PUBLISHED: 21:39 EST, 14 June 2012 | UPDATED: 03:03 EST, 15 June 2012
The US military operated 66 bases for unmanned drone aircraft on American soil and has 22 more planned across the country.
A new map released by Public Intelligence, a nonprofit group dedicated publishing public government data, reveals the ever-growing footprint of the Department of Defense’s newest weapon.
The bases span the entire country — 33 states either have a base already or are slated to have one.
View Current and future US military drone bases in a full screen map
The existence of a base doesn’t necessarily mean drones are stationed there.
Wired Magazine reports some bases are remote cockpits, where soldiers fly the unmanned craft in the skies over Yemen and Afghanistan. Others are training facilities for prospective drone pilots. Others serve as depots where servicemen analyses data the remote-controlled spy planes bring back.
The bases house mostly smaller spy drones like the RQ-7 Shadow, the RQ-11 Raven and the Wasp III, which has a wingspan of less than two and a half feet.
Six of the bases are home to the larger Predator and Reaper drove, which can carry missiles.
Public Intelligence cobbled together its map of military bases from a host of public documents, including a 2011 US Air Force presentation on the subject.
Despite how extensive the list is, it might not even be complete, the group’s Michael Haynes told Wired.
‘It is very likely that there are more domestic drone activities not included in the map, but it is designed to provide an approximate overview of the widespread nature of Department of Defense activities throughout the US,’ he said.
The list also doesn’t include any domestic agencies that are using drones.
In April, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, another advocacy group, released a list of universities, local police departments and federal departments that have received permits to fly drones in the United States.
The military is prohibited from using the drones to spy on Americans in the US. However, Wired reports that if the Air Force ‘accidentally’ records Americans while spy drones are making training flights, it can keep the surveillance footage for up to 90 days — and use it as intelligence data.