Friday, July 11, 2014

Records of Multiple Drone Crashes in Arizona Coming to Light

The remains of a Predator B "Reaper" drone, sprinkled across the Arizona
mountainside near Nogales, in this April 2006 photo released by the National
Transportation Safety Board. (Retrieved from NBC news.)

On June 22, 2014, the Washington Post published the results of a far-reaching investigation into crashes that have occurred in the U.S. drone program.

Shockingly, of the 194 major ("Class A") crashes that the Washington Post was able to document, 47  occurred within the United States.

Below is information on four (4) drone crashes that occurred in the state of Arizona alone between the years 2005 and 2008. The Arizona incidents all involved Army Hunter drones, and specific location information is limited to the first incident.

The photo above was retrieved from NBC news and appears to relate to an incident that is additional to the incidents listed below.

(See the full online database of crashes on the Washington Post website for full details of these and other drone crashes.)

Date: November 1, 2005
Location: 1.5 miles northeast of McNeal [NOTE: McNeal lies about 20 miles east of Fort Huachuca, in Sierra Vista.]
Estimated damage: $1,288,861
Details: An Army Hunter (RQ-5A) crashed . . . .

Date: June 22, 2006
Location: undisclosed AZ location
Estimated damage: N/A
Details: An Army Hunter (RQ-5A) crashed . .  ..

Date: October 12, 2006
Location: undisclosed AZ location
Estimated damage: a
Details: An Army Hunter (RQ-5A) flew out of control . . . crashed . . . and burned.

Date: May 7, 2008
Location: undisclosed AZ location
Estimated damage: a
Details: A Hunter (MQ-5B) crashed after drifting off course . . . .

Related posts

Ten (10) drone crashes occurred in the state of California alone between the years 2004 and 2011.

(See California: Is the Sky Falling? )

A drone crash in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay was one of the first incidents to bring crashes by military drones to the attention of the American public.

(See Maryland Drone Crashes: The Other Shoe Drops )

Numerous drone crashes in and off the coast of Florida have been associated with training at Tyndall Air Force Base.

(See Drone Crashes Pile Up In and Near Florida )

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Raúl Grijalva Did a Good Thing (Launching the Demand for Drones Transparency)

It all started with a letter. Progressive leader Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3) joined with Rep. Keith Ellison (MN) in March to call the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings.

Within days, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) submitted a bill calling for drone transparency.

Now, people nationwide who have been protesting drones are contacting their representatives to encourage support for H.R.4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act. If passed, the bill will require the Obama administration to come clean about the killings it has carried out using drones -- killings that, up until now, the administration has been able to pretend don't exist. (Rep. Grijalva joined the bill as a co-sponsor on May 1.)

So now's the time: write or call your member of Congress today. 

To determine what district you live in, go to

To see an example of a constituent letter, see An Open Letter to Congressman Mike Quigley on H.R.4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act 

[SEE: hub page for all Resources to SUPPORT the "Come Clean on Drone Killings" Act (Schiff/Jones HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act)]

Thanks, Rep. Grijalva!

Related posts

First Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) called the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings. Then Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. So ... are we finally going to get the truth?

(See REAL Progressives Demand that the U.S. Come Clean on Drone Killings)

A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)

The reason the Administration is hiding truth about drones is that they don't have a satisfactory answer for how decisions about drone strikes are made.  As we have known all along, we need the public to think about how crummy the whole drone program is, and then they will be ready to be on our side. The best way to get them really thinking is to shine a spotlight on the secrecy, evasiveness, and deceit involved in the U.S. drone program.

(See Drone Killings: Come Clean )

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones concludes with a vengeance at Davis Monthan Air Force Base

On Tuesday, April 30, Tucson drone protesters vigiled near the main gate of Davis Monthan Air Force Base during the early morning rush hour. Not far from the gate sits the brand new building that houses the Air National Guard drone operation center. Some of their signs read, "Drone Wars Enrage the World" and "Drone Wars Waged Here".
Are Davis-Monthan's drones killing civilians?
 Demonstrators made sure that this question was
 front and center in the minds of rush-hour commuters.
The message of the protesters was deemed sufficiently threatening that counter demonstrators came out, holding signs in support of drone warfare during the protest and, ironically, swelling the ranks of demonstrators.

Counter-protesters came bedecked with American
 flags- but is a flag sufficient justification for the killing
 of innocent children?
Members of The Nuclear Resister and Tucson chapters of Veterans for Peace and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom took part in the protest. Although it joined protests across the country during the culmination of the April Days of Action Against Drones, it was also one of many monthly vigils that, despite arrests for civil disobedience, have persisted for years so that Tucson never becomes complacent about the continuing and escalating atrocities of drone warfare.

The movement to end drone warfare continues! Get involved in your part of the country!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in ARIZONA

Protests in Arizona will be part of the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones.

