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News & Technical Reports on
USAF Croughton/JIAC

News and Reports

News/Reports Index
a guide to news reports and documents about USAF Croughton and the JIAC development

Media coverage and reports
a collection of media coverage/analysis around USAF Croughton and related drones/surveillance issues

JIAC Development Reports
background reports on the development of the JIAC at USAF Croughton

Free Range Library: 'Croughtonwatch'
a collection of background reports/technical information on US intelligence and cyberwar policy

a selection of videos and broadcast news about USAF Croughton and the JIAC development

The main function of the Croughtonwatch is to collate information and evidence on the operations of USAF Croughton and Barford St. John. These pages contain a variety of information related to the site.

The 'media reports' section (below) lists a variety of media coverage and analysis of Croughton and related cyberwarfare/surveillance issues. The 'videos' section extends this looking at broadcast media and other videos related to Croughton.

The 'JIAC reports' section lists information related directly to the design and construction of the Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex at USAF Croughton.

Finally the Free Range Library has a section dedicated to 'Croughtonwatch'. This contains a very broad collection of reports and technical information around the issues of cyberwarfare, drones and surveillance.

For details of the latest news and events at USAF Croughton, click here.

Media coverage and reports (reverse chronological order):

☮ New Internationalist: Killer robots – the race for Autonomous Weapons, 1st November 2017
Who would be stupid enough to give the power of life-and-death decisions to weapons – and then release them? Why, that would be the great nations of America, Russia, China and Israel. And they are just the front-runners for the new breed of Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS) aka Killer Robots. That’s why a large coalition of international disarmament organizations began the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots aimed at persuading the UN to write an international, legally binding treaty that will prohibit their use and development.
☮ DoD OIG: Report of Investigation on Allegations Related to the DoD's Decision to Relocate a Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex, 1st November 2017
This Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) investigation involves allegations related to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) decision to relocate a Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex (JIAC) at Royal Air Force Station (RAF) Croughton, United Kingdom (U.K.).1 Specifically, concerns were raised by several members of Congress that, allegedly, senior DoD officials intentionally provided inaccurate or misleading information to Congress pertaining to the selection of RAF Croughton as the location for a consolidated U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) JIAC. The allegations, in essence, were that inaccurate or misleading information was intentionally provided to Congress to inflate the cost estimates to relocate the JIAC to Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, as opposed to locating the JIAC at RAF Croughton.
☮ Starts & Stripes: EUCOM did not intentionally mislead Congress on UK basing costs, 1st November 2017
The Defense Department and military officials in Europe provided inaccurate information to Congress about cost estimates for the planned relocation of a United Kingdom-based intelligence center, but those errors were not part of a plan to deceive lawmakers, the inspector general said in a report released Wednesday.
☮ Washington Examiner: Is the Pentagon really going to excuse strategic and financial incompetence, all while bolstering China?, 2nd November 2017
It’s a few years after the fact, but the Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General has finally released its findings about the Pentagon process that led to the decision to locate a Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex in Great Britain rather than at Lajes Field, in the Azores archipelago. That might sound boring, but the episode encapsulated in one decision the Pentagon’s tunnel vision, waste, and strategic incompetence.
☮ APPG Drones Update: U.S. Host Nation Notification Tribunal, 30th October 2017
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones goes to the Information Tribunal on Monday 30th October seeking information about the planned massive expansion of a United States military and intelligence base at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. The base has long been suspected to lie at the heart of the United States global network of drones carrying out targeted killings. The programme is highly controversial in human rights and international law terms. It was expanded under President Obama, setting a dangerous precedent adopted by President Trump.
