Mystery drones swarmed Langley Air Force Base

Langley Air Force Base on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia was "swarmed" for weeks by mystery drones, reports TWZ, triggering a full-scale investigation by the U.S. military.

This spate of bizarre drone incursions deeply underscores the still-growing threats that uncrewed aerial systems present on and off traditional battlefields, and to military and critical civilian infrastructure, issues The War Zone has been highlighting in great detail for years.

"The installation first observed UAS [uncrewed aerial systems] activities the evening of December 6 [2023] and experienced multiple incursions throughout the month of December. The number of UASs fluctuated and they ranged in size/configuration," a spokesperson for Langley Air Force Base told The War Zone in a statement earlier today. "None of the incursions appeared to exhibit hostile intent but anything flying in our restricted airspace can pose a threat to flight safety. The FAA was made aware of the UAS incursions."

Sky-watchers hadn't noticed the drones, but they sure had noticed the sudden increase in military activity over the area.

As already noted, there were already clear indications, especially from plane spotters using online flight-tracking software, that something unusual was going on in the skies over and around Langley and the rest of the Newport News area last December. This included a flurry of aerial activity, including what looked to be Air Force F-16 fighters conducting combat air patrols supported by aerial refueling tankers, over Newport News and other parts of southeastern Virginia around December 12, 2023.

Previously: This is the US military's $200k drone that fits in your palm

Correction: TWZ, not TMZ