Jan 3, 2012 4:14 PM
TUCSON - Late last month, Customs and Border Protection in Arizona received its fourth unmanned aircraft, allowing for more rapid deployment throughout the southwest region.
The raw video above shows footage of CBP's Unmanned Aircraft Systems program in action.
A Predator-B drone arrived at the National Air Security Operations Center in Sierra Vista on December 23, marking the second of two unmanned aircraft earmarked in an August 2010 budget provision, according to a CBP news release.
CBP operates a total of six unmanned aircraft along the southwest border, from both Sierra Vista and Corpus Christi, Texas, allowing the centers to deploy the drones from the eastern tip of California to Texas, according to the news release.
The unmanned aircraft will assist in the execution of counter-drug operations, and Homeland Security missions, and can also provide assistance for disaster relief and humanitarian aid to the Gulf Coast region, CBP says.
Officials say that unmanned aircraft in the program have been flown for over 12,000 hours, leading to the seizure of about 46,600 pounds of drugs and the apprehension of about 7,500 suspects.
Image, video courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs - Visual Communications Division