- DHS, CBP and local authorities faced the difficult challenge of securing large areas of the U.S. – Mexico border
- Difficult terrain posed challenges to accurate and timely surveillance
- CBP deployed TCOM’s 17M tactical class aerostats along with the 22M and 28M operational class aerostat systems
- TCOM’s aerostat systems provided real-time surveillance and actionable intelligence
- Authorities have seen a decrease in the number of illegal crossings and police pursuits
- TCOM’s aerostat systems are now critical components to DHS border security efforts
The Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas is one of the busiest corridors for illegal immigration activities along the U.S. – Mexico border. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and local authorities face daunting challenges monitoring vast stretches of open border land. Authorities need reliable persistent surveillance to make better decisions to allocate assets and resources to interdict illegal activity. However, ground surveillance systems are limited by challenging terrain. Border security forces required an elevated solution.
DHS and CBP turned to trusted partner TCOM, the global leader in airborne persistent surveillance solutions to deliver reliable, cost-effective aerostat systems to empower authorities with the actionable intelligence needed to enhance security along the nation’s border. TCOM’s aerostat systems provided an “eye in the sky” for Border Patrol agents, delivering continuous wide-area surveillance, at a remarkably low operating cost. TCOM’s aerostat systems remained deployed for weeks at a time, providing CBP agents and local authorities with the actionable intelligence needed to make mission critical security decisions.
TCOM’s tactical aerostats were ideal for the geography in southwest Texas. The assets selected by DHS were battle-proven, having been relied upon by U.S. warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan. The compact size and rapid deployment capabilities offered a high degree of mobility even in difficult terrain, enabling operators to quickly and easily relocate when needed. The systems’ broad surveillance radius provided real-time monitoring of thousands of square miles from a single location.
Since deploying TCOM’s 17M tactical class aerostat, and the 22M and 28M operational class aerostats, border security authorities have seen a decrease in the amount of illegal crossings and the number of police pursuits. With an operational altitude of up to 5,000ft, and the ability to stay aloft for weeks at a time, the aerostat systems proved to be very effective at identifying and deterring illegal activity. After a six-month evaluation period, DHS extended its partnership with TCOM requesting and deploying two additional aerostat systems in the area. As a result, TCOM aerostats are now critical DHS assets ensuring the integrity of the U.S. border and enhancing security for U.S. citizens.