Lawmakers push for military branch to get its own land-based drone program
A Tiger Shark unmanned aerial vehicle prepares for landing / AP
by Morgan Chalfant
The U.S. Coast Guard may be disadvantaged by limited access to unmanned aerial systems, commonly known as drones, according to a Republican lawmaker and former Marine.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.), who chairs the subcommittee on the Coast Guard and maritime transportation, expressed concernMonday that the Coast Guard, which jointlydeploys land-based Predator drones with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has inconsistent and insufficient access to the unmanned systems.
Hunter, who supports giving the Coast Guard its own land-based drone program, laid out his concerns in a letter to Gil Kerlikowske, the current commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.