Thursday, July 10, 2014

Drone Crashes Pile Up In and Near Florida

July 2013: Heavy smoke is visible near Mexico Beach, Florida after a
drone crashed on takeoff from Tyndall Air Force Base.

The very first post on the No Drones Florida website was about the way in which Florida is bristling with drones bases. At the time, we could only guess at what some of the consequences of this would be.

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 five (5) drone crashes that occurred in the state of Florida alone between the years 2001 and 2013. (The listed incidents are Air Force-related, unless otherwise indicated.)

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

Tyndall crash: October 25, 2001

Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Tyndall Air Force Base
Estimated damage: $1,523,469
Details: An aerial target drone [Phantom (QF-4E)] crashed . . . .

Date: May 10, 2004
Location: undisclosed FL location
Estimated damage: N/A
Details:   An Army Hunter (RQ-5A) drone crashed  . . . .

Date: April 25, 2006
Location: Gulf of Mexico, 88 miles south of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., United States
Estimated damage:  $2,450,000
Details:  A Phantom (QF-4E) had to be blown up when it went out of control . . . .

Remains of crashed drone in the Gulf of Mexico: May 13, 2011

Date: May 13, 2011
Location: Gulf of Mexico, 16 nautical miles south of Tyndall Air Force Base,
Estimated damage: $2,801,574
Details:   An aerial target drone [Phantom (QF-4E)] crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Date: July 17, 2013
Location: Tyndall Air Force Base
Estimated damage: $4,564,536
Details:  An aerial target drone [Phantom (QF-4E)]crashed about eight seconds after takeoff . . . .

Tyndall crash: July 17, 2013

Related posts

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 )

There have been several crashes of Hunter drones in connection with Army programs in Georgia.

(See Military Drone Programs in Georgia Lead to Crashes)

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

(See California: Is the Sky Falling? )

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Alan Grayson: HR 4372 "Come Clean on Drone Killing" Act needs YOU!

Rep. Alan Grayson (representing Florida's 9th Congressional district) is on the record declaring that the Obama administration needs to do some 'fessing up:

"It's time for our government to shed some light on its drone practices. Transparency, as uncomfortable as it may sometimes be, is an essential part of our democracy. Americans need the facts -- the who, what, when, where, and (most importantly) why -- in order to decide if the benefits of these strikes outweigh the negatives. And for the people in other countries, whose lives are so profoundly impacted by America's drone activities, people like Rafiq ur Rehman and the individuals in Datta Khel, they deserve some closure, too."

(See - "Come Clean on Deadly Drone Activities," March 27, 2014 in the Huffington Post) And there is lots more material available on the web about Rep. Grayson's criticisms of the drone program.

Now a bill is pending in Congress -- the The Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (HR 4372) -- also known as the "Come Clean on Drone Killing" Act. At this writing, quite a few of Rep. Grayson's fellow progressive caucus members have become co-sponsors for the bill. So where is Rep. Grayson?

Rep. Grayson's constituents need to contact him and urge him to co-sponsor the bill today.

Additional resources to help:

Identify your member of Congress

Example letter to a member of Congress in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

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 )

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones: University of Florida site of weeklong demonstration event

Students for a Democratic Society and the UF libertarians came together between April 8th and 12th for a week of anti-drone action, joining the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones. As reported in Fight Back News, the event incorporated a wide variety of educational demonstration that spread awareness about U.S. imperialism, civilians murdered by drone warfare, and UF's involvement in research that supports the drone industry.
On Monday, April 8, activists painted a huge mural on the 34th
 Street Wall reading, “4700 murders and counting,” referring to the
extrajudicial killings carried out by the U.S. government in countries
 like Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, in Turlington Plaza, Students for Justice
 in Palestine (SJP) joined SDS and UF Libertarians to
 hold a moment of silence and read the names of
over 400 children killed by drone strikes in
Yemen and Pakistan.

In "Pin the Drones," students in the Plaza of the 
Americas were challenged to find a country
 that the U.S. had not invaded bombed,
 or occupied within the last 10 years. This
 proved a difficult task
On Friday, 4/12 activists gathered in front of Tigert Hall, UF's
administrative building, to call attention to the university's
 involvement in research that fuels drone development.
"Drop TUITION not BOMBS;" describes the tradeoff implicit
 in the University's funding of drone research.

 broadcast by a banner hung from the Tigert Hall steps.
After the rally on Friday, April 12, a delegation of students met with administrators to demand that information concerning UF’s relationship with the military and drone companies be made public. After the meeting, SDS organizer Michela Martinazzi said, “We’re not against technology, but we are against U.S. wars and murder. We think that there is some important drone research being done for wildlife monitoring, but UF research needs to be transparent and accountable.”

