A protest outside Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas ended with the arrests of 7 protesters Wednesday morning, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

About 25 people gathered to protest the use of military drones to conduct air strikes, said a spokesman for the Nevada Desert Experience advocacy group.

Police say the protesters refused orders to not block the gate to the base. They were issued misdemeanor summonses for unlawful assembly.

Protesters also blocked traffic on a major highway, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.

"The Air Force respects the right of assembly and free speech," said an Air Force spokesman in a statement regarding the protest.

"We are also committed to our responsibility to safeguard lives and government property and to carry out one of the nation's most critical national security missions," the statement continued.

Airmen at Creech operate MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1 Predator drones in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Pilots and sensor operators in the 432nd Expeditionary Wing carry out airstrikes and conduct surveillance and reconnaissance via satellite after the drones are launched from within the combat zones. 

Mackenzie Wolf is an editorial intern for Military Times.

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