Radar Shows U.S. Border Security Gaps

Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times, April 3, 2013

A sophisticated airborne radar system developed to track Taliban fighters planting roadside bombs in Afghanistan has found a new use along the U.S. border with Mexico, where it has revealed gaps in security.

Operated from a Predator surveillance drone, the radar system has collected evidence that Border Patrol agents apprehended fewer than half of the foreign migrants and smugglers who had illegally crossed into a 150-square-mile stretch of southern Arizona.

The number of “gotaways,” as the Border Patrol calls those who escape apprehension, is both more precise and higher than official estimates.

According to internal reports, Border Patrol agents used the airborne radar to help find and detain 1,874 people in the Sonora Desert between Oct. 1 and Jan. 17. But the radar system spotted an additional 1,962 people in the same area who evaded arrest and disappeared into the United States.

In contrast, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, estimated in January that the Border Patrol had caught 64% of those who illegally crossed into the Tucson sector in 2011.

{snip}

The new system is called Vader, for Vehicle Dismount and Exploitation Radar. It was borrowed from the Army‘s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and has been deployed in Arizona since March 2012.

Michael Friel, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the Vader remained in a “preliminary testing phase.” He also said the method used in the agency’s internal reports to compare apprehensions to arrests was flawed because it didn’t include people who were detained after the airborne radar had left the area.

{snip}

The radar is sharp enough to detect and track individuals on foot from a Predator five miles overhead. It uses a synthetic aperture radar to collect high-contrast black-and-white images and to follow scores of moving targets in real time. The processed signals are transmitted from the drone to a ground station, where the figures are displayed as moving dots on a detailed map.

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • The__Bobster

    Operated from a Predator surveillance drone, the radar system has collected evidence that Border Patrol agents apprehended fewer than half of the foreign migrants and smugglers who had illegally crossed into a 150-square-mile stretch of southern Arizona.
    __________

    Half? I bet 90%+ either slip by or are released by the Obongo administration.

  • libertarian 1234

    Besides healthcare, and pushing for blacks into every aspect of the professions, qualified or not, and gun control, the community organizer’s other priority is reducing the white power structure and their voting clout above all other less important matters to him, like running the country, terrorism, attacks from other nations involving leadership and managing the country.

    And unchecked immigration is a tool in realizing his goal.

    If it were Eastern Europeans who were inundating the country illegally, he would have had a million troops on the border the first day he took office.

    Wouldn’t it be a shame if his inundation of Mexicans caused armed conflict between blacks and Hispanics fighting over lower level jobs and social benefits that were severely cut back due to austerity measures?

    • kjh64

      “Wouldn’t it be a shame if his inundation of Mexicans caused ” the US to collapse and not have the money to fund socialism and the job market got so bad, that most of the Mexicans and others went back to their own countries leaving America with far fewer minorities.

  • Anan7

    If they can track the wetbacks with radar, I hear that the marine corps needs target practice. We can solve two problems at once!

    • Bill

      Right. I thought drones went armed. Firing at a herd of illegals on the MEXICAN side of the border is not “using drones against American citizens”. Hmmmm. Come to think of it, firing at illegal Mexicans who have just crossed our border by a drone isn’t using drones against Americans either, is it? But ya think Obama would use drones to fire up illegal invaders? Nah. But I would NOT put it past him using drones to track and fire up whites one day in the near future.

    • RisingReich

      That’s ‘Too uncivilized’ I’m sure many would say. I say it’s too stupid NOT to do.

  • So CAL Snowman

    i like how this story was written by “Brain Bennett.” They found the last White guy who works at the L.A. Times to write this story because none of the mexican writers would touch it!

  • NYB

    It’s about time the tactical and technological dividends of Iraq and Afghanistan were applied to the threat at home.
    White males shouldn’t sacrifice their lives in faraway battles “to spread democracy” or to change ancient cultures. The only good reason to lay down your life in war is to ensure that one’s racial genetic group can survive and thrive, and to defend one’s homeland from foreign encroachment.

  • So CAL Snowman

    The best part of this whole thing is that we are constantly told by the Media that these poor, oppressed, brown people are just here looking for jobs and a better life. Well according to the people at Forbes, Mexico’s unemployment rate is at 4.9% while the US hovers around 7.7% (more like 14.5% but whatever). There is more opportunity for mexicans in mexico, but the opportunity to live life on the dole and getting paid to breed in only available in the United States of Racist, Bigoted America.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanielparishflannery/2013/03/22/mexico-optimism-bbva-announces-3-5-billion-investment-plan/

  • Michael_C_Scott

    We can count them, but not stop them?

    • NYB

      If it were Taliban crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan, there would be $trillions worth of blood and treasure committed to decisively stopping them.

      Border security is purposely botched at home because Wall Street wants population growth at the bottom of the labor pool.

    • Greg Thomas

      Amazing isn’t it. The traitors say we do not have the money to secure the border, yet we
      apparently have billions just lying around to fight “terrorism” in Afghanistan. The real “terror” is at our southern border.

      • RisingReich

        One might say the ‘terror’ emanates FROM Washington, and I’d agree.

  • Greg Thomas

    The number of “gotaways,” as the Border Patrol calls those who escape apprehension, is both more precise and higher than official estimates.According to internal reports, Border Patrol agents used the airborne radar to help find and detain 1,874 people in the Sonora Desert between Oct. 1 and Jan. 17. But the radar system spotted an additional 1,962 people in the same area who evaded arrest and disappeared into the United States.”

    Uh…that means the “11 million figure” (when refering to their beloved illegal invaders) they have been touring for the past 10 years is at least double that! But I already know that because we have at least 10 million here in California alone.

  • Hugo

    Ok, so 1,962 illegals evaded capture but 1,874 were caught and given cheese and crackers and then released back into the wild. That still equals 3,836 unwelcome invaders not matter how you dice it.

  • LHathaway

    Actually, RADAR could harm those exposed to it.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      So would Cobalt-60.

  • JackKrak

    The biggest gap in border security is in Washington, DC.

  • GM (Australia)

    Yesterday a boatload of illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka almost made landfall on the Australian mainland, it has really sent shock waves throughout the nation including both sides of politics. It appears they were able to bypass our security also. The authorities were only alerted to this arrival by a couple of brothers who were out fishing for the day..

    This also made an interesting contrast to a news item on TV tonight showing your 11 million illegals seeking citizenship, this same news item also showed a Arizona rancher pointing out how easy it was for illegals to sneak through the unfenced border there.

    But in all of this I get the distinct feeling that no one is overly concerned about either stopping illegal immigration or people smuggling. Even our opposition leader here has gone soft on his former “stop the boats” rhetoric.