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51st state: M.U.O.S.

in collaboration with the NO MUOS movement, the association A Sud and the Centre for Environmental Conflicts Documentation (CDCA)

Photo and Video Reportage, Niscemi (CL), Italy, 2017

Sicily has always been considered strategic for the interests of the United States and for its Euro-Atlantic operating arm, NATO. The MUOS antennas complete a scenario that includes, among others, the Sigonella military base (the main air and naval station of the United States Navy in the Mediterranean) and the now disused NATO base in Comiso, a military airport.

MUOS (Mobile User Objective System) represents one of the most important symbols of the American presence in Sicily: three large parabolic antennas with a diameter of 18.4 meters located in the heart of the Natural Reserve Sughereta of Niscemi, established as a protected natural area since 1997. It is the U.S. Navy’s next-generation satellite communications system, providing voice and data for U.S. forces anytime, anywhere. This base is one of the largest military infrastructures in Italy: 1,660,000 square meters of forest and agricultural land, for the exclusive use of the United States armed forces.

Its installation inside the Niscemi nature reserve has resulted in the destruction of strips and areas of Mediterranean scrub, thus influencing the migratory routes of birds and causing the disorientation of social and pollinating insects (bees in particular) with damage to the spontaneous flora and chain consequences on the whole ecosystem present.

The main worries concern the increase of the electromagnetic emissions induced by the helical antennas of the MUOS system, which are in addition to those already existing in the NRTF station.

"The construction of the MUOS system proceeds in violation of all existing rules for protection from exposure to electromagnetic fields."

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