Archive for category New Mexico

Technology: SBInet Redux And Drones In Texas

I think this is great that they are looking to bring back some form of SBInet and tap into what is currently available on the market to get the job done. There are tons of cool sensors and technologies that folks can use to get the job done, and probably for a whole lot cheaper than what was originally intended.

But the other component of this must be human. You have to have enough folks to respond to all and any incidents out there, and the best sensors and interdiction devices are human brains mounted on two feet. That is why I like the idea of moving more folks near the border and creating FOBs or Stations throughout the border. Get those human sensors called Border Patrol closer to the action. To own terrain, means being on that terrain, and I really don’t think commuting to those areas is the way to go.

I kind of look at this like forest fire fighting, and we had camps strategically located throughout the forests of the West. We have state camps and federal camps, or ‘stations’. Firefighters actually live at these camps during the summers, and these camps keep them close to the action. If the Border Patrol’s ‘forest’ is that border, then they should have stations dispersed properly throughout that border to cover every square inch of that thing.

I should also note that this FOB idea or stations along the border is nothing new. I am sure numerous groups have been screaming for this to happen for awhile. The Arizona Cattleman’s Association even called them FOB’s in their report, as a homage (probably) to the outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the advent of armed smugglers and drug dealers, maybe FOB’s is a more appropriate term for these stations, than just a ‘station’. And with all of these drones and sensors, you gotta have some officers close to the action in order to act on that information and work with the ‘eye in the sky’. –Matt

Edit: 5/20/2010 -Check out this story on SBInet, and why it failed originally.


Technology Continues to Flow to Southwest Border

June 2010

By Stew Magnuson

While the Department of Homeland Security conducts a program review of its troubled border fence program, Customs and Border Protection has not stopped deploying new sensors in the Southwest, said a senior DHS official.

The Secure Border Initiative’s technology piece, known as SBInet, was designed to create “virtual fences” along remote parts of the northern and southern borders. The program suffered delays, setbacks and cost overruns for years, but the Obama administration signaled its intent to proceed with the plan and field a second version of the system of sensors, cameras and a communications backbone that would tie them all together. That was before the airing of a 60 Minutes report that repeated the conclusions of several Government Accountability Office and DHS inspector general investigations that said the system did not work as envisioned. Two days before the broadcast, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that SBInet was on hold and that there would be a sweeping review that would look for possible alternatives to the program.

Nevertheless, the department is continuing to spend money on border technology, CBP Commissioner Alan Bersen told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The agency has spent $50 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money to deploy proven surveillance systems along the border. The bulk of that, $37 million, has been used to purchase several mobile surveillance systems — a suite of sensors mounted on a rugged truck that can be driven to hotspots along the border. The Border Patrol has also received $12.3 million to spend on thermal and backscatter imagers. CBP’s Air and Marine division has received $4.5 million to buy thermal imaging and other cameras for its boats and aircraft.

The key difference is that these are “commercially available, stand-alone” technologies, Bersen testified. No money has been allocated for networking the sensors into a larger communications system.

Story here.


FAA OKs Drones For Texas Border

May 17, 2010

By Mary GradyThe FAA has approved a Certification of Authorization (COA) for an unmanned aerial vehicle to patrol a portion of the U.S.-Mexico border extending from Arizona to the El Paso region of Texas effective June 1. This is one of two COAs that have been submitted to the FAA seeking approval for UAV flights along the Texas-Mexico border.

Arizona: States Boost Border Security As Pleas To Washington Go Unmet

   I have to tell you, this just gets me fired up.  If the border states are asking for more resources, and Americans are getting killed because of this border violence, then damn it, send the the reinforcements.  And if you can’t send the military or enough border patrol folks to get the job done, then contract it out. I guarantee that plenty of folks would answer the call if there was a demand for such a thing.

   But my guess is that because of the politics of the matter, the feds are trying to hold off doing anything effective or visible like this.  But like I have mentioned before, the deaths of Americans trump politics any day of the week, and the citizens of the border states are getting pissed.  Especially after the death of Americans a few weeks back, and the recent death of rancher Robert Krentz.  Robert’s death will come to symbolize what is going on at the border, and for today’s federal government not to act upon this, will only further erode the people’s trust in that government.

   I also have a suggestion for how to enforce the border.  If an immigrant wants to ‘illegally’ enter into this country, then I say treat them like criminals.  I say put up massive tent city prisons along the borders, and instead of  shipping these folks back to Mexico, put them in these outdoor prisons and have them serve some time.  I would put Sheriff Joe Arpaio in charge of the whole thing, and truly make the act of ‘illegally’ entering into the US a punishable offense.

   We could also use those prisoners for work details along the border.  They could help repair roads, pick up trash that other illegal immigrants left, repair the fence, help repair damage done to personal property like Robert Krentz’s ranch and otherwise pay the US for their crimes in the form of labor. I would imprison them all too.  Murderers, drug smugglers, people smugglers, etc.  Keep them all detained, and have them all enjoy the great outdoors at a tent city for awhile. –Matt

Edit: Be sure to check out Sheriff Joe’s inmate powered bicycle generator project. lol He is tweeting about it as we speak.



The deceased Arizona rancher, Robert Krentz. 

States Boost Border Security as Pleas to Washington Go Unmet

March 31, 2010

Border states are looking to take matters into their own hands, boosting law enforcement to patrol for illegal immigrants while their pleas for federal assistance go unmet in the wake of the killing of a prominent Arizona rancher.

Border states are looking to take matters into their own hands, boosting law enforcement to patrol for illegal immigrants while their pleas for federal assistance go unmet in the wake of the murder of a prominent Arizona rancher.

Local authorities suspect Robert Krentz, found dead on his cattle ranch Saturday night, was killed by an illegal immigrant who fled back across the border into Mexico.

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