April Days of Action Against Drones continue! How will YOU get involved?!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones hits Florida State University!

Last Thursday, in the wake of a unanimous vote by the Florida state senate in favor of a bill preventing local law enforcement from using drones to gather evidence without a warrant, students at Florida State University in Tallahassee held a US Drones Out of Africa and Everywhere! action in solidarity with ANSWER Coalition's protest at the White House on April 13 and with the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones

The action took place on Landis Green, the university’s “free speech zone,” in the busy center of campus. From 11 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, students handed out info sheets about the expanding US drone program overseas and at home. Signs such as “Drones Kill Kids,” “Drone Strikes = War Crimes,” and “5,000 killed in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia (Most Civilians)” reached hundreds of students. Many students learned about drones for the first time, while others expressed their support 
for the protest and joined in.

 At 4 o’clock, representatives of ANSWER Coalition, Students United for Justice in Palestine, the Center for Participant Education, Veterans for Peace, and Progress Coalition, the event’s sponsors, gave speeches that rang throughout the campus. They spoke about the illegal nature of US drone strikes, the shocking civilian and child death tolls, and resistance to drone warfare as part of a larger struggle against the military-industrial complex and imperialism.

Your turn to get involved! Find out more about the April Days of Action Against Drones around the country!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Call for "No Drones" in Florida 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 Florida:
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach
University of Florida - Gainsville
University of Central Florida - Orlando
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

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why We Need to STOP the Raytheon Drones Killing Machine

Raytheon, one of the biggest U.S. military contractors, is jumping to the front lines of the U.S. war of terror against people all over the world by providing the terrifying weapons that make drones so lethal.

Raytheon is one of the suppliers of the laser-guided "Paveway" 500-lb. bombs used in U.S. drone attacks. Now Raytheon is making even lighter weapons, so that the small-scale drones that will soon proliferate skies everywhere can be just as murderous as the large Predator and Reaper drones.

Join CodePINK and Occupy Tampa to protest the Raytheon Drones Killing Machine Thursday, August 23, 2012, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Raytheon facility at 7887 Bryan Dairy Rd, Largo,FL 33773, USA:

In the past, activists have also focused on Raytheon's facility in Tucson, AZ, where Raytheon Missile Systems is based.


A Raytheon spokesperson reportedly responded to the protest against his company's killer drone role by playing the employment card: "Here in Largo and St. Petersburg, Raytheon has more than 1,000 employees making communication products and systems that protect our national security and help keep America safe," said Peter Ramjug, according to the Tampa Bay Times. (See Drone maker Raytheon target of first RNC-related protest.) Apparently, the "communication products and systems" he refers to are the laser-guidance systems on the PAVE 500-lb bombs Raytheon supplies for drones.

More coverage at:
Raytheon protestors against drones say RNC perfect time to make point

RELATED STORY: Indianapolis: Hoosiers Protest Raytheon Role in Drone Killings

Medea Benjamin from CodePINK will appear Sunday, August 26, 5:00pm, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida, as part of her national tour in connection with the publication of her book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CodePINK's Medea Benjamin: Drone Talks at VFP Miami & Ft. Lauderdale

CodePINK leader Medea Benjamin will be in Florida to help educate the public about the menace of drone killing and drone surveillance as part of her national tour to promote her book, "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control".


Ft. Lauderdale - Thursday, August 9, 7 p.m. - Hiroshima/Nagasaki Observance at St. Maurice Church, 2851 Stirling Road

Miami - Friday, August 10, 11 a.m. - Workshop on "Reining In The Drones" at the Veterans For Peace (VFP) National Convention, 3rd floor, Miami Marriott (Biscayne Bay), 1633 N. Bayshore Drive

Miami - Friday, August 10, 7 p.m. - "Veterans Meet the Community" event at Trinity Episcopal Church (VFP National Convention) 464 North NE 16th St., (corner of No. Bayshore Dr. and Venetian Causeway, next door to Marriott)

Members of Veterans for Peace are helping to lead the No Drones! effort around the country, including No Drones Wisconsin, No Drones Ohio, No Drones North Carolina, and more. To learn more about the VFP, see the main Veterans For Peace (VFP) National Convention page.