Corpus Christi-Soaring up to 50,000 feet in the air this is a US Customs and Border Protection unmanned Predator.
This 36 foot long aircraft is equipped with top of the line equipment to protect our country along the border from drug smugglers and human traffickers. It has electrical optical surveillance and infrared to see at night.
"It’s difficult to detect this aircraft if you are on the other side of the law, it’s also a great asset for persistent surveillance."
This is one of the pilots for the unmanned aerial vehicle at the Corpus Christi station. We are not going to release his name for security reasons. These predators can stay in the air for a long time.
"A helicopter might have 2-3 hours we might have 20 hrs."
Corpus Christi is home to two of the Predators. We get a rare look at one of them action.
"This Predator can cover quite a bit of mileage, 1200 miles all the way to Brownsville to the Big Bend."
This predator is now ready for takeoff.
We head to control station we were get a firsthand look at what it looks like for pilots on a mission. They are controlling the drone from the ground and surveying along the border. They are in constant communication with officers on the ground looking for illegal activity.
"We have a robust com situation on the aircraft which allows us to talk to an individual agent on the field with a walk talkie all the way to Washington room. It provides live feeds for individuals on the ground or through and Intel showing network."
If there is activity on the ground agents on the ground will know exactly where to go to intercept the drugs or illegal immigrants.
Customs and Border Protection says this is just one on the many assets to safeguard our country.