Friday afternoon fourteen peace activists were arrested at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. These arrests occurred in the context of the activists' ten day vigil at the base to raise public awareness about the increasing use of unmanned drones in the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zones. Air Force personnel based at Creech control the Predator and Reaper drones that are used to launch offensives in Central Asia.
The activists provoked their arrest by walking through the base's open main gate shortly after 3:00 p.m. in an attempt to dialogue with the Air Force service members controlling the drones. In a gesture of good will, they offered share pizza with Air Force personnel. Air Force security personnel blocked them.
The Nevada State Highway Patrol and Las Vegas Metro Police Department responded to the intrusion. Activists were arrested on the charge of trespass and transported to the Clark County Detention Facility where they were booked and processed.
Those arrested include Kathy Kelly (twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; Illinois), John Dear, S.J. (author, speaker; New Mexico) and activists from AZ, IA, NY, CA, IL, and Washington DC.
The group, calling themselves Ground the Drones, provide information on the drones and on their opposition to the use of that drone technology at the website http://NevadaDesertE
An interactive map of US airstrikes in Pakistan is found: http://www.americanp
image credit: CREECH AFB, Nev. -- As seen from an MQ-1B Predator, Close Air Support Subject Matter Experts for the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron coordinate via radio with a Predator student for a simulated Hellfire strike on a building while smoke is used to simulate missile impact on a building. One important aspect of Predator Initial Qualification Training is students receiving live Joint Terminal Attack Controller training. In order to enhance their training capabilities, Air Combat Command recently hired contracted Close Air Support Subject Matter Experts. (Courtesy photo)