Pentagon Commander Reveals 'Alarming' Number Of Drone Incursions At US-Mexico Border

 A large number of drone incursions are happening at the U.S.-Mexico border, a U.S. Department of Defense official said on March 14.

It’s my understanding, there’s been a lot of drone incursions along our southern border. How many drone incursions have we had and what are they doing?” Sen. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) asked Air Force Gen. Gregory Guillot during a Senate hearing.

“I don’t know the actual number—I don’t think anybody does—but it’s in the thousands,” Gen. Guillot said.

Air Force Gen. Gregory M. Guillot testifies to the U.S. Senate in Washington on March 14, 2024. (Senate via The Epoch Times)

He later added that there are likely more than 1,000 incursions happening at the border per month.

The general, who became commander of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in February, said he recently spoke with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of Justice officials learned about the surprising number of incursions. He described becoming alarmed.

Are the incursions a defense threat to the homeland?

“They alarm me from being the person responsible for homeland defense,” Gen. Guillot said. “I haven’t seen any of them manifest in a threat to the level of national defense but I see the potential only growing.”

NORAD is a United States and Canadian organization whose work includes “the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles, through mutual support arrangements with other commands.” NORTHCOM leads the military’s homeland defense efforts.

The hearing was held by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The subject of Mexican military incursions at the border did not come up.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman of the committee, inquired as to whether military base commanders were equipped with standard operating procedures in dealing with unmanned aircraft.

The services do have authorities, but work remains to be done to ensure that … we have standardized operating procedures to address those threats,” Gen. Guillot said. “And also work remains to be done to be able to use especially the non-kinetic capabilities that can bring down those systems safely, without interfering with our airspace structure.”

He said he was planning to recommend to the Pentagon and Congress ways NORAD can help develop those procedures after a 90-day assessment of NORAD and NORTHCOM is finished.

Other Comments From New Commander

Gen. Guillot also touched on a number of additional subjects during the hearing, his first since taking command.

At one point, he said he was concerned about how many Chinese nationals are crossing into the United States.

“The number of Chinese that are coming across the border is a big concern of mine,” he said. “In fact, in the short period of time that I’ve been in command, I’ve gone down to the southern border to talk to the agents and leadership about that. And then I’ve also spoken with the acting commissioner of the CBP on this subject.”

He added: “What concerns me most about specifically the Chinese migrants is—one, that they’re so centralized in one location on the border. And two, is while many may be political refugees, other explanations, the ability for counterintelligence to hide in plain sight in those numbers.”

Gen. Guillot also disclosed that Russia flew bombers near U.S. and Canadian airspace earlier in March but turned back before reaching the Air Defense Identification Zone, and said Chinese planes could follow.

Gen. Guillot also told lawmakers that NORAD has improved its radars since officials allowed a Chinese balloon into American airspace in 2023.

“That has allowed us to have better domain awareness in that,” he said. Gaps in the system, he added, are slated to be address by a new radar being introduced.

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

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