Google unEarths image of secret US drone base in Nevada

Google Earth has published images of a secret US airfield in Nevada. The images indicate that the base is used to test and maintain unmanned drones. And now, the publication is fueling a debate about whether Google is compromising US security.

­Aviation website Flight Global found the Yucca Lake airfield image on Google Earth. The images allowed Flight Global to write a detailed description of site, claiming a 5,200 foot (1,580 meter) asphalt runway, with MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) – also known as drones – being towed on the parking ramp. The image also shows four hangars, a parking lot and a security perimeter. Tim Brown, an imagery analyst with Globalsecurity.org, said that the hangars could accommodate up to 10-15 MQ-9 Reaper aircraft. Flight Global estimates that the base can accommodate approximately 80 employees plus some specialized drone maintenance facilities.

One piece of evidence suggests that the airfield is used to test the new RQ-170 Sentinel, a drone nicknamed the “Beast of Kandahar”: a special clamshell hangar, used specifically to lodge the “Beasts,” can be seen at Yucca Lake.  

The RQ-170 Sentinel is one of the most sophisticated drones in the American arsenal. It features high-definition cameras, sensors that can scan for nuclear armaments, and an advanced stealth shell to hide it from radar detection. The Iranian government claims it recently captured an RQ-170 Sentinel it alleges was being used by the United States to spy on Iranian nuclear activities.

Earlier images of the airfield showed other aircraft on the site – the Pilatus PC-12 and the Beechcraft King Air, both manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin also manufactures some of the most advanced drones for the US military – the Polecat technology demonstrator and the RQ-170 Sentinel – which were tested at airfields on the same range.   

It is not yet clear which US government agency uses the Yucca Lake airfield. The airfield is located on the heavily restricted Tonopah Test Range, which makes use of land formally belonging to the National Nuclear Security Administration, a division of the US Department of Energy. The airfield’s isolation from other sites on the range has prompted speculation that it may be a secret CIA testing spot for hardware and software for its own drone program. The Department of Energy also frequently leases its facilities to the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.  

According to archive images, the Yucca airfield was constructed around 2002. Two reports by the Department of Energy indicate that the base operates 4-6 UAV flights and 2-3 manned flights, over the dry Yucca lakebed at altitudes under 12,000 feet (3,650 meters), every day.    

Google has already been the subject of controversy for publishing air base images. In 2009, images of the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan (taken in 2006) showed the presence of Predator drones, although the Pakistani government had previously said that the US did not base its drone operations in the country.

Cup of Coffee and Sunday Morning Thinking’s in Russia…

Cup of Coffee and Sunday Morning Thinking’s in Russia…

This morning with a cup of coffee I had some thinking’s going on over that great cup of coffee. The thinking’s centered around several items. One is the protests in Russia, another is the US drone in Iran, another is that Russia backs Iran on no nuclear weapons and another is the cyber troubles we had…

First thinking first: The protests in Russia are not really an interesting subject. They are the same that is going on in the USA, Middle East and all over Europe for that matter. But what I do care about is the future of Americans (Like me!) being in Russia. If the US keeps up the crap and I do mean crap, then us Americans will become even more unwanted in Russia like as in a large part of the world. Russia is getting really fed up with the political interference that is happening by the West right now in Russia. One thing that is obvious is that Russia at least is not using rubber bullets and pepper spray on everyone all over the country like America is doing. Nuff said about that crap…

Second thinking is very interesting: It seems that Americans everywhere are demanding our RQ-170 Sentinel drone back! Yes America wants the drone (that we denied at first that Iran had it), back. But why should they give it back? We invaded their territory as a spy. We (US) also refused to accept that Iran hacked our drone and brought it down in one piece. But we can not deny the fact that they have our most advanced drone and it has now already been looked over by Russia and China. Guess what America? It is too late to get it back and you should have worried about the drone before you sent it spying over Iran against their wishes. But as the comments say on all the news articles in the US, Americans think Iran has no right to keep it.. (See what I mean about Americans?)

Lets continue about Iran for another thought: Russia has made it clear that Iran is not making a nuclear weapon. Russia says that they work very closely with Iran and that there is no signs of foul play. Now in the US the response to this is that Russia is not trustworthy and is no better than Iran or China. That once again points to that better than thou attitude that Americans have about the rest of the world. It is easier to just look down our noses at the world and say we are right then to think and comprehend reality…

Last thinking today: The cyber attack that we have endured is continuing but at a controlled pace. We have basically gotten things back in line and are finding that our page views are going through the roof Lets hope that our new system can keep up. We have been discovered by another Chinese search engine called http://www.sogou.com/ and we are being slaughtered by that even, with nothing else going on. Ukraine is also back online and we are enjoying once again the audience located in Ukraine…

So as my cup of coffee is almost gone, I will wrap this article up. So everyone have a good day and enjoy the sites that we have information for you to find out a little bit more about Russia and this side of the world…

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia!

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