Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Eyes in the sky



By Loretta Haring
Office of Strategic Planning and Communication, Acquisition Directorate

Unmanned aircraft do not have a long, storied history like the Coast Guard. But they already play a role in one of the Coast Guard’s earliest missions – guarding against illicit trade, as directed by Alexander Hamilton in a letter to the commanding officers  of the Revenue Cutter Service on June 4, 1791, 10 months after the service was founded.

Hamilton warned those early COs of the resourcefulness of the perpetrators, “unlading Goods before the arrival of a Vessel into Port,” and advised vigilance in stopping all fraudulent practices. Today’s Coast Guard faces a much more resourceful criminal: transnational organizations with vast resources that run illicit drug and human smuggling operations.

The Coast Guard is working to add unmanned aircraft systems to augment its fleet of cutters and rotary-wing aircraft with eyes in the sky to combat those smuggling operations and enhance its role in securing maritime borders, among other uses.  CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE