AUGUST 30, 2010, 4:35 P.M. ET.

Drone Flights to Begin in South Texas

Associated Press

PHOENIX—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says unmanned aircraft flights patrolling the Mexican border in south Texas will begin Wednesday in a bid to seek out smuggling activities and improve border security.

Napolitano says in a conference call Monday that the start of the flights out of Corpus Christi means that unmanned aircraft will be providing intelligence to border agents on the ground from the Gulf of Mexico to around El Centro, Calif.

Previously, unmanned aircraft had been used from El Centro through West Texas.

The government has three unmanned aircraft patrolling the southern border and plans to add three more by the beginning of 2011.

Agents say the flights are effective in locating immigrant and drug smugglers. ... atsNewsTop