IRA bombs.The real reason behind this attempted ban imho is that the loss of a drone does not mean the death of a serviceman. No homecoming to Brize Norton, no parade through Wooton Basset (or wherever is now the place).One of the strongest anti-war arguments was the high very visible death rate, a gift to the anti-war activists. Drones remove this argument and that is the reason for the attempted ban. Lives of Afghan civilians? No chance!

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    The West is dying under the weight of corruption and criminality by the Oligarchy.The military will be eventually bogged down in unwinnable wars.We are following the way of all civilisations corrupted by Satan's seeds.Morally we are bankrupt and like Rome we are being destroyed from within.Some sections of the military may come to their senses and like Rome we may be plagued by civil wars.Financially we will be destroyed anyway.We nationalists must take care of our own.Each step down the slippery slope takes us nearer to the Talmudic goal.Whiteboar

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Marcus Tullius Cicero said:"A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious, but it cannot survive treason from within." – Cicero must've been talking about jooz.Fly On The Wall

    Reply

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