DHS And Obama Shut Down Vital Aerial Surveillance Program On The Border

DHS And Obama Shut Down Vital Aerial Surveillance Program On The Border

In 2010, President Obama began a program of aerial surveillance along our southern border. The program was designed to find, apprehend and discourage illegal aliens and drug smugglers from entering the US. It was called Operation Phalanx. It involved the use of National Guard UH-72 Lakota helicopters. These helicopters are sophisticated pieces of equipment with night vision and other surveillance features. “This aircraft’s capabilities make it a unique asset in the Army aviation inventory and perfect for this mission,” said a Texas National Guard pilot, who has been on the mission for six months. “It has a communications package that none of the other Army aircraft have that allows us to communicate on secure Border Patrol and other law enforcement channels. This communication capability, along with a high-powered searchlight and cameras with infrared capabilities, make it the total package.”

Operation Phalanx has been a success according to Watchdog.org which reported that in the Laredo Sector, “Operation Phalanx accounted for 10,559 apprehensions and 4,007 ‘turnbacks’ from March 2012 to December 2015. Phalanx was credited with seizing 12,851 pounds of narcotics during the period.”

But now, without any fanfare, President Obama has slated the operation for eventual elimination, starting with limiting it to only half of the resources it once had. This is not sitting well with the Border Patrol or Texas governor Greg Abbott, who tweeted about it:

He also has said; “Any decrease in aerial observation is not only imprudent, but contradicts the very mission of border security enforcement. In order to ensure we are doing everything possible to effectively secure the border, we request immediate information on the metrics used to determine that a 50 percent reduction in aerial resources would be sufficient to support this important border security operation.”

One wonders why, at this late stage, only 2 months before he leaves the White House for good, Obama would cut this important operation? What does that achieve? At a minimum it helps more illegal immigrants cross the border. And that may be exactly what Obama wants. Any illegal immigrant that gets in is a future Democrat voter. Perhaps it’s just his way of trying to shore up his party’s numbers before he leaves.

Sonja Bochow

I live in Newark, DE, am married, and the mother of four children; Liam, Brenna, Keira and Erin. I am also a full time Bible teacher and have a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from West Chester University.

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