Where is RAF Waddington?
RAF Waddington is four miles south of Lincoln on the A607. The address is Lincoln, LN5 9NB. See the RAF Waddington website here. To get there by bus catch the no.1 bus from Lincoln to Grantham which stops by the base – timetable. Lincoln bus station is opposite the train station.
Before April 2013 the MoD operated its remote controlled Reaper drone fleet in Afghanistan from Creech Airforce Base in the US. In October 2012 the MoD announced that the UK would increase the number of Reapers to 10 (it was then 5) and that arrangements were being made and technology installed to anble some at least to be flown from the UK – from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. Then, just before a planned demonstration there on April 27th 2013, the MoD confirmed the start of operations from Lincolnshire in a short statement. It said:
“XIII Sqn have commenced supporting ISAF and Afghan ground troops in Afghanistan with armed intelligence and surveillance missions, which are remotely piloted from RAF Waddington.”
On 27th April hundreds of concerned people joined the demonstration organised by CND, Drone Campaign Network, Stop the War Coalition, and War on Want and marched to RAF Waddington issuing a loud and clear ‘No to Drones’ message.
Other Demonstrations at Waddington
On 4th June 2013 six protesters were arrested after breaking into RAF Waddington in an action timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the first UK drone strike and the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.. They had entered the base through a fence at around 8am on June 4th and managed to set up banners and plant a peace garden consisting of a number of shrubs before they were arrested.
Supporters of the six, who were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, claim that police later visited homes in London and elsewhere and seized computer equipment.
The six detained were Chris Cole, Martin Newell, a Catholic priest; Dr Keith Hebden, an Anglican priest, Susan Clarkson, a Quaker; Henrietta Cullinan, a teacher in London; and Penny Walker, a campaigner for asylum seekers in Leicester.
Chris Cole, co-ordinator of the Drone Campaign Network, said:
“To build real peace and security in our world we need to breech the silence and secrecy that surrounds remote warfare and expose the impact of the drone wars on global peace and security as well as the lives of ordinary Afghans.”
Penny Walker was reported as saying:
“We created a gateway and peace garden at RAF Waddington in order to make a way for other people of peace to do their civic and moral duty and disarm these drones.”
Regular Demonstrations during 2014
On the 21st of every month during 2014 there was a demonstration outside the base between 1pm and 3pm with a different theme every month.
Entering the Base 2015
On 5th January 2015, Chris Cole, Penny Walker, Gary Eagling and Katharina Karcher cut through the fence and went onto the base to End the Drone Wars. The base was locked down from 8.30 – 9.30. They are awaiting trial.