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Predator Drones Expected to Fly Over Texas-Mexico Border by Fall

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posted on May, 11 2010 @ 02:43 PM

After years of political pressure from Texas politicians, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar said Monday that he expects the federal government to deliver unmanned aircraft to watch over the border with Mexico by this fall.

Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo, said he has had discussions with top officials from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's office of air and marine operations, and they agreed to the timetable, subject to Federal Aviation Administration approval to allow the surveillance planes — often referred to in the political vernacular as "Predator drones" — to fly over Texas.

Laura Brown, an FAA spokeswoman, said the administration is "working as quickly as we can on this."

Cuellar said the FAA told him that regulators' main concern has been with Texas' heavy airplane traffic — both private and commercial.

If approved, the unmanned aircraft in Texas would add to the federal government's existing border effort, which includes a handful of other unmanned aircraft, 20,000 Border Patrol agents, about 650 miles of border fence and 41 mobile surveillance systems, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The plane, which is made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and officially called a Predator B, is able to spot illegal border activity and send images in real time to border officials.

At that point, Border Patrol agents could be dispatched, according to Customs and Border Protection.

Cuellar — along with Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison and Gov. Rick Perry — has been trying to bring the unmanned aircraft to Texas for years.

Cornyn and Perry, both Republicans, have been among the most vocal critics of the regulators' pace.

"Washington needs to quit fiddling while the border region of America burns," said Perry, who has been calling for Predators since 2005.

Also last week, Cornyn said that the FAA's pace "borders on foot-dragging."

Cuellar has refrained from using harsh words directed at the FAA.

Instead, he invited FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt and Alan Bersin, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, to his office on May 20 to make sure an agreement can be reached.

"My interest in this is to get this done as quickly as possible," he said.

Cuellar, who leads the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism, has asked the FAA to give priority to Texas' request.

Cuellar and Customs and Border Protection officials said a home for a Texas-based Predator already has been identified at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi.

Kimberly Kasitz, a spokeswoman for General Atomics, said one unmanned aircraft costs $10 million to $12 million.

Continued at link


Thought I'd share this update on these predator drones. I haven't heard about this until today. Enjoy.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 02:57 PM
What are they going to do with them??

"Oh look Bob, 5 guys near the border"
"Yup I see em, they look illegal to me"

I've already seen Iraqi and Afghan videos like that I hate to see any more especially in the US.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 02:57 PM
Hey Rick Perry- Our freedoms are burning !!! What about that

These will be used to spy on Americans. It's just a matter of time.

[edit on 11-5-2010 by Signals]

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 02:58 PM
Yeah instead of putting actual boots on the ground let's put some unmanned aerial drones loaded with bombs and weapons on our border. America is already a police state. Now it's turning into a Nazi fascist craphole. I don't even recognize this country anymore..........AND I'm ONLY 30 YEARS OLD! LOL.

We don't need drones on our border we need a goddamn fence and troops and border patrol agents. Plus millions of Americans could use the jobs.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:50 PM
It may not be the additional boots on the ground that we need, but at least they'll help guide the ones that are already there... and if you guys who seriously believe that the UAVs will be armed can help spread the word, maybe more illegals will be a bit more gunshy about approaching the border when they hear one a-comin'. If ignorance is your only weapon, might as well use it to our advantage

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:57 PM
Just a waste of money because we will do away with that border soon. We will stop illegal work in the workplace. I know many will hate this, but it must be done. I suppose they will fly above the range of most rifles because us Texans love to shoot at things.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 04:13 PM
This is stupid, we rely way too much on technology these days. We need more bodies on the ground, not pointless UAVs.

What good is all this technology if you don't have enough people to respond to the finds? Ok we have a UAV overhead, now who is going to actually go stop the drug smugglers or the illegals if we only have enough BP agents on duty at a given time to station one agent every 10 miles.

We need the UNITED STATES ARMY on the border. No more BP, no more UAVs, no more imaginary fence, etc

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 07:51 PM
reply to post by ChrisF231

Agreed, but if command and control are centralized and what agents we do have on the border have access to real-time surveillance from the Predators, don'tcha think it'll at least improve operational efficiency with what few resources we do have?

It's not a fix, not by a long shot. We need more border patrol agents, federal assistance in enforcing their own ICE laws especially in dealing with under-the-table employers and a comprehensive effort to assist Mexico in dealing with the cartels. Until all of the above happens though, I'll take UAVs over doing nothing any day of the week and twice on Sunday...

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 07:56 PM
And let's not forget it's not just "illegals" we need to worry about. It's cartel drug traffickers armed to the teeth with shoulder launched surface to air rocket launchers who will laugh in the face of a UAV if they get the chance to shoot one down.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 09:00 PM
reply to post by Zosynspiracy

Yes, because Predators cannot possibly be outfitted with Hellfire anti-tank missiles...

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 09:04 PM
the first one we gave to them they crashed. ugh why are we giving them anything!! they are not bright and are not intelligent, there isnt one PHD on the entire border patrol. Why dont we just mount auto laser targeting guns? not only would it keep people out it would keep americans in who try to escape to evade taxes.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 02:57 PM
reply to post by tigpoppa

Who is "they?" Have we given Predators to the border patrol before? I'm sorry, not trying to be fecetious, I legitimately don't know...

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 06:24 PM
i don't see why we need predator drones flying over the border unless.... CALL OF DUTY MODERN WARFARE 3!!!!! either that or a live action call of duty movie complete with killstreaks, ac-130's, and nukes.

but seriously i have no idea why we have to try so hard to keep the border patrolled i mean if i remember correctly didn't the "terrorists" that were in on 9/11 cross over from canada? (allegedy)

i put terrorists in quotations because honestly we're the terrorists.

oh and any of the illegal mexicans that come here and work to try to make a better life for themselves actually pay taxes because all of your earnings from working get taxed.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 12:34 PM

Originally posted by Legion2112
reply to post by tigpoppa

Who is "they?" Have we given Predators to the border patrol before? I'm sorry, not trying to be fecetious, I legitimately don't know...

yes we gave them one before like a year ago, google for a source its not secret or anything. They had it for maybe a day or 2 and crashed it, cause their border cops not trained soldiers. This can only end badly giving these keystone cops drones.

I still say just put laser targeting motion sensored vulcan cannons

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 09:06 PM

Originally posted by Zosynspiracy
And let's not forget it's not just "illegals" we need to worry about. It's cartel drug traffickers armed to the teeth with shoulder launched surface to air rocket launchers who will laugh in the face of a UAV if they get the chance to shoot one down.

Interesting comment considering we are at war with islamic extremists.
After say... the uss cole, and 911, fair enough?

On the other hand the drug cartels... are not just attacking one ship or two buildings are they? They are attacking every major city in the US, as well as major cities in numerous other countries.

When I think of all the products of these cartels that trickles down into the hands of some worthless unknown small time dealer. And what that has caused this country over the years, you would think we would be in S. America like we are in Iraq/Afghanistan.
Far more damage imo, than knocking two buildings down. far more.

Yet what do we hear of this? Instead of the headlines mentioning this, it mentions the innocent illegals looking to do landscaping and pick tomatoes.
Why? I believe if the cartels product flow was inhibited the US government would lose alot of money.
It will just really be interesting to see how this all pans out.

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