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Boeing Co. is making unmanned drones near Hood River

These devices are being used in Afghanistan, Pakistan and most recently, in the Indian Ocean to assist in rescuing the Captain from Somali "pirates".
The company is called Insitu, Inc. (a division of Boeing) and is located in Bingen, WA (just across from Hood river).
The drones are about 10 feet across in wingspan and are launched from a catapault. They contain cameras, and also (as we've seen in Pakistan with similar devices) deadly weapons.
This is killing by remote control. Really abhorent. Yet, the company brags about their work.

discussion

there's a lot of shit in THE EMPIRE 17.Apr.2009 15:23

everywhere one looks

Here's more info on Insitu, followed by the number one problem (in my opinion) in OUR Columbia Gorge:

Boeing to buy Insitu
July 22, 2008
Hood River News

The Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle reported Tuesday that Boeing Co. is buying unmanned aircraft maker Insitu Inc. for an undisclosed price.

Insitu is based in Bingen, Wash. The company makes "unmanned aircraft systems," which are used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Company sales were approximately $87 million in 2007 and sales have doubled every year for the past five years, according to the Business Journal. The company had partnered with Boeing on the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft used by the U.S. military.

Boeing said Insitu will operate as a subsidiary of its Integrated Defense Systems' Military Aircraft division.

A May 9 story in the Business Journal said Insitu has doubled in size every year for the past five years. In April, Insitu won a $24 million contract from the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Boeing is the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined.

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Insitu's Bingen, WA contract
June 2, 2008
Defense Industry Daily

Boeing received an estimated $65 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to "provide persistent Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance services supporting the Global War on Terror, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom sea-based deployments and land-based detachments." The language above refers to their ScanEagle operation services, which are undertaken in cooperation with Insitu.

Work will be performed in Bingen, WA, (65%); and St. Louis, MO (35%) and is expected to be complete in May 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $7 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured by electronic request for proposals, with 2 offers received (N00019-08-D-0013).

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Gorge power plant a major polluter
March 5, 2008
Wenatchee World

A new report indicates that Oregon's only coal-fired power plant is responsible for half the particulate pollution in the Columbia River Gorge when air quality conditions are at their worst.

Year-round, the 28-year-old Portland General Electric plant at Boardman contributes an average of 14.9 percent of the fine particles gathered at a federal air quality monitoring site in the gorge, the report found. But in November, when east winds push the air downstream along the Columbia River, the proportion spikes to 55.5 percent.

The analysis of 12 years of federal air quality data was done by University of Washington at Bothell Prof. Dan Jaffe for the Yakama Indian Nation. It was released Tuesday by conservation groups that plan to sue PGE to force the utility to take greater steps to clean up haze-producing emissions from the plant.

"The real significance of this report is that in some ways it's a smoking gun," said Nat Parker of the Sierra Club in Portland. "Until now the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality along with PGE has said, 'We can't point our finger at any single source for the pollution you see in the gorge.' That assessment was based on a computer model. This report uses actual data."

This new report, based on the amount of particles captured by filters at a federal air monitoring station in Wishram, compared pollution amounts when the plant was active with amounts when the plant was shut down for repairs, Jaffe said.

On the haziest days in November, the total amount of particulate pollution in the gorge was on par with a bad day in Seattle, though not nearly as high as a smoggy day in L.A., Jaffe said.

Magarulian

Super flies 18.Apr.2009 18:57

BOHICA

"They contain cameras, and also (as we've seen in Pakistan with similar devices) deadly weapons."

Since the payload of these are 13 and 50 lbs, they are not carrying deadly weapons. Those are carried by much larger UAVs. Facts are the best tool to use, learn them before stating something so obviously wrong. It hurts the cause.

Links to the 2 UVAs made at Bingen
 http://www.insitu.com/index.cfm/navid-192
 http://www.insitu.com/scaneagle

unmanned drones 19.Apr.2009 13:03

facts

I thought I had said "similar devices" carry weapons- but if I didn't, sorry.
And, as to hurting the "cause" at the present, there is none- as people seem to be unaware of the connection between the use of drones in any capacity (search the phrase "Creech AFB & drones")

Judging by the lack of interest in my initial post, it seeems that the fact of Insitu, Inc. drones being used to "rescue"
the ship Captain away from the so-called Somali "pirates" was a non-issue (people died in that rescue, if you remember).
And the company openly bragged about their product's role.

The connection between using small drones with cameras (such as are being manufactured in the Columbia Gorge), and the larger unmanned drones used on targets in Pakistan and Afghanistan (carrying both cameras AND weapons) demonstrates a growing reliance on video-game style combat. The one doing the killing, or (in the Somalia incident) aiding the killing, is far, far removed from the actual battle field.

The peace movement should be talking more about this expanding usage of drones.