OzTech
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Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:51 pm

This week here in Brisbane Australia we have several USAF KC135,s and a couple of AWAC a/s parked overnight so I thought I would pop down and take some pics with my 3.2 mp Sony Ericsson K800i phone.. I managed to get about 8 shots off from behind the a/c without the parked MP's noticing me so I thought I would drive round the front and take a few more.. Boy did they get over to me fast.. Usual speech.. "Sir, you are not allowed to photograph US military a/c and I'm gonna have to ask you to delete them" I begged and pleaded but this 16 year old looking MP with a concealed side arm was not going to budge.. I duly deleted them and he then asked to check my phone out himself. I refused but his comment about calling the Australian Federal Police persuaded me to hand it over... So not happy about that!!
I am legally allowed to be airside and have access to all parts of the airport for work (MRO Engineering) so I was not in any secure part of the airfield etc.. Not that Brisbane has one anyway..
Well, my question is.. Can he force me to do what he did.. Are there any international laws regarding this.. Are there any guys out there past or present US Forces MP/Security Forces who have been in this situation on foreign soil...
I'm not going to use any info you give me to cause any trouble in the future as I value my employment more than a few pictures.. Just interested in your thoughts and comments please
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57AZ
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:45 pm

On the spot, I wouldn't argue the point with the MPs. However, here in the US the general rule is that photography of aircraft in general is ok unless the area is posted as a "Photography Prohibited" area. On military installations, there may be additional base rules due to operations considerations, but if the A/C is parked outside on the ramp, it's generally fair game.
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JRadier
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:51 pm

In this case it's up to the rules that the BNE authorities have on photography airside. If they allow it, you are free to go.
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MCIGuy
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:59 pm

I don't know about when American hardware is overseas, but I know they take it VERY seriously here. When I was 12, my mom took me out the the old Richards-Gebaur AFB (post-1976, after official deactiviation). I was on the apron taking pictures of C-130's when MP's rolled up and took the film from my camera.  Wink
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falstaff
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:19 am

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 3):
I don't know about when American hardware is overseas, but I know they take it VERY seriously here. When I was 12, my mom took me out the the old Richards-Gebaur AFB (post-1976, after official deactiviation). I was on the apron taking pictures of C-130's when MP's rolled up and took the film from my camera.

Back in the late 1990s I went to a couple of airshows at Whiteman AFB and there were people snapping photos all over the place. The only thing they didn't want close up shots of was the B2. There was a sign posted in front of them with an armed guard.

Quoting OzTech (Thread starter):
I begged and pleaded but this 16 year old looking MP with a concealed side arm was not going to budge..

How did you know he had a side arm if it was concealed?
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OzTech
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:20 am

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 3):

Same sort of thing but digital not the old 35mm film images.. Great how technology has changed ay... Attitudes have not unfortunately..

Quoting JRadier (Reply 2):

In BNE and Australia in general being one of the last bastions of the free world the local Authority do not care as long as you have a valid ID for the area and you are not parked on a live apron etc... I think the MP's should have had a but more cultural awareness training before stepping off the airplanes...
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OzTech
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:29 am

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 4):
How did you know he had a side arm if it was concealed?

I have seen enough Military Police in my jaunts around the world to tell the difference between a side arm and a couple of donuts stuffed in his pocket... Once I was walking around inside "the" Speckled Trout a/c (C135 Trout 99 61-2669) and I asked a guy in a suit whom I had seen downstairs in a US Embassy car about 30 minutes before removing a side arm from a zipped pouch in the car if he was part of the Generals security group and he just laughed and said he was only a cook.. Come on... I might look stupid...
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MCIGuy
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:36 am

Quoting OzTech (Reply 5):
Same sort of thing but digital not the old 35mm film images.. Great how technology has changed ay... Attitudes have not unfortunately..

Yeah, I don't know if the Soviets would have been interested in pics of some parked C-130s. Silly I guess it's just a blanket policy thing, if they have to do it for B-2s, they have to do it for KC-135's. Remember, to err is human but to forgive is not ACC policy. Big grin
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airfoilsguy
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:48 am

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 7):
I guess it's just a blanket policy thing, if they have to do it for B-2s, they have to do it for KC-135's

Its probably easier to tell the MPs to forbid all aircraft photos then to give them a list of prohibited aircraft.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 4):
Back in the late 1990s I went to a couple of airshows at Whiteman AFB and there were people snapping photos all over the place.

During airshows the whole area is sanitised, therefor there is little risk of people taking photos of things that are secret.
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StarGoldLHR
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:52 am

There's always the case of the planespotters invited to Greece to take pictures.. and then arrested them when they did.
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checksixx
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RE: Legalities Of Photographing Military Aircraft?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:53 am

Quote:
Quoting OzTech (Thread starter):
Well, my question is.. Can he force me to do what he did.. Are there any international laws regarding this.. Are there any guys out there past or present US Forces MP/Security Forces who have been in this situation on foreign soil...
I'm not going to use any info you give me to cause any trouble in the future as I value my employment more than a few pictures.. Just interested in your thoughts and comments please

No, USAF Security Police cannot force you to delete or destroy any photo's. They can confiscate them if say you took photo's that would show classified items, but I seriously doubt anything sensitive was exposed. I also am not sure how they could enforce that on another countries soil. Further as someone noted...When US military aircraft land there, it DOES NOT suddenly make it a military installation. Thats a funny idea though. What would happen...or should have happened in your case...is that a temporary restricted area should have been set up with an entry control point. You didn't say how you got into that area of the airport...is it open to just enter or did they let you go in? More than anything, try not to be offended...many people hate the US and after 9/11 were all a bit jumpy when we see something out of the norm. As far as being able to stop you...if you were around or approaching the resources...absolutely! To include deadly force if they felt it was justified. Moreover, in a situation like the one you describe I personally would have detained you and your equipment and notified the airport police or local authorities if I had felt your actions required it or if I felt you shouldn't be there in the first place....BIG NOTE HERE....If the aircraft in question were off by themselves then the answer is (technically)...You had no reason to be there. Sorry...as I don't mean any offense!

-Check (posted this in this thread also since there are two of them)

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