21st Century Wire says…
This is the dark side of the America’s new, high tech and ‘clean’ method of killing people overseas.
US drone pilots are known in Air Force military speak as ‘18Xs‘. Unlike soldiers who are deployed overseas, this new breed of glorified video game operator/executioners get to live a ‘normal’ life at home in places like Las Vegas, Nevada. Beers and blackjack after work. But the relative comfort of the job is balanced out by some very uncomfortable realizations. What few people know, is that in 2014-2015, over 240 trained pilots quit their jobs.
Watch this news report from RT for an over view of where US drone use is at present:
The Daily Beast has been one of the best news outlets in covering this subject which is nearly off-limits in big media circles because it is so intimately linked to the military industrial complex – defense firms and the military itself, both of whom spend hundreds of millions in advertizing per year with the likes of FOX, CNN and the rest.
Back January of 2015, The Daily Beast revealed an internal memo to Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh. Salon eports, “[It is] stating that pilot “outflow increases will damage the readiness and combat capability of the MQ-1/9 [Predator and Reaper] enterprise for years to come” and added that he was “extremely concerned.” Eleven days later, the issue got top billing at a special high-level briefing on the state of the Air Force. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James joined Welsh to address the matter. “This is a force that is under significant stress — significant stress from what is an unrelenting pace of operations,” she told the media.”
The following is an excellent story that bring it home, albeit on a personal level…
Anne crawled out of bed in her North Las Vegas house around 10 p.m. and started to get ready for her shift.
She pulled her chestnut hair into a bun and slipped on her olive green flight suit. In the kitchen, she packed fruit to snack on during her shift and stuffed her schoolwork into her backpack-sized lunchbox just in case it’s a boring night. Most nights she doesn’t have a chance to open a book.
Giving her dog, a tan Sher-Pei/pit bull mix, one last pat, she left her house and joined thousands of other workers leaving for the midnight shift. While most people were heading to hotels and casinos in town, Anne was on her way to Creech Air Force Base and a war.
Anne, an Air Force staff sergeant, was—and still is—a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) sensor operator or “sensor.” At Creech, she is assigned to a reconnaissance squadron flying missions over Iraq and Afghanistan. Few weapons in the American arsenal are more relentless than the RPA fleet, often called drones. For more than a decade, the United States has flown RPAs over Afghanistan and Iraq, providing forces on the ground with an eye in the sky to spot terrorists and insurgents, and in most cases the firepower to destroy them…
For additional background on this subject, watch this recently released documentary, “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars”.
Unmanned investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes at home and abroad, observing their effect on the War on Terror, the lives of individuals, and U.S. foreign policy.
READ MORE DRONE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Drone Files