☮ Wharfedale Observer: Protesters make Keep Space for Peace week with Menwith Hill demo, 26th October 2017
PROTESTERS from Otley have taken part in a demonstration outside RAF Menwith Hill. About 30 people, in total, attended the October 10 event which was organised by Yorkshire CND as part of Keep Space for Peace week. The protest was timed to coincide with the weekly, Tuesday evening demonstration that is held outside the base's main gate.
☮ Chatham House: ‘Excessive Secrecy’ – The US Drone Programme, 28th September 2017
The authors of a recent report, Out of the Shadows, talk to Thomas Farrar about the ambiguity of international law, the US drone programme's impact on civilians, and the need for greater government transparency. The report, Out of the Shadows, is available on-line.
☮ Bury Free Press: USAF postpones RAF Mildenhall closure, Tuesday 26th September 2017
"Accordingly, instead of 2022, MoD has been advised that the full divestitures of RAF Mildenhall and RAF Alconbury/Molesworth will now occur no earlier than 2024. The revised dates are due to delays in commencing project design and construction for the move of assets from RAF Mildenhall to Germany, and are dependent on the completion of the Joint Intelligence Analysis Center (JIAC) at RAF Croughton."
☮ Realmedia: New Warfare & Transparency, 18th September 2017
An interview with drones campaigner Chris Cole about the current state of the technology, the march to lethal autonomous warfare, and the absolute secrecy and lack of democratic scrutiny around the developing drone programme.
☮ Keep Space for Peace: Issue 35, Space Alert Newsletter, August 2017
{page 16} The Global Network will likely hold its 26th annual space organizing conference during June 2018 in Oxford – due to its proximity to the U.S. 'Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre' at USAF Croughton.
☮ Keep Space for Peace: Issue 34, Space Alert Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2017
Global Network have republished some of Croughtonwatch's research around USAF Croughton and the US Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre (JIAC). {page 16}
☮ EUCOM: EUCOM 2017 Posture Statement, 23/3/2017
…A robust intelligence capability enables accurate analysis and rapid response in a changing theater security environment. This capability also supports the design of realistic exercises, posture alignment, and future requirements. Furthermore, when completed, EUCOM’s Joint Intelligence Analytic Center at Royal Air Force Croughton will provide a dedicated, purpose-built intelligence facility collocated with NATO and AFRICOM’s analytic centers that will enhance capability and capacity in both combatant commands and NATO.
☮ Washington Post: Obama administration expands elite military unit’s powers to hunt foreign fighters globally, 25/11/2016
The Obama administration is giving the elite Joint Special Operations Command — the same organization that helped kill Osama bin Laden in a 2011 raid by Navy SEALs — expanded power to track, plan and potentially launch attacks on terrorist cells around the globe, a move driven by concerns of a dispersed terrorist threat as Islamic State militants are driven from strongholds in Iraq and Syria, U.S. officials said.
☮ Miami Herald: The strange tale of a congressman's fight to build a U.S. listening post in the Azores, 17/11/16
17th November 2016: A powerful California congressman of Portuguese descent has pushed for years for the installation of a costly U.S. intelligence facility in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic.
☮ Motherboard: 'US Drone Pilots May Be ‘Illegally’ Acquiring Targets From UK Bases'
1st November 2016: Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, is widely known to be the heart of the United States’ overseas drone operations... But a British human rights campaign group says it has uncovered documents that show the US is also conducting its military drone operations from within Royal Air Force (RAF) bases in the UK, an act that would be deemed in breach of international laws, argues the group.
☮ RT: 'Reprieve – RAF Base Used By US For Drone Operations'
1st November 2016: Anti-US army base campaigner Lindis Percy, explains why evidence such as this report is important in getting more exposure for the issue.
☮ The Observer: 'US personnel ‘targeting killer drones from Britain’'
30th October 2016: The Observer has an article about US personnel targeting drone strikes from USAF Molesworth – in contravention of international law. This is the work which will be transferred, and significantly expanded, to Croughton as part of the new Joint Intelligence Complex development.
☮ US GAO: 'Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex'
September 2016: A report in response to critics of the JIAC project in the US House. You can also download the summary for this report.
☮ Computer Weekly: 'BT faces further investigation over link to US drone network'
