concerned veterans for america

The First Drone Strike/Kill in History

On the afternoon of October 7, 2001, the first day of the war in Afghanistan, an Air Force pilot named Scott Swanson made history while sitting in a captain’s chair designed for an RV. His contribution to posterity was to kill someone in a completely novel way. In the
moments leading up to the act, Swanson was nervous. He sat in a darkened trailer tucked behind a parking garage at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, remotely piloting a Predator drone over Kandahar,
6,900 miles away.
Nearly everything about his rig had been cobbled together and hastily assembled. The Predator itself, one of just a handful in existence, was flying about 250 pounds heavier than usual.
And the satellite communications link that connected Swanson to the aircraft would periodically shut down due to a power issue, which software engineers in California were frantically trying to patch.
When the order came through to take the shot, Swanson pulled a trigger on his joystick. A little more than a second later, a Hellfire missile slid off an aluminum rail on the Predator’s wing and sailed into the
Afghan night. Swanson’s target was a pickup truck parked outside a compound thought to be hiding Mullah Omar, the supreme commander of the Taliban. The missile killed two unidentified men believed to have
been his bodyguards.
It was the first time a US drone had fired a weapon in combat. It was the first time a modern drone had ever killed a human being.

Join the discussion

Further reading

blog soldier sanding in front of american flag

Movie of the Month for February

Troops, your viewing assignment for February is to watch the short film Alternative Math. A well-meaning math teacher finds herself trumped by a post...

blog soldier sanding in front of american flag

Movie of the Month for January

Troops, your viewing assignment for the month of January is to watch Cape May County. Johnnie Walker retired in Cape May County, a lifelong dream...

Get Denny's Newsletter

Receive news and updates from Denny