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Is Border Patrol’s Drone Program Really Worth the Money?

Manned aircraft was found to be far more effective and less costly.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Is the Border Patrol’s use of drone worth the money?

It’s a question raised and explored by a lengthy story in the Arizona Republic. 

The newspaper found that drones helped nab less than 3% of the drugs seized by agent over the past two fiscal years.

By comparison, look at the success rate of manned aircrafts: More than 99% of weapons, cash and meth seizures were by manned aircraft.

But to CBP, the drug seizures “are not an appropriate performance measure,” spokesman Carlos Lazo said, adding that the drones “detect illegal cross-border activity … on a daily basis.”

The drone program cost taxpayers $600 million, a figure that is on the rise.

The newspaper cites Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General to back up its assertion that the drones are too expensive.

The Arizona Republic concluded that “manned aircraft or other, less expensive drones could provide broader coverage than the Predator Bs have delivered, at a significantly lower cost.”


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