shannonwatch's blog

Is Ireland supporting NATO exercises in Eastern Europe?

Shannonwatch have recorded an unusual number of US military aircraft at and overflying Shannon Airport since June 4th. This time period coincides with the preparations for NATO Anaconda-2016 military exercises in Poland which are being conducted from June 7th to 17th. (See list below)

US Air Force Special Ops "Resting" At Shannon

On Wednesday June 1st a US Air Force Dornier C-146A Wolfhound, 11-3075, sat on the tarmac at Shannon Airport being watched carefully by an Irish army patrol. It had come from Grand Canaria - Las Palmas in Spain, and on Thursday it travelled on to St John's Newfoundland.  Its call sign was REACH1042.

The aircraft is operated by the US Air Force 524th Special Operations Squadron which is part of the 27th Special Operations Wing. This Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) unit flies a fleet of non-standard transport aircraft in support of special operations. Their missions, which are typically covert, include insertion, extraction and resupply of special operations forces.

Report on Symbolic Peaceful Action Against War at Shannon Airport and Court Hearing

Shannonwatch commend and support the action taken by peace activists Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan at Shannon this week. There has been too much silence and tacit acceptance of the airport's complicity in war and torture, and not enough reflection on the devastating effect these acts of violence are having throughout the world. We need the complicity to end now. And we need conscientious people acting in whatever ways they can to make it end.

Here are some snippets from our reporting over the last few days. The national media did take note, and gave it some coverage (see links at the end). But we need more discussion about the issues it raises - breaches of international law, human rights and human dignity, imperialism, the root causes of the refugee crisis, militarization, neutrality, the values Irish people want to support and promote, and much, much more. And we need a change of policy from a government that is willing to let millions of people suffer and die instead of standing up for humanity and life.

We owe Dave and Colm a debt of gratitude for telling them that.

US Air Force Planes at Shannon on May 25th 2016

There were two US Air Force planes at Shannon on the morning of May 25th when two activists, Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan enter the airport to engage in a symbolic act of opposition to the US military use of the airport.

One was a Boeing C-32B, registration 02-4452. It is operated by the 486th Flight Test Squadron, a somewhat secretive unit assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and associated with the Department of State's Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST). According to official documents the operations of the squadron fall under the aegis of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). Their motto, "Non semper ea sunt quae videntur" means "Not always what they seem".

The Irish authorities should pay heed to this. When the 486th Flight Test Squadron assures them that the plane isn't carrying weapons, or involved in military or other illegal operations, that's almost certainly not true.

Symbolic Peaceful Action Against War at Shannon Airport

This morning at approx 6am there was a faith based action at Shannon Airport by Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy in response to Irelands continuing support of US wars conducted in the middle east. They entered the airfield and sprayed the main runway with red crosses to represent all the innocent blood spilt by these wars. Two planes consecutively took off without them being detected until they reached a US military jet, located on the old runway 11 almost half a mile away, where they were arrested.

A New Government: An Opportunity to End the US Military Use of Shannon

Yesterday (6th May) at about 8.30pm there were two US military planes parked at Shannon Airport while their crews probably rested overnight in some local hotel. The planes were being protected by an Irish Defence Forces patrol and by a Garda patrol.

One of the planes was a Hercules C-130H, registration 90-1796, operated by the Air National Guard based at Missouri. This is an air force militia unit that is headquartered at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.

The other is a US Navy C40 Clipper registration 166693. Its a regular visitor to Shannon.

While we'd like to think that the truth about these planes will be made public very soon, it is unlikely that our new government will tell us what these planes are doing in Shannon. They have an opportunity to take a first important step towards ending the conflicts that are ravaging the Middle East by refusing to facilitate the transit of US occupation forces.  But will they take it? Unfortunately we expect they won't.