Omni Air number N378AX arrived at Shannon Airport early this morning having collected US troops from Robert Gray air base in Texas and from Pope air base in North Carolina. It has since flown on to deliver these US troops to Kuwait and to Al Udeid air base (which is the biggest US air base in the Middle East).
Its been a wet windy evening at Shannon Airport but that has not stopped US warplanes and other suspicious aircraft refuelling there.
Western Global Air does lots of work for US military. Its aircraft number N412SN arrived at Shannon from Dubai in the UAE at about 4pm.
Yesterday US vice president Mike Pence met with US troop during a refuelling stop at Shannon Airport. As thejournal.ie reported, Pence disembarked Air Force Two to meet the soldiers who were on their way to Iraq, while they were also refuelling at Shannon.
“I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get off Air Force Two and tell you how grateful we are to each and every one of you and your families that are going to keep the home fires burning during this deployment." said Pence.
This is the second time in six months that Pence has deliberately abused Irish sovereignty by using Shannon Airport to greet US troops. He must know that the troops are also breaching Irish neutrality by transiting through Ireland on their way to wage wars of aggression in Iraq.
Today in the Dublin Circuit court Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan had a preliminary hearing designed to pave the way towards confirming their trail date as 2nd March. The offence they are charged with is linked to their attempts to search and investigate some US military aircraft at Shannon on 25 May 2016. That's almost four years ago.
The wheels of justice move very slowly in Ireland if you are a peace activist charged with attempting to ensure that the Gardaí at Shannon do their duty and apply the law as it should be applied.
Tonight at 7.15 pm a United States Marine Corps KC-130J 16-9228 landed at Shannon Airport. It was most likely coming from a Norwegian air base called Bardufoss where it was probably participating in a NATO exercise.
We had a wonderful turnout at Shannon today to oppose the US military use of the airport. Almost 100 people in total, gathered in opposition to the US military use of the airport. So great to see people from near and far, united in campaigning for peace. We walked from outside the aerodrome to the airport, with songs of peace and solidarity ringing out. And the usual one hour presence on the "peace' roundabout was also observed.
The following letter was sent to all members of Oireachtas na hEireann (Parliament and Senate) today by Shannonwatch's Edward Horgan.
Subject: Ending Irish complicity in US war of aggression and war crimes in the Middle East
Dear Oireachtas Legislators,
Peace activist individuals and groups from all parts of Ireland have been monitoring, and protesting against, US military use of Shannon airport particularly since October 2001, but also previously during the First Gulf War in 1991. Successive Irish Governments by allowing foreign military forces to transit through Irish territory and Irish airspace, while still maintaining that Ireland is a neutral state, have been acting in clear breach of international laws on neutrality. More importantly, such assistance to a military force engaged in wars of aggression makes Ireland and the Irish people complicit in the multiple war crimes and clear breaches of international laws, including the UN Charter that have been committed by US forces. Since 1991 up to one million children and several million adults are estimated to have died directly and indirectly due to war related reasons across the Middle East. Other countries and groups apart from the United States have also been involved in wars of aggression and war crimes in the Middle East, but none of these have been actively assisted by successive Irish Governments.
This evening at Shannon Airport we were "honoured" with a visit from the Royal Saudi Air Force. The visitor was one of their Boeing 737s with registration HZ-101.
Shannonwatch are calling for an immediate review of the safety standards applied to US military and military contracted planes at Shannon Airport. A fire on an Omni Air International troop carrier brought the airport to a standstill on Thursday August 15th. This once again highlights the dangers posed by daily military traffic at a civilian airport like Shannon.
The troop carrier, which is reported to be carrying approximately 150 troops, was on its way to the Middle East. It had arrived earlier from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma USA.
Saturday August 25th at Shannon, two more aircraft on contract to the US military were refueled on their way from the USA.
Omni Air International N477AX using US military call sign CMB556 arrived at Shannon about midday having come from Kileen Fort Hood Airbase. It took off at 16.14 pm and landed in Poland near Poznan Airport.