This is coolbert:
From the Chicago Tribune today:
"NATION & WORLD"
"Drone to patrol Canadian border"
“After two failed tries, an unmanned aircraft expected to the be the first to patrol the northern U.S. border completed a flight from Arizona to North Dakota.”
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said the Predator B drone touched down Saturday at the Grand Forks Air Force Base after a six-hour flight from Libby Army Airfield in Sierra Vista, Ariz.”
“The drone is schedule to begin patrolling the northern U.S. border in January. Its flight will originate from the Grand Forks base.”
* Why do they publicize such stuff to begin with?
* These drones are obviously going to be used to help secure the border with Canada. The Canadian border is perhaps a better choice for terrorist border infiltrators, hell-bent on creating a lot of mischief and mayhem within the U.S.?
* Who will be in command and control of these drones? Border Patrol or U.S. military or joint operation? There are concerns going to be raised about posse comitatus military involvement in what is normally deemed a civil law enforcement matter?
* Will the drones be armed with Hellfire missiles? Similar to what occurs in Afghan. Take out infiltrators if need be? This would be a real big issue. Once on American soil, all persons, regardless of motivation, are entitled to rights. Life cannot be taken without due process?? Even known jihadi, positively identified by the Predator, even from afar, COULD NOT BE ENGAGED WITH LETHAL FORCE!!??
"The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance."
* These drones seem to have a pretty good range and speed. That is a considerable distance from Sierra Vista to Grand Forks by such a small aircraft! NOT a whole lot of these drones will be need on the U.S.-Canadian border?
"The MQ-9 [Predator B] is a larger and more capable aircraft than the earlier MQ-1 Predator . . . The MQ-9 has a 950-shaft-horsepower turboprop engine, far more powerful than the Predator's 119 hp (89 kW) piston engine. The increase in power allows the Reaper to carry 15 times more ordnance and cruise at three times the speed of the MQ-1."