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Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Sicily  /  Province of Caltanissetta  /  Niscemi

Niscemi

3.6
Natural History Museums · Historic Walking Areas · Nightlife
Niscemi is a little town and comune in the province of Caltanissetta, Sicily, Italy. It has a population of 27,558. It is located not far from Gela and Caltagirone and 90 km from Catania.EtymologyThe name Niscemi is derived from the Arabic word نَشَم neshem or its singular form نَشَمَة neshemeh, this being the name of a particular type of tree.World War IIDuring World War II, Niscemi was the location of Ponte Olivo Airfield, a military airfield used by the United States Twelfth Air Force during the Italian campaign. After the war the area was redeveloped and no evidence of the wartime airfield remains.American military installationToday, there is a military radio station for naval communication, U.S. Naval Radio Transmitter Facility (NRTF) Niscemi. Its tallest antenna is a guyed mast, 252m high, situated at 37°7'32"N 14°26'11"E.The United States Navy installation is the focus of ongoing protest by locally based activist groups, who oppose it and demand its removal on grounds of health (danger from electromagnetic radiation), environmental damage and opposition to the use of armed drones in the Middle East, allegedly guided from this base. Allegations of armed drones being operated from this base has never been verified however, as the newly installed MUOS (Mobile User Objective System) was intended as an upgrade to legacy communication equipment, and is not intended to communicate with unmanned flying drones. Niscemi inhabitants say the Berlusconi government did not consult them before granting the US the use of the location.
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