|Comune di Niscemi|
|Province / Metropolitan city||Caltanissetta|
|• Mayor||Francesco La Rosa|
|• Total||96 km2 (37 sq mi)|
|Elevation||332 m (1,089 ft)|
|Population (December 30, 2013)|
|• Density||290/km2 (760/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Madonna Santissima del Bosco|
|Saint day||May 21|
The 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 II
During 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 installation
Today, there is a military radio station for naval communication, U.S. Naval Radio Transmitter Facility (NRTF) Niscemi. Its tallest antenna is a guyed mast, 252 metres (827 ft) 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 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.
- Istat Data - Population of Niscemi until December 30, 2013
- Barbie Latza Nadeau, "The Tiny Italian Town Killing the U.S. Navy’s Surveillance Plans", The Daily Beast, April 28, 2015 .
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 978-0-912799-02-5
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