29th August 2014: The UK government is set to reopen a complaint against BT after a Computer Weekly investigation found evidence suggesting the telecoms giant provided communication links that support controversial US drone strikes.
☮ Guardian On-line: 'Call to open RAF base for investigation into NSA tapping of Merkel's phone'
18th June 2014: Britain should grant Germany's federal prosecutor access to an RAF base which is alleged to have acted as a relay station for data intercepted from Angela Merkel's mobile phone by the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Labour MP Tom Watson has said. In a letter to the prime minister Watson said that full British co-operation with Harald Range, the German federal prosecutor who has announced an investigation into the alleged tapping of Merkel's mobile phone, would ensure that Anglo-German relations are not damaged.
☮ Computer Weekly: 'Drone kill communications net illustrated'
13th June 2014: Computer Weekly can illustrate how a UK network connection forms part of a US weapons targeting system that has slaughtered civilians in anti-terrorist attacks gone wrong. The illustrations add credibility to a legal challenge begun last month over a 2012 contract BT won to build the UK branch of the system – a fibre optic network line between RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire and Camp Lemonnier, a US military base in Djibouti, North Africa.
☮ Independent On-line: 'Washington spends £200m creating intelligence hub in Britain'
18th May 2014: Washington is to spend almost £200m to turn one of its British military bases – already implicated in mass surveillance and drone strikes – into one of its largest intelligence hubs outside the mainland United States. RAF Croughton, a US Air Force (USAF) base near Milton Keynes, which has a direct cable link to Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham, is to be the site for an ultra-secure intelligence centre staffed by up to 1,250 personnel and covering operations in Africa, a current focus for US counterterrorism activities.
☮ Computer Weekly: 'Analysis – How the UK connects to the US global drone network'
2nd May 2014: A single acronym in a US defence contract notice provided the clue that established the role of the UK's telecoms infrastructure in supporting controversial US drone flights. It was buried in an official notice unearthed by legal charity Reprieve last year. The document showed the US Defense Information Systems Agency (Disa) had awarded BT a contract to provide a fibre-optic line between a US military communications base at RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire, and Camp Lemonnier, in Djibouti, the base for US operations in the Horn of Africa.
☮ Drone Wars UK: 'Project Crossbow – How a Norfolk RAF base plugs into the drone wars'
22nd April 2014: A map in the USAF's new 'RPA Vector Report' released on April 4 2014 confirms that 'Project Crossbow' based at RAF Marham in Norfolk is part of the intelligence backbone guiding the growing use of US and UK drones.
☮ Guardian On-line: 'UN report calls for independent investigations of drone attacks'
10th March 2014: A report by the United Nations Human Rights Council has called for independent investigations to be carried out into drone attacks after a series of strikes that result in unexpected civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Most of the attacks involved US drones. In a 21-page report, the UN special rapporteur on human rights, Ben Emmerson, records a dramatic reduction in drone strikes in 2013 in Pakistan but increases in Afghanistan and, towards the end of the year, in Yemen.
☮ Independent On-line: 'Minister in row over BT's link to US drones' war'
26th March 2014: The former chief executive of BT, who is now a senior Government trade minister, is at the centre of a row over Britain's alleged role in America's secret drones' war. Ian Livingston was head of the telecoms giant when it won a contract to set up a top secret £15m communications link between an RAF base in Northamptonshire and America's headquarters for drone attacks in Africa. Last year he was made Lord Livingston and four months ago started a high-profile trade job in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
☮ Democracy Now!: 'Death By Metadata – Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald Reveal NSA Role in Assassinations Overseas'
10th February 2014: In the first exposé for their new venture, First Look Media's digital journal The Intercept, investigative journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald reveal the National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes. The NSA identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cellphone tracking technologies, an unreliable tactic that has resulted in the deaths of innocent and unidentified people.
☮ Guardian On-line: 'Scrutiny of US airbases in Britain is stuck in the 1950s'
