April 29, 2012   Current Site Visitors -> web tracker

DHS IG Discovers UAV Problem
Maybe he didn't want to know
Chicago Tribune -- April 28 
Predator drones have yet to prove their worth on border
The nine unmanned aircraft are expensive to operate but their results are unimpressive, critics say. But one official says the criticism is shortsighted.
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    Corpus Christi, Texas -- The drug runners call it "el mosco," the mosquito, and one recent evening on the southern tip of Texas, a Predator B drone armed with cameras buzzed softly over the beach on South Padre Island and headed inland.
    ...The mixed results highlight a glaring problem for Homeland Security officials who have spent six years and more than $250 million building the nation's largest fleet of domestic surveillance drones: The nine Predators that help police America's borders have yet to prove very useful in stopping contraband or illegal immigrants.
    The border drones require an hour of maintenance for every hour they fly, cost more to operate than anticipated, and are frequently grounded by rain or other bad weather, according to a draft audit of the program last month by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general.
    Last year, the unmanned fleet flew barely half the number of flight hours that Customs and Border Protection had scheduled on the northern or southern borders, or over the Caribbean, according to the audit.
Red DotGlenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol
    
We have been pointing out problems with the Predator for years and only now does the DHS IG take notice.
    It's like Chief Justice Roberts said: "...It seems to me the federal government just doesn't want to know who is here illegally."

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