USDA Grants May Have Helped Chinese Telecoms Access U.S. Military Bases

Lawmakers, intel community warn Huawei could be used to spy on behalf of the Chinese government

Image Credits: USDA / Flickr.

At least two telecommunications companies that received grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and purchased equipment from Chinese phone maker Huawei operate services areas within 100 miles of American military posts, raising national security concerns amid spying threats.

One of the USDA-backed companies, Pine Telephone Company, maintains a service area in southeastern Oklahoma that encompasses the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, potentially enabling Huawei to completely surround the Pentagon’s chief provider of bombs, missiles, and ammunition for the U.S. armed forces.

Pine Telephone Company also manages a service tower that is located less than 100 miles away from the active duty Tinker Air Force base.

A second USDA-backed company, Missouri-based Crystal Automation Systems, operates service areas within 100 miles of the active duty Detroit Arsenal, which headquarters the military command tasked with complete cycle support of soldier and vehicle ground systems, including small arms, field artillery, mortars, tactical vehicles, and heavy combat vehicles.

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