5th February 2014: Almost all first impressions of RAF Croughton – a small airbase that sits amid green fields, about 20 miles north-east of the prime minister's Witney constituency – are misleading. From the road running out of the nearby Northamptonshire village from which it takes its name, it is visible as a series of anonymous, barn-like buildings. An understated sign on a low brick wall and a couple of cold-war-era jets, no longer in use, would appear to mark it out as a relic; a sleepy airbase whose heyday has passed. But scratch the surface and the reality is very different. RAF Croughton, which despite its name has in fact been a US base for more than six decades, is a crucial hub for the operations of today's "war on terror".
☮ Mintpress News: 'Britons Rail Against Laws That Ban Protests Near Military Bases'
9th January 2014: In the U.K., a set of laws that protects American bases from protesters has become the target of criticism. These laws – passed without the consent of Parliament under the 120-year-old Military Lands Act of 1892 – have many arguing that the "outrageous and undemocratic" act has been done to curry favor from the U.S. Since the Ministry of Defense confirmed that the Royal Air Force has carried out more than 2,000 missions with "borrowed" U.S. drones in Afghanistan, protests have escalated.
☮ RT: 'Dog-walkers beware! Draconian UK law to protect US 'drone-operating' bases'
31st December 2013: Britain's Ministry of Defense has passed harsh laws to protect US air bases in the UK that are suspected of wide surveillance and drone warfare, British media report. The new measures could land a person in jail for merely walking their dog nearby. There are dozens of sites where the new by-laws are going to be introduced, the Independent revealed Monday. But among them are several which are widely believed to be involved in NSA mass surveillance, as well as relaying spy data on Europeans (and their leaders) back to Washington.
☮ Independent On-line: 'MoD tightens security at American spy bases linked to drone strikes'
30th December 2013: The Ministry of Defence is set to introduce "draconian" new powers to tighten security and limit access to US airbases in Britain implicated in mass surveillance and drone strikes, The Independent can reveal. The measures, which include powers to arrest for offences ranging from taking photographs to failing to clean up dog mess, would be put in place through a little-known project to overhaul the by-laws surrounding military facilities across the country.
☮ Action AWE: 'Drones, cyberwarfare and democracy'
November 2013: It may seem a jump from drones to the revelations about surveillance by US whistle-blowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, but what both they and the UN's Special Rapporteur are describing are the same system. When we look at the "networked state", surveillance, cyberwarfare, the use of military drones, and the machines which enable all those systems to function together, they are one and the same. And when we consider the use of drones for targeted strikes against "insurgents", again, considering recent military doctrines, it is difficult to separate the both the intelligence hardware which directs those strikes, and the long-term technology, foreign and security policies which have created it.
☮ Independent On-line: 'RAF Croughton base 'sent secrets from Merkel's phone straight to the CIA''
5th November 2013: Data from the global network of US embassy spy posts implicated in the eavesdropping on Angela Merkel's mobile phone is funnelled back to Washington through a secret hub in Northamptonshire, The Independent can reveal. Vast quantities of information captured by America's "Stateroom" system of listening stations in diplomatic missions – including phone calls and data sent over wi-fi links – are routed back to spy chiefs via a communications hub within the US Air Force base in Croughton, near Milton Keynes.
☮ Computer Weekly: 'MOD refuses to rule out BT drone link'
2nd August 2013: The Ministry of Defence has refused to rule out the possibility that a controversial fibre-optic BT comms line between US military bases in the UK and Africa carries command and control signals that direct US drone missions blamed for civilian deaths in Yemen. After legal charity Reprieve complained under OECD rules that BT had ignored its human rights obligations to question its contract to provide the comms link, the MOD firmly denied that the UK base it connected led drone missions out of Africa.
☮ Computer Weekly: 'Officials examine BT link to drone deaths'
25th July 2013: Allegations that BT is involved in an assassination programme in the Middle Eastern country of Yemen may come as a surprise to anyone more familiar with the image it likes to portray in television adverts: a supplier of home broadband to fashionable young professionals. But while BT customers flounce carefree round their Duran Duran downloads, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has opened an investigation into allegations that it also does the communications behind US drone attacks that have slaughtered civilians.