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Border Patrol Continues to Test Drone Use

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by Patrick J. Paul

While legislative wrangling over construction of a border wall continues, unmanned aerial vehicles are a growing part of the nation’s defense strategy.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented the Predator-B Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to prevent the unauthorized entry of terrorists, criminals and undocumented immigrants. CBP currently maintains and operates a fleet of 8 Predator-B aircraft from its bases in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and North Dakota. Testing continues with the use of drones intended to identify and intercept illicit border activity while also providing humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Drone Pilots are currently among the federal government’s most valued professionals.  The ability of drones to clandestinely monitor long stretches of the border make them valuable for CBP operations. Drone pilots act as force multipliers, enabling limited national resources to be stretched further.  Instead of devoting expensive surveillance systems across the long borders, drone pilots are able to utilize this much more cost effective system.  CBP is actively seeking applications for drone pilots.