Project Crossbow: How a Norfolk RAF base plugs into the drone wars

Drone Wars on the U.S.’ global “ISR” infrastructure, the Distributed Common Ground System. Crucially, it links sites across multiple states.

Drone Wars UK

A map in the USAF’s new ‘RPA Vector Report’ released on April 4 2014 confirms that ‘Project Crossbow’ based at RAF Marham in Norfolk is part of the intelligence backbone guiding the growing use of US and UK drones.

While British Reaper drones based in Afghanistan are being remotely controlled from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, RAF Marham near Kings Lynn is home to Crossbow, a joint UK-US intelligence analysis project.  Operated by the RAF’s Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing (TIW) but “under the tactical control” of a USAF Squadron, Crossbow receives and feeds information into the US Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS).

rso-architecture2 ‘Remote Operations Architecture’ map showing command & control connections and information feeds from US drones.  Source: USAF RPA Vector Report

Distributed Common Ground System

The Distributed Common Ground System is the US military’s key tool for collecting, analysing and distributing information and intelligence collected from U-2, Global Hawk, Predator, Reaper, MC-12 and what the…

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