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By Ann Patchett

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Ear to the Ground

Drone Patrols Grow on the Northern Border

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Posted on Apr 30, 2012
The-Lane-Team (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The sky outside Spokane, Wash., near the border area where Homeland Security drones are being flown.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has outlined for the U.S. Senate a northern border surveillance program using unmanned drones that now extends from North Dakota to eastern Washington.

In addition to investigating what a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman called “real or perceived threats,” which presumably includes everything from drug labs to so-called terrorist activities, the drones can be used to locate missing persons and provide visual aid during disasters. —ARK

AP via The Bellingham Herald:

In testimony before a U.S. Senate panel this week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said northern border surveillance using unmanned aerial aircraft now expands from North Dakota to eastern Washington.

The two 10,000-pound Predator-B unmanned aircraft based in Grand Forks, N.D., have a 950-mile coverage range and “they do enter Washington airspace, in the vicinity of Spokane,” said Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Gina Gray on Thursday.

The unmanned aircraft “can stay in the air for up to 20 hours at a time, something no other aircraft in the federal inventory can do,” Gray said. “In this manner it is a force multiplier, providing aerial surveillance support for border agents by investigating sensor activity in remote areas to distinguish between real or perceived threats, allowing the boots on the ground force to best allocate their resources and efforts.”

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By heterochromatic, May 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

read you read my comment?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, May 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

tic,

Do you actually read the articles in your haste to make another post or should I say put your hasbarat foot in your mouth?

“A handful since 2005…”

“In December, Congress gave the Federal Aviation Administration six months to pick half a dozen sites around the country where the military and others can fly unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of regular air traffic, with the aim of demonstrating they’re safe.”

Yes the door is opening wider, DHS has to prove a 19 y/o without flight experience or a flight license or knowledge of VFR and IFR can propel one of these flying bombs safely.

Armed drones are around the corner.

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By heterochromatic, May 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

what are you talking about with “open the door”? do you think that we didn’t
already have overflights and aerial surveillance long before now?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, May 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

The drones are not armed yet.

Open the door and someday someone will try and justify it.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

probably a Trojan moose.


and, as 90% of drone flights, even in combat zones, are by aircraft that are
unarmed, it’s not all that likely. to happen.

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By RHONDA, May 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

SarcastiCanuck,

Yes, I pity the poor moose.  That’s the kind of
perceived THREAT I worry about.

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By SarcastiCanuck, May 1, 2012 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I expect a day in the future when a hellfire missile blows up some unsuspecting moose crossing the border illegally.

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By PatrickHenry, May 1, 2012 at 3:39 am Link to this comment

Another new Government infrastructure requiring new taxes to support.

Gas, spare parts and around the clock manning just to spy on us.

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