Close Ramstein: US Drone Base in Germany
Stop the Global Drone Wars!
Thursday, May 21 from 4:15-5:15 pm
Hancock Air Base Main Entrance, 6001 E Molloy Rd, Mattydale
This is a special Street Heat – bring your sign or use one of ours.
What is Ramstein Base?
The importance of the US military base in Ramstein, Germany to the U.S. drone war program cannot be overstated. Ramstein is one of the largest U.S. military bases outside the U.S. and is the site of a satellite relay station that plays a key role in the communication between drone operators here in the U.S. and their drones in Africa and the Middle East. A source for Jeremy Scahill’s article Game of Drones stated that
“Ramstein carries the signal to tell the drone what to do and it returns the display of what the drone sees. Without Ramstein, drones could not function, at least not as they do now.”
How is Ramstein connected to Hancock Air Base in Syracuse?
Signals from Hancock drone operators are sent first to Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. From there they are sent via transatlantic fiber optic cables to Ramstein. From there the satellite relay station sends the signal to the drones over Afghanistan (in Hancock’s case). Information from Afghanistan is then sent to Hancock again via Ramstein. See graphic from Scahill’s article below.
What do German citizens think about all this?
The role of Germany in the U.S.’ drone wars was exposed by German media in 2013. The German government for the most part has evaded the issue, while German human rights groups have called on their government to stop allowing the U.S. drone program from operating in Ramstein.
What is the significance of protesting on May 21?
Last October a Yemeni man filed a lawsuit against the German government for Germany’s complicity in the death of two of his family members in a drone strike. The lawsuit, which is being litigated by Reprieve and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, accuses the German government of participating in and enabling the extrajudicial killing of the victims of drone strikes by allowing the Ramstein Base to send communications to drones. A hearing in this case is scheduled for May 27. German activists have called for solidarity actions in the U.S. For more details on the legal case, see the lead lawyer’s interview with activist David Swanson.
Contact Carol firstname.lastname@example.org, 315.472.5478.