Former Air Force RF/SATCOM Tech. at 73rd EACS, Kandahar; est. signal relay for manned/unmanned aircraft over Afghanistan to whistleblower
Cian Westmoreland is a former Air Force RF/SATCOM Technician who served in Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan at the 73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron. While there, he assisted in building a signal relay station that was used for transmitting and receive data, radio, and radar picture for unmanned and manned missions for approximately 250,000 square miles over Afghanistan. After a mortar landed nearby, he began to intensely feel the weight of his actions and experienced reoccurring nightmares of innocent civilians getting bombed through communications he established. In a report provided to him after his tour, it stated that he assisted in 2,400 Close Air Support Missions and 200+ enemy kills. The UNAMA Report for that year in 2009 claimed however that this number also included 359 civilians killed in airstrikes. With prospects of a re-enlistment bonus of $40,000 and several job offers in the defense sector for upwards of $100,000 per year, he decided to separate himself from the military and travel throughout Europe and Asia by hitchhiking. He went on to study International Affairs with a Minor in Peace & Security Studies in Brussels, Belgium. Later he helped co-found Project Red Hand. His goal with this organization is to build avenues for themselves and others to engage in public dialogue, increase transparency, and establish an environment for reconciliation with innocent victims while pushing for solutions from local to international levels.