36 armed unmanned AF planes are flying over Afghanistan and Iraq 24 hours each and every day; hundreds of smaller UAV’s are also being flown by the Army, Marines and coalition countries, says Esquire Magazine’s November feature story.
NPR’s Terry Grossman reports that the CIA has their own secret fleet, flown from facilities in VA, with assassination lists provided outside of military channels (including 50 Afghan drug warlords).
500 2-man AF teams (pilot and camera / communications) operate from bases in NV, TX, CA, ND and NY with special take-off and landing crews in Afghanistan and Iraq. No information about what the CIA is doing. But they all report a high incidence of post traumatic stress disorder even though the “pilots” aren’t even in the target areas.
“This year the Air Force will train more UAV pilots than fighter and bomber pilots combined. Next year, the United States will buy more unmanned aircraft than manned.” (Esquire)