Press Release

Congressman Cuellar Notifies Rio Grande Valley Residents About CBP’s Evaluation of DoD Equipment in Rio Grande Valley

Laredo, TX—Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) joined U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in notifying residents of the Rio Grande Valley that CBP will soon begin testing and evaluating whether surplus Department of Defense (DoD) equipment can be re-purposed for CBP border security efforts in the United States.  Beginning this week, CBP will be evaluating “aerostats”—large, balloon-like devices—by launching them in the airspace above the Rio Grande Valley area.

“I want to help CBP get the word out to South Texans that the shapes they may see in the sky during the testing of these aerostats are not only nothing to worry about—but in fact an example of CBP’s continued efforts to maximize the use of resources that taxpayers have already paid for,” said Cuellar.  “One of my highest priorities in Congress is to connect existing DoD resources with present needs along the southwest border to help make sure that we aren’t letting anything go to waste.  During these difficult times of limited budgets, cooperation and coordination between government agencies is especially important, and I thank CBP and DoD for working together.”

CBP has stated that the evaluation of former DoD equipment and technology will support its ongoing efforts to leverage and maximize resources effectively and efficiently.  The agency plans to evaluate additional equipment in the coming months. 

CBP is the unified border agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of U.S. borders at and between official ports of entry. 


Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security and Agriculture Committees. Job creation, accessibility to constituents, education, economic development, and national security are his priorities. Congressman Cuellar is also a Vice Chairman of the Steering and Policy Committee, Senior Whip, and member of the Blue Dog Coalition.

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