Minister Claims that Everyone on a US Air Force Aircraft was Crew

  • Posted on: 18 February 2021
  • By: shannonwatch


Earlier this week we wrote about a US Air Force, Special Operations Command Dornier C-146A 'Wolfhound' aircraft registration 97-3093 that arrived in Shannon on 8th February from the USA, spent over 17 hours at the airport, and took off on the morning of 9th February.

Catherine Connolly TD asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs about the circumstances concerning the aircraft, the number of passengers and crew members on it, the local hotels in which the passengers and crew were accommodated overnight, if Covid-19 tests were carried out in respect of the passengers and crew, and the checks that were carried out to ascertain if weapons or munitions were being carried on the aircraft.

Shannonwatch Call for Immediate Cessation of US Military Use of Shannon in Light of Covid-19 Breaches

  • Posted on: 15 February 2021
  • By: shannonwatch

Shannonwatch call on the Irish government to explain why troops landing at Shannon on US military and military contracted flights were repeatedly allowed to overnight at local hotels over the last three weeks, despite restrictions on travel in the interests of public health.

On Jan 25th, passengers and crew from a US Navy plane that landed at Shannon were permitted to stay at a Limerick hotel. On Jan 28th, 226 troops from an Omni Air International plane stayed overnight in a number of Limerick hotels. Yet despite the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney saying the US authorities had assured him it would not happen again, it did. On February 8th a US Air Force Special Operations Command Dornier C-140A aircraft spent over 17 hours at Shannon and both crew members and passengers accommodated overnight in a local hotel.

US Military Breach Covid-19 Regulations at Shannon on at least Three Occasions

  • Posted on: 15 February 2021
  • By: shannonwatch

Shannon building 2008.jpg

Between Jan 25th and Feb 8th the US military breached Covid-19 regulations at Shannon Airport on at least three occasions. This was compounded by crew members and troops being allowed to go to local hotels where they stayed overnight without isolating. There have been claims of errors on the part of the US authorities; our Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said the issue of non-compliance with public health guidelines was a serious one; the US embassy said it takes it very seriously, and has apologised. But its hard to take any of their words seriously since they repeated the breaches of the regulations.

This is part of an ongoing pattern of disregard for regulations and the law by the US military at Shannon. 

Its even harder to believe US assurances when one looks at the disregard they have shown for the people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and the many other countries that have been devastated by their wars and weapons supplies.

US Troops Overnighting in Mid-West Despite Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

  • Posted on: 8 February 2021
  • By: shannonwatch

This week Catherine Connolly TD submitted a parliamentary question to ask the Minister for Transport if an exemption under the Air Navigation (Munitions of War,Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Orders 1973 and 1989 was granted by his Department in respect of Omni Air aircraft number N828AX call sign CMB549. It landed at Shannon Airport at 11.27am on Thursday 28th January, remained there overnight and took off again at 09.28 am on Friday 29th. She also asked for the number of US military personnel on board this aircraft; if the aircraft was carrying weapons or munitions given that the aircraft remained overnight, if the aircraft crew and military passengers were accommodated in a local hotel; if all persons on board this aircraft were required to produce a negative Covid-19 test on arrival in Ireland.

Continuing Breaches of Ireland's Neutrality

  • Posted on: 8 January 2021
  • By: shannonwatch


There were quite a few US air force executive type jets flying through Shannon Airport at the start of this week, as well as Omni Air planes carrying US troops.

US air force B737 number 05-0730 arrived at Shannon on Tuesday from Andrews Air base in Maryland and took off for Cairo Egypt about 00,55am.

There were also two troop carrying planes on Tuesday, most likely carrying US troops to northern Norway from a US base in North Carolina. Omni Air N846AX arrived from Cherrypoint NC, landed at Shannon about 9.21am and then flew on to Nordufoss Air Base in Norway, and Omni Air N207AX also arrived at Shannon from Cherrypoint NC at 6.46am and then flew on to Trondheim in northern Norway.

Joining the UN Security Council - Our Actions Don't Match Our Words

  • Posted on: 3 January 2021
  • By: shannonwatch

As Ireland takes its seat on the US Security Council, our Minister for Foreign Affairs said Ireland would hope to “build alliances to get practical things done”. He wants to see Ireland playing a constructive, impactful role, to try to build consensus, relationships and trust, and ensure Ireland becomes a credible voice (see Irish Times report).

“This means saying no at times and standing up for ourselves and our own principles, even when it is a friend coming calling.” he said.

And at the same time he is giving permission to the "friend" who comes calling at Shannon every day of the week, looking to use the airport to refuel troop carriers and other military planes on their way to and from warzones that the same "friend" has created in the Middle East.

Permits for 236 US Military Aircraft to Land at Shannon in first 10 Months of 2020

  • Posted on: 13 December 2020
  • By: shannonwatch

Between Jan 1st and Oct 31st this year, permits were granted for an 236 US military aircraft to land at Shannon Airport. Eleven of the flights were subsequently cancelled according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. 

In the same time period, permits were granted for 38 military or state aircraft from 10 other countries. Twelve of these were French aircraft, 10 were Belgian, and 6 were from the Netherlands.All are members of NATO, and their presence at Shannon further underlines the involvement of Ireland in military alliances.

Details of Permits Granted for Military Flights by Department of Foreign Affairs

  • Posted on: 29 November 2020
  • By: shannonwatch

Earlier this month the Minister for Foreign Affairs provided Catherine Connolly TD with a breakdown of military flights that landed at Shannon or were granted permission  to fly through Irish airspace for the years 2015 to 2019. Deputy Connolly requested the data for every year since 2002 but was told that because Department of Foreign Affairs staff are working from home and do not have access to physical files required to compile data for the years prior to 2015.

The following tables summariises the military landings at Shannon.


Military overflight numbers were even higher each year.

Tracking an Omni Air Troop Carrier

  • Posted on: 28 November 2020
  • By: shannonwatch

Earlier today we spent some time tracking a US troop carrying aircraft Omni Air N225AX. It originated at Dobbins Reserve Air Base near Atlanta in Georgia and landed at Shannon Airport just before midnight on Friday night. It refueled and took off again about 1.58am Saturday morning, heading for another refeuling stop at Sofia Bulgaria, before flying on over east Africa.

It was then recorded over Asosa in Ethiopia when in seemed to switch of its transponder which was wise because it was now flying over or near a viscous civil war in Tigre province Ethiopia.