National Security Agency

Judge Deals Blow To NSA Phone Data Program

HC-130J aircraft In May 2013, a P-3 Orion patrol aircraft of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cued the CGC Bertholf to a target several hundred miles off Costa Rica in the eastern Pacific. The national security cutter (NSC) launched a ScanEagle unmanned aircraft that maintained streaming video surveillance on the target and followed up with an armed MH-65D Dolphin multi-mission cutter helicopter. The arrest ultimately made by the crew of a long range interceptor cutterboat netted 1,250 pounds of cocaine and a half-dozen smuggling suspects. It also illustrated the seamless integration of air and sea assets for homeland defense. Coast Guard Vice Commandant Vice Adm. John P. Currier subsequently told Congress, “This is exactly how the system should work, and we’re very gratified to see this. The level of interoperability was simply not available with our legacy assets. It demonstrates how we apply these updated capabilities to defeat the threats in the offshore environment – and I would underscore the offshore environment is our area of greatest risk.” The Coast Guard is the maritime arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) , and Coast Guard aviation is essential to the layered security measures meant to deter, detect, interdict, and neutralize maritime threats before they reach American shores. In June, the crew of an HC-144A Ocean Sentry , a medium range surveillance aircraft (MRSA) used their sensors to spot a go-fast smuggling boat south of Puerto Rico. U.S. and Dutch vessels seized the smuggler suspects, and Ocean […]