from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2012, Issue No. 58
June 14, 2012

Secrecy News Blog:


The Department of Defense has identified 110 sites in the United States that could serve as bases for military unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones. A new report to Congress lists each of the 110 sites "and the UAS likely to fly at that location."

See "Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability," Department of Defense, April 2012:

The newly disclosed DoD report was first reported by

The actual or potential drone bases are located in 39 of the 50 states, from Fort McClellan in Alabama to Camp Guernsey in Wyoming, as well as Guam and Puerto Rico.

Currently, the DoD and the military have "88 active certificates of authorization (COAs) at various locations around the country" that permit them to fly UASs outside of restricted military zones, the report to Congress said. COAs are issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

But "The rapid increase in fielded UAS has created a strong demand for access within the NAS [National Airspace System] and international airspace. The demand for airspace to test new systems and train UAS operators has quickly exceeded the current airspace available for these activities," the report said.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, evidently receptive to this demand, said in its report on the FY2013 defense authorization act that integration of drones into domestic airspace should be accelerated. See "Senate: Drones Need to Operate 'Freely and Routinely' in U.S.," Secrecy News, June 8, 2012.

The website Public Intelligence previously identified 64 U.S. drone site locations.

See also "Revealed: 64 Drone Bases on American Soil" by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Wired Danger Room, June 13:

"UAS will not achieve their full potential military utility unless they can go where manned aircraft go with the same freedom of navigation, responsiveness, and flexibility," the new DoD report to Congress said.

A bill "to protect individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles" (HR 5925) was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 7 by Rep. Austin Scott.

A companion bill (S.3287) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul.


New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service which have not been made publicly accessible include the following.

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs, June 12, 2012:

SBA New Markets Venture Capital Program, June 12, 2012:

Health Insurance Premium Credits in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), June 13, 2012:

The U.S. Postal Service: Common Questions About Post Office Closures, June 13, 2012:

Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress, June 13, 2012:

Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights, June 13, 2012:

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment and Candidate Countries for WTO Accession: Issues for Congress, June 13, 2012:

Russia's Accession to the WTO and Its Implications for the United States, June 13, 2012:

Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties, June 13, 2012:

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues and Options for Congress, June 13, 2012:

Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress, June 12, 2012:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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