Well, as the U.S. withdraws from its UAV base at Shamshi, Pakistan, it looks like a new secret drone base has been discovered. Where? In the most cliched place imaginable, the Department of Energy’s Yucca airstrip located inside the massive Nevade Test Site — you know the federal land reserve that was used for nuclear testing; the one that sits inside the Air Force’s Nevada Test and Training Range which is home to Area 51, Tonopah Test Range Airport (where the RQ-170 Sentinel is based), and Creech Air Force Base.
The image above shows what appears to be an MQ-9 Reaper UAV sitting on the ramp at Yucca right near some very-new looking hangar buildings. According to Flight Global, the DoE’s Yucca airstrip has long been suspected of being a secret CIA facility. That’s something I haven’t heard before but it would explain the new buildings despite the fact that underground atomic weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site ended in 1992. Furthermore, there are rumors that the Desert Rock airstrip, located about 20 miles south of Yucca near the closed off town of Mercury, Nevada, has been used as a CIA facility.
Now, this may not be a CIA site. That could be an Air Force drone on the ramp or even one of the Department of Homeland Security’s Reapers sitting down there. Heck, it could even be a privately-operated (General Atomics) drone doing government contract work. The only things we can tell are the facts that the facility looks like it was recently rennovated and that there is indeed a UAV taxiing to the runways.
Click through the jump to explore the base on Google Maps.
Well done to the guys at Flight.