‘Drones Will Dominate The Skies’ In 2½ Years Rep. Says At Hearing
Thursday, July 19, 2012
The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management held a hearing today on the increasing use of drones domestically.
Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) questioned how the country was going to prepare for their upcoming ‘widespread use’ in his opening statement and warned that in 2 1/2yrs drones will begin to ‘dominate skies’ in the U.S.
OPENING STATEMENT TEXT TRANSCRIPT:
Unmanned aerial systems, commonly known as “drones”, have been a game changer for our men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. These systems have provided our troops with much needed “eyes in the sky” and have taken the fight to the enemy, eliminating some of the most dangerous Al-Qaeda terrorists. Drones have also increased our capabilities to secure our borders and aid first responders.
US Customs and Border Protection began first looking at using drones back in 2004. Now, CBP owns ten UAS aircraft. These systems have been used to surveil drug smuggling tunnels; video dams, bridges, levees, and riverbeds at risk of flooding; and assist with the deployment of National Guard resources responding to local flooding. CBP has flown missions in support of the Border Patrol, Texas Rangers, US Forest Service, FBI, and others. These systems have become a force multiplier for military operations and border security.