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IPFS News Link • Drones

Mysterious Drones Swarmed Langley AFB For Weeks


Langley Air Force Base, located in one of the most strategic areas of the country, across the Chesapeake Bay from the sprawling Naval Station Norfolk and the open Atlantic, was at the epicenter of waves of mysterious drone incursions that occurred throughout December. The War Zone has been investigating these incidents and the response to them for months. We know that they were so troubling and persistent that they prompted bringing in advanced assets from around the U.S. government, including one of NASA's WB-57F high-flying research planes. Now the U.S. Air Force has confirmed to us that they did indeed occur and provided details on the timeframe and diversity of drones involved.

This spate of bizarre drone incursions deeply underscores the still-growing threats that uncrewed aerial systems present on and off traditional battlefields, and to military and critical civilian infrastructure, issues The War Zone has been highlighting in great detail for years.

"The installation first observed UAS [uncrewed aerial systems] activities the evening of December 6 [2023] and experienced multiple incursions throughout the month of December. The number of UASs fluctuated and they ranged in size/configuration," a spokesperson for Langley Air Force Base told The War Zone in a statement earlier today. "None of the incursions appeared to exhibit hostile intent but anything flying in our restricted airspace can pose a threat to flight safety. The FAA was made aware of the UAS incursions."

"To protect operational security, we do not discuss impacts to operations," the statement added. "We don't discuss our specific force protection measures but retain the right to protect the installation. Langley continues to monitor our air space and work with local law enforcement and other federal agencies to ensure the safety of base personnel, facilities, and assets."

Langley Air Force Base is formally part of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, an amalgamation that also includes the U.S. Army's Fort Eustis. Both facilities are situated around Newport News and Hampton Roads in southeastern Virginia. Langley, one of a select few bases hosting F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, is particularly important for supporting NORAD and NORTHCOM's missions to defend the U.S. homeland, including protecting the nation's capital in Washington, D.C.

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