WASHINGTON TIMES — Homeland Security can’t find a single record of a request to fly drones to help the Coast Guard, the agency said this week in a letter to a top member of Congress — an admission that’s likely to add fuel to the guard’s request for its own fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles.
R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, said his agency’s Air and Marine office records all requests, but for some reason it “could not locate any prior requests from the USCG” for unmanned aerial surveillance flights.
For Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and chairman of a subcommittee that oversees the Coast Guard, the admission was the latest signal that the border agency isn’t treating its colleagues in the guard fairly.
“It’s baffling, really. This response goes to show just how disadvantaged the Coast Guard truly is under the DHS umbrella,” said Joe Kasper, Mr. Hunter’s chief of staff. “It’s impossible to excuse the terrible record keeping, but that aside — we know for a fact that the Coast Guard has made numerous requests for UAS supPORT.