Unmanned Aircraft to Patrol Valley Skies?
Tue, 18 May 2010 04:17:47 GMT —
The Valley is one step away from getting an Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle or UAV to fly over the skies for border security.
The drones are already credited with saving lives on the battlefield.
Congressman Henry Cuellar, who's Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border Maritime and Global Counterterrorism, said if they work for our soldiers with gathering intelligence they can work along the border.
"This has been used successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan and if they use it there... there's no reason we can't use it here," the Congressman said.
UAV's can fly 19,000 feet in the air and are virtually undetectable from the ground.
Security experts said they are equipped with infrared, fly in bad weather and provide visuals so detailed they can spot a pothole on the ground.
That kind of aerial protection brings comfort to Riverside Middle School Principal Joel Wood. "I think anything we can do to provide safety to our kids is going to be a great thing," Wood said. The San Benito CISD building sits just a stone's throw away from the border wall along Highway 281 in the community of La Paloma.
It's one of the district's most secure facilities with 30 cameras, a half dozen guards-- even a full time cop.
But with constant threats of spillover violence, parents said they welcome any additional security along the border.
"I believe it's a good idea for the safety of our children and safety of the community as well as kids," said Irina Palomo.
Hugo De Leon called it a good idea. If it helps kids and everything.. I TMm all for it."
Congressman Cuellar said the Federal Aviation Administration needs to give clearance before the unmanned aircraft takes to the skies.
He's meeting with an FAA administrator on May 20th.
Those at Riverside Middle School hope the plans will take off soon.