Drone Pilot With PTSD Confined Without Charges by the Air Force

Nick Mottern | April 28, 2015

As the Obama government attempts to justify its drone program, Staff Sergeant Shane R. Owens, a drone sensor operator suffering from PTSD from having been involved with drone killing, assigned to the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron at Creech AFB, has been confined by the Air Force without charges since March 5 at nearby Nellis AFB in Nevada.

As late as yesterday afternoon, Monday, April 27, the Nellis Public Affairs Office would provide no information on when Owens would be released or anything about what is happening with his case. His lawyer, Craig Drummond said Monday evening that Owens has yet to appear before a military law judge.  

Drummond filed a writ of habeas corpus in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas on April 9 seeking Owens release, and he suggested on Monday that I be in touch with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, who is cited the filing to see if she has even heard of Owens confinement.  

Owens' extremely bizarre, sad situation, which may reveal much about the day-to-day operational reality of the Obama drone program, is documented in an excellent work of reporting that appeared on April 19  in the Las Vegas Review Journal:

The Creech base at Indian Springs, 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is a hub for drone operations where pilots and sensor personnel sit at computer consoles to control unmanned MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper aircraft via satellite links for overseas combat operations. The court papers say that Owens “has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related to drone missions involving the loss of human life.”

Please contact the following Air Force officials and demand that Owens be released and that the Air Force disclose all details of his case, including whether Owens was functioning as a drone sensor operator at the same time he was being treated for PTSD.

1. Email the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James

2. Nellis AFB Commanding Officer Colonel Richard Boutwell - Call Nellis Public Affairs (702) 652-2750

Nick Mottern is the coordinator of kNOwdrones.com.