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CIA DRONES FLYING OVER IRAN

Usually, hunting for missiles and reactors from the sky would be a job for the Air Force. But those spy drones that are flying over Iran, looking for nukes -- they belong to the CIA, according to Aviation Week.

pred_desert.jpg"They are using the I-Gnat and Predator [drones that the CIA] used early in the Afghanistan war... They focus on small areas, and that's what they need to find those dispersed [nuclear weapons development] sites," a senior Air Force official says. "The data are sent back to Beale [Air Force Base in California, via satellite]... The information is then separated by its code word [prefix] and sent to the proper agency."Beale is the major intelligence exploitation center; processed information is then distributed, often by secure landline, to other bases such as Indian Springs auxiliary airfield near Las Vegas, where Predator missions are controlled.The CIA [was the] first [American agency to use] armed Predators, although flown remotely by [Air Force] pilots, that were launched on combat missions from bases in Uzbekistan. Since both the Army and Air Force now operate similar [drones], the CIA's small fleet could be flown from the same bases in the theater or from small bases in remote areas of Afghanistan or Iraq.
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