Collinsville, Oklahoma
April 14, 2017
Miscellaneous News
ECC Enrollment Soon /
CHS Grad Flying High /
Cemetery Fence Improvements /
Senator Lankford - Border Security
George Tyler Solos In Viper Jet
George Tyler (2009 Collinsville HS Grad & 2014 Univ. of Alabama Grad) is living his Air Force dream. He soloed in a Viper this week - per his Facebook posts -- 4/10/2017
New Fence For Ridgelawn Cemetery
The new metal fencing (with brick columns) at Ridgelawn Cemetery is in place along Highway 20 and looks like they are about ready to turn the corner and head south next.
-- Ted -- Thursday April 13, 2017
(ICYMI): Senator Lankford Questions Former Border Patrol Chiefs on Southwest Border Security -- 4/4/2017

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today participated in a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing entitled, “Fencing Along the Southwest Border.” The purpose of the hearing was to examine security along the US southwest border, what has been done to secure the border, and what can be done to improve current security measures. Lankford specifically focused on the delays and technology barriers the US Customs and Border Protection face to successfully patrol the southern border in Arizona and Texas. This is day one of a two-part hearing.

Hearing witnesses included: David Aguilar, former acting Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection; Ronald Colburn, former Deputy Chief of the US Border Patrol at US Customs and Border Protection; and Terence M. Garrett, Ph.D., professor and chair, Public Affairs and Security Studies Department at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Excerpts from Question and Answer:

Senator Lankford: Mr. Colburn, you’ve had unique experience that you were at a location in Uma, saw the high crime rate, saw the large number of people crossing illegally, saw the vehicular traffic—couldn’t do anything about it. Wall goes up, then saw a very significant drop in illegal crossings at that spot as well as vehicles and people. Let me get some specific questions… What did you see as far as delays? There’s been a lot of conversation about land acquisition, delays in construction, permitting, and road access and such. What did you see in delays? What is the causes of those delays? And, did construction move in other areas while they were working out the delays in other spots?

Mr. Colburn: The delays in Uma were not as significant to compare them to, say, south Texas. Significantly, a lot of that has to do with the fact that along that 125-mile stretch of the border, 96 percent of the land adjoining Mexico on the US side is federally, publically stewarded lands. …it was the Bureau of Reclamations within the Department of Interior, it was National Park Service, it was Bureau of Land Management, it was the Department of Defense…so it was a variety of federal and publically stewarded that does bring in environmental considerations, but when I mentioned earlier about rapidly layering on manpower, technology, and…infrastructure, that’s what made Uma that case in point… that we were able to get that together quickly. There are places where, because of private ownership that we’ve been discussing, they are more challenging. As well as, there are places where the terrain, geographic climate will be more costly. Levees will cost more than some of the barriers we were putting in Uma at the tune of 1-1.1 million a mile. So, compared to the five million per mile in south Texas, it was rather efficient in the dessert areas of Uma… Not everywhere though, we do have a roughly 20 miles of river boundary, people forget. … As both the Chief and I have mentioned, it’s not a cookie cutter solution anywhere along the border. Each sector, even within each sector, we find different combinations of resources that solve that problem. But certainly, in Uma we had it easier because of the publically stewarded lands.

Senator Lankford: Mr. Aguilar, talk to me about the technology. That’s one of the prime areas to be able to innovate on first. What technology is needed? And, what do we have that we need more of, or what do we not have that we need to put in place?

Mr. Aguilar: The technology is absolutely critical part of that you do anywhere along the border. The type of technology we’re talking about is the technology that will give you situational awareness of anywhere that agents are going to be interested as to what’s happening along the border. Today we have IFTs, integrated fixed towers, which started way back when Chief Colburn and I were in the field. We have remote video surveillance. We have mobile surveillance capabilities system.

Senator Lankford: … Let’s get more specific as we’re talking through this. When you talk about towers, how frequently do you need those? You’ve got a 2,000-mile border, is that every two miles? Is that every five-hundred feet?

Mr. Aguilar: Let me step back. Not the towers because basically again it gets to the type of geography as to where we are deploying the kind of capability looking for. In Arizona, for example, when I was the chief of the Border Patrol, we lined out the exact number of towers that had a view shed that had a capability to cover an entire area, but along with that we had some problems. Because we had, for example, Tohono O’odham Nation 75 miles of the border of the Tucson sector, of where I was chief, bottom line is we were not allowed to because of the sovereignty of the nation… to build that type of technological capabilities. But today there are technological capabilities that could now basically give that same type of situational awareness. Drones, tethered drones, that are basically going to have eye view of view sheds of seven or eight miles wide, maybe even higher. So, areas where we cannot put an integrated fixed tower or a remote video surveillance system. And, by the way, the integrated fixed towers have the capability of a view shed of 8, 10, 12, 13 miles depending on where they are placed. Line of sight, line of sight for infrared capabilities, line of sight for Doppler radar, line of sight for cameras—very high quality, very high fidelity cameras. So it all depends on where you are going to be placing them. There is, there are plans in place by the Border Patrol for the entirety of the southwest border. Now we also have to take into account that as an example integrated fixed towers, which work very well in Arizona, will not work as well in south Texas. The reason for that is the vegetation, the density, the triple canopies. So all of those things need to be taken into account. But, the chiefs are aware of what they need. There are designs out there that basically have been put in place for that.


For more information about Senator Lankford, visit:

Press Contact: 202-224-5754 Darrell “D.J.” Jordan, Aly Beley


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