Bloomberg News

U.K. Conducts Firsts Reaper Drone Strike Controlled From Britain

May 01, 2013

Britain’s Royal Air Force has conducted its first Reaper drone strike in Afghanistan using operators based in the U.K.

“A Reaper remotely piloted aircraft system, operated by pilots from 13 Squadron located at RAF Waddington, has fired a weapon during a mission supporting U.K. forces on the ground in Afghanistan,” the Ministry of Defense said in an e-mailed response to questions, without disclosing further details.

Protesters opposed to British involvement in unmanned aerial attacks staged a protest at the Waddington base in eastern England over the weekend.

RAF personnel have previously controlled British and U.S. Air Force Reaper and Predator drones from a base in Nevada during missions in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq. U.K. forces conducted around 2,150 missions between October 2006 and Dec. 31, 2012, armed forces minister Andrew Robathan said last week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Wall in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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