Border Security: DHS Surveillance Technology Unmanned Aerial Systems and Other Assets

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employs surveillance technologies, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and other assets to help secure the border. For example, in January 2011, CBP developed the Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Plan, which includes seven acquisition programs related to fixed and mobile surveillance systems, among other assets. CBP has also deployed UAS, including Predator B aircraft, as well as tactical aerostats to help secure the border. In recent years, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported on a variety of CBP border security programs and operations. This statement of Rebecca Gambler, Director Homeland Security and Justice, addresses (1) GAO findings on the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) efforts to implement the Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Plan and (2) preliminary observations related to GAO’s ongoing work on CBP’s use of UAS and tactical aerostats for border security. This statement is based on GAO products issued from November 2011 through April 2016, along with selected updates conducted in May 2016. For ongoing work related to UAS, GAO reviewed CBP documents and analyzed Predator B flight hour data from fiscal years 2011 through 2015, the time period when all Predator B centers became operational. GAO also conducted site visits in Texas and Arizona to view operation of Predator B aircraft and tactical aerostats and interviewed CBP officials responsible for these operations. GAO has previously made recommendations to DHS to improve its management of plans and programs for surveillance technologies and DHS generally agreed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 23p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01600754
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-16-671T
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 24 2016 3:48PM