Liberty Planet Weblog

Horsham, PA airbase will soon be home to domestic drone operations

Posted on: March 20, 2013

A command center for military drones will open this fall at the Horsham Air Guard Base, bringing a controversial instrument of U.S. foreign policy into the Philadelphia area.

The ground-control station for the remotely controlled aircraft will open Oct. 1 and be established by the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs announced Monday. It is expected to create about 250 jobs, including 75 full-time positions.

Master Sgt. Chris Botzum, spokesman for the 111th Wing, said the jobs would likely range from pilots to security personnel and a variety of administrative positions.

The base is adjacent to the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station, which closed in 2011 and where local officials hope to build a mix of residential, recreational, and retail facilities.

The drones, which are used in warfare, on killing missions, and in surveillance activities, will not be located at the base; pilots and sensory operators at the command center will operate drones flying overseas, Botzum said.

The type of drone expected to be controlled from the base is the MQ-9 Reaper, an aircraft with a 66-foot wingspan mainly used in “hunter/killer” missions, according to an Air Force fact sheet.

Reaction from local officials Tuesday was almost universally positive, with statements of support for the project being offered by Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey; Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, who represents the district where the base is located; Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, whose district borders the base; a spokeswoman for Gov. Corbett; and Horsham Township Manager William T. Walker.

“This is good news,” Toomey said in a statement, adding that the new employees will provide a “valuable service that enables our military to achieve its objectives without putting Americans in harm’s way.”


The horror of war will be lost on neo-con’s and the faceless operators that can kill villages without remorse and self-sacrifice. This technology will be and has been used in ways never comprehended by people that love liberty and freedom. Oppose this before it grows beyond our control.


1 Response to "Horsham, PA airbase will soon be home to domestic drone operations"

Thank you for posting this. If you are interested, we are organizing a protest of the drone command center. It will take place on April 27th. Please join us if you are able to, and help us get the word out.

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