NATO Air Forces Using Shannon Like its their Military Base
In the past few days we've had three NATO air forces using "neutral" Shannon Airport to refuel and train. On Friday (14th May) a US Air Force Learjet C21A (84-0087 arrived) from Ramstein Air Base in Germany at 11.17am and took off again at 13.06pm heading for Hamburg in Germany. It was also at Shannon on 11th May.
Another almost identical US Air Force C21A Learjet number (84-0096) arrived at Shannon at 10.53, also coming from Ramstein. It took off again heading back towards Ramstein at 13.51.
We also had a French Air Force A330-243 plane using call sign F-UJCS arrived at Shannon from Prestwick Glascow. It seemed to do some flying around Shannon and later returned to France.
In addition to the US Air Force and French Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force (also a NATO member) has been treating the airport as if it's a NATO military base. A Bombadier Challenger number 144620 made two refuelling stops at Shannon on 5 and 6 May while commuting between Canada and Oslo in Norway.
If this doesn't compromise our neutrality, then its impossible to know what would.
The military business that Shannon has turned to has consequences. Those consequences are matters of life and death for people in other parts of the world. But the Irish government doesn't seem to care.
Today NATO have begun what they call "Europe’s biggest and most complex air and missile exercise" with ships and aircraft from across NATO "defending against a variety of missiles". It's called Exercise “At-Sea-Demo/Formidable Shield” and is taking place primarily at the Hebrides range off Scotland, and also at the Andoya training site off Norway. Apparently it involves 15 ships and dozens of aircraft from ten NATO nations.
Even though Ireland is not a member of NATO, it appears to be facilitating this militaristic show of power by making Shannon Airport available to the participating military forces.
As we write this, the barbaric Israeli bombardment of Gaza is continuing. Despite their position of power, NATO countries and Ireland (who currently sit on the UN Security Council) are failing to take decisive action to stop the crimes against humanity that are being committed by Israel.
We must end our support and our complicity in war and oppression.