August 12, 2017
Non-profit Group Questions
Border Contractor Claim
Says installation at Douglas not an "Integrated Fixed Tower"
Left: New camera tower east of Douglas, Arizona. Also shown are a U.S. Border Patrol mobile radar unit and van. --- Right: Integrated Fixed Tower near Nogales, Arizona. Executive Biz -- July 24, 2017
Elbit Systems-Built Sensor Tower Passes CBP Systems Acceptance Test
Elbit Systems‘ U.S. subsidiary has completed the Customs and Border Protection‘s systems acceptance test for a sensor tower that works to detect, monitor, identify and classify border activity.
Elbit Systems of America said Monday the Integrated Fixed Tower in Douglas, Arizona obtained system acceptance after months of construction, integration, tests and system verification to confirm whether the IFT meets performance requirements.
The IFT in Douglas marks the second deployment of the system, which was first fielded in Nogales, Arizona's area of responsibility.
Glenn Spencer -- August 12, 2017
Misleading press release?
Contractor Elbit Systems of America claims that it received acceptance from Customs and Border Protection of an Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT) near Douglas, Arizona.
On Friday, August 11, I went to Douglas to try to find an Integrated Fixed Tower, since the press release used the singular term.
A quick look at the area around Douglas found nothing that looked like an Integrated Fixed Tower, so I visited the site of a planned IFT (364) east of Douglas, and saw a camera tower atop a nearby hill where CBP plans said the IFT was to be located. I spoke with a US Border Patrol agent who said the tower was new and had been at that location for about six months. ( A second IFT --- 466 --- was planned nearby, but I could find no evidence of it.)
I used American Border Patrol's Hermes drone to fly to the tower. (SEE VIDEO)
An examination of the video found that that tower was co-located with a U.S. Border Patrol mobile radar unit and van. The Integrated Fixed Towers installed at Nogales are entirely different and include their own integrated radar system.
An examination of other camera towers near Douglas that appeared to be fairly new found nothing that appeared to be an Integrated Fixed Tower.
If there is an actual Integrated Fixed Tower installed near Douglas, I couldn't find it.
If the tower I found is what Elbit is claiming to be an Integrated Fixed Tower, their press releases is misleading.
Added 1716 PDT -- This graphic from the final environmental assessment report shows the tower in question to be designated as IFT Tower TCA-DGL-364. -- As Elbit refers to only one IFT --- they have to mean IFT DGL-364 --- the site shown in the Hermes video.