‘Did we just kill a kid?’: The moment drone operator in the U.S. realized he had vaporized a child… and could not go on
(DAILY MAIL) A former U.S. drone operator has opened up about the toll of killing scores of innocent people by pressing a button from a control room in New Mexico.
Brandon Bryant, 27, from Missoula, Montana, spent six years in the Air Force operating Predator drones from inside a dark container.
But, after following orders to shoot and kill a child in Afghanistan, he knew he couldn’t keep doing what he was doing and quit the military.
Bryant joined the military by accident when he accompanied a friend who was enlisting in the army and heard that he could go to university for free if he signed up to the Air Force.
He excelled in his course and was assigned to an intelligence collection unit where he soon learned how to control the cameras and lasers on a drone, to analyse ground images, maps and weather data.
He was made a sensor operator, the equivalent of co-pilot, and at just 20 flew his first mission over Iraq – seated in the safety of a control room in Nevada.