Drone protest planned at Horsham Air Guard Station

    Anti-war activists intend to protest a new drone ground-control station at Horsham Air Guard Station Saturday.

    This will be the second such demonstration since the Air Force announced the new center in March.

    When the center opens in the beginning of October, pilots at the Montgomery County base will fly remote surveillance, search and rescue, and precision strike missions around the world.

    The physical drones, armed MQ-9 Reapers, will not take off from Horsham.

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    Activists from the Coalition for Peace Action in Princeton are protesting because drones kill innocent civilians, say the Rev. Robert Moore, coalition executive director.

    “The reputation that (the U.S. is) getting as a result of using drones is that we’re no better than the terrorists,” he said.

    “It seems like it’s a cheap and efficient way to try to stop the terrorists,” he continued. “But in reality, it’s creating a lot more terrorists than we’re stopping.”

    Participants from several other area groups — including the Brandywine Peace Community, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Green Parties of Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks counties — also will take part.

    The protesters will toll a bell, read the names of drone-strike victims, and carry a 10-foot drone replica as part of the action.

    Horsham Guard Station is owned by the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and hosts many different units, including the 111th Fighter Wing, which will fly the drone missions.

    In its initial announcement, the Air Force estimated that the new center will bring 250 jobs to Horsham, including 75 full-time positions.

    The guard station began shedding personnel in 2005 when the Air Force phased out the A-10 Thunderbolt, a plane that once operated out of Horsham.

    The facility previously was known as the Willow Grove Naval Air Station.

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