SIERRA VISTA- Monday, April 29, 2013- The Drone Rangers of Cochise County are gathering at the main gate of Ft. Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Az.  Ft. Huachuca has long been the site of unmanned aircraft development and training as well as other "intelligence activity". We are gathering at  2:30 at the end of Fry Blvd. in front of the gate. For more information contact: Joel at

TUCSON - Monday, April 15, 2013 - Exhibit: Tax Day at Raytheon Missile Systems: Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson is manufacturing UAVs that can be armed as well as weapons to arm them. We are demonstrating on Tax Day to say "No Taxes for War!" Gather at Raytheon's entrance on S. Nogales Highway at Hermans Road, two miles s. of Valencia. 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. SEE REPORT ON THE ACTION HERE

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - Vigil at Davis Monthan Air Force Base -Monthly vigil at Davis Monthan AFB, where the 214th Recon unit of the Air National Guard pilots combat drones. "The 214th has flown more than 3,000 sorties and provided more than 55,000 flying hours of combat mission support in Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn, providing overhead full-motion video to U.S. intelligence agencies and close air support to troops in contact." We vigil at corner of Golflinks and Craycroft Roads. 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

(Add additional Arizona events to the master list of national April Days of Action actions.)

Read about ALL the ways YOU can be involved 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in Tucson: Early morning protest at Raytheon Missile Systems

Joining the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones, Peace activists representing the Fellowship of Reconciliation rose with the sun on April 15, Tax Day, to picket outside Tucson's Raytheon Missile Systems while the workers arrived for the early morning shift.  

Holding signs - some reading "Not With Our Tax Dollars", "Drones: Terror From the Sky" and "Will the World's Children Survive Your Work?" - the group publicly expressed their desire that tax dollars fund social needs such as education and health care rather than the pilotless drones, cruise missiles, Star Wars "kill vehicles", cluster bombs and more built at Raytheon's Tucson plant.

That afternoon, John Heid had a trial in Tucson City Court for his December 28, 2012 arrest during a drone protest at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, home to an active combat predator drone unit.  He told the judge that he didn't go to Davis-Monthan AFB that day with criminal intent, but rather with the intent to challenge criminality.  Heid was found guilty of trespass and sentenced to time served on the day of his arrest.

Monthly peace vigils protesting drone warfare continue at both Raytheon and Davis-Monthan AFB. Email for more information.

Learn more about anti-drone events taking place around the nation!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Call for "No Drones" in Arizona Colleges, Universities, and Research Institutions


A national call has been made for “April Days of Action” to focus on three key components of U.S. drone work: Drone Manufacturers, Drone Bases in the U.S., and Drone Research. (See the list about nationwide actions and post your own planned actions for April.)

Given the fact that drones are now the primary weapons of warfare used by the US, and for surveillance both domestic and abroad, the research and development of this warfare is growing rapidly at academic institutions, in our towns and neighborhoods. Drones are the perfect instrument for endless war that kills civilians, even as they target “militants” in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan.

Academic institutions often receive large grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, enabling them to build labs within schools of engineering, for instance. We are well aware that without this research in robotics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and the accompanying accessories, these drone warfare projects would probably not take place. So there is an interdependent relationship between the universities and the U.S. government and or its Department of Defense and CIA. (CIA drones are used in countries with which the U.S. is not “at war”, ie Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Mali, and others.)

While universities tend to publicize some information on their respective websites regarding the drone work, it is most often said to be for non-military purposes. And there are students working in the labs who are convinced that all the research is for humanitarian purposes. However, history has told us that non-military can quickly and easily become military. Moreover research has shown drones make mistakes on recognizing their targets.

We are therefore asking organizations and individuals, nationwide, to explore any drone research that might be going on at their local university. We are calling for local actions between April 16 and 18, 2013 (Suggested actions are listed below) Our limited research into University and Academic UAV programs indicates that research centers are operating in Arizona:
Arizona State University- Tempe
PIMA Community College - Tucson
University of Arizona - Tucson
Before those dates in April we will need to know what information you have acquired about the research and what actions and events your group is planning.This will be shared among groups in the Network. You can send this information to us at

We will have a press committee that will receive your press release and any articles you are able to publish before or after the event.

This project will complement other outreach, education and action projects that will be launched in April, focusing on drone bases, April 27-28 and drone manufacturers , April 4-6.

Suggested actions:
  1. Learn what research is being done by searching on a university website. Look especially at the Engineering Dept. 
  2. Organize a forum, preferably on campus, with speakers and discussion. Be sure to publicize in campus newspapers, and possibly include a professor as one of the speakers. Also include local activists.
  3. Plan a small meeting with the appropriate persons in the department working on drone research, both professors and students.
  4. Hold vigils and leaflet on or close to the campus, as well as in town.
  5. Let us know if you need further tools for your research.
Thanks in advance for your reply to

With all good wishes,

Marge Van Cleef, WILPF, Philadelphia
Leila Zand, For USA
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Monday, November 26, 2012

Arizona Drone Bases

According to the Department of Defense Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability (April 2012), Arizona has six (6) locations that have been designated as potential basing locations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) [i.e. drones] (p. 8 ff.).

The table below gives information on the types of drones that are proposed for basing at each location.

BASE Predator/Reaper type Shadow/Raven type Other
Fort Huachuca MQ1C, MQ1B, MQ5 RQ-7B, RQ-21A
Cochise College MQ5
Yuma Proving Ground MQ8
Florence RQ-11B
Whetstone RQ-7B
MCAS Yuma RQ-7B, RQ-21A