Drone Warfare Contracting in Rural Virginia – part 2

In an earlier post, we reported on DoD contracts in Bridgewater, Virginia (population about 6000) which showed the small rural town might be involved in airborne systems necessary to the well-known drone strikes of the last decade. In April 2015, Jeremy Scahill wrote in The Intercept, an online publication focused on the Edward Snowden leaks, about a leaked “U.S. intelligence document ... [which] confirms that the sprawling U.S. military base in Ramstein, Germany serves as the high-tech heart of America’s drone program.” The document itself is linked here.


Relevant to the contractor Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater is the image of the Beechcraft C-12 Huron (the military designation of the King Air 200) Guardrail labelled “MARSS SIGINT/FMV” on the second page. This aircraft was used for the U.S. Army’s Aerial Common Sensor, but this program was terminated in 2006.

So if the C-12 Huron Guardrail (ACS) program was terminated, how is it related to MARSS and why is it showing up in this document from July 2012? In a word: Outsourcing. Here’s an article on that trend as it relates to MARSS. Dynamic Aviation is one of the aviation companies who has benefitted from military programs being “terminated” and then contracted out in the name of cost-cutting and efficiency. It also doesn’t hurt that the drone assassination program itself is diffused in multiple layers of government intelligence agencies, DoD departments, primary contractors and subsequent subcontractors. Getting a handle on that spider’s web is a challenge, but we try to do what we can.

An article on the Army’s website sheds some light on EMARSS (Enhanced MARSS). Search down in the page to find the reference, but first notice the photo of the Dash-8 in the slideshow at the top. That’s a Dynamic Aviation aircraft (tail number N8100V).

Next up: Shedding some light on the other C-12 labelled “LIBERTY SIGINT” and it’s connection to a disappeared L-3 Communications executive. Things get spookier.

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