Lawmakers push for military branch to get its own land-based drone program

A Tiger Shark unmanned aerial vehicle prepares for landing.

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.

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