Tags: Afghanistan | Fox News | ISIS/Islamic State | michael mccaul | borders | aerostats | ISIS

Rep. Michael McCaul: Guard US Borders With Afghanistan Aerostats

By    |   Friday, 10 Oct 2014 10:47 AM

Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has devised a plan to repurpose aerostats, or hot air balloons, that were used in Afghanistan to guard the southern U.S. border.

"Last time I was in Afghanistan, I met with Gen. [John] Allen in Kabul. And their aerostats, which are these large blimps, if you will, aviation assets, and I said, 'What are you going to do when we withdraw from Afghanistan?'"

"He said, 'I'm going to leave this technology over here.' And, I thought, you know, what about redeploying that to the southwest border?" the Texas Republican told "Fox & Friends" on Friday.

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McCaul said there were already five aerostats redeployed to the southern U.S. border, with another 16 "on the way," in the joint effort between the departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

There's heightened concern for the southern border after reports that several Islamic State (ISIS) fighters were apprehended trying to enter the United States from Mexico. McCaul said that information "hasn't been confirmed" and that Homeland Security officials "claim that's not accurate."

Yet McCaul said the possibility indicated a need to address the threat that terrorists posed to the country.

"I think this demonstrates why the border is such a concern, and why it is still vulnerable, and why we need to get operational control of the border," he said.

To that end, McCaul said he has developed a "blueprint" for the southern U.S. border that goes "sector by sector" to address needs and threats, and the assets that could be used to solve the problems.

McCaul's blueprint also addresses the threat to the U.S. from the Ebola virus, which he said was "insidious" and a "threat that you can't see." He said he was attending a hearing in Texas on Friday with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security to "talk about what are they doing to stop this virus from getting into the country."

Texas was the first state to be directly impacted by Ebola when Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed with the disease in September, days after arriving in Dallas from Liberia. Duncan died from Ebola earlier this week.

"I think it's going to be a very interesting hearing. The first one on the Ebola virus, and in a state that's been probably impacted the most," he said.

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Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has devised a plan to repurpose aerostats, or hot air balloons, that were used in Afghanistan to guard the southern U.S. border.
michael mccaul, borders, aerostats, ISIS, guard
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2014-47-10
Friday, 10 Oct 2014 10:47 AM
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