TN RAID Army National Guard Counterdrug

Approx. 3.5"

The NGB had authorized 28 Guard Components to establish drug
Reconnaissance and Interdiction Detachments (RAIDs) with OH-58 helicopters,
modified with a thermal imaging system, and at least four full-time aviators and
two maintenance technicians. A thermal imaging system on the RAID
helicopters assisted in detecting night-time illegal drug-related activities. LEAs
had requested the use of aircraft in support of drug reconnaissance and
surveillance missions, but the modifications of OH-58 helicopters and
authorization of RAID units was an Army Guard initiative rather than a
program requested by LEAs in specific States. Although the RAID program
was still in its infancy when the audit took place, LEA requests for specific
missions sometimes were too infrequent to keep pilots, hired on a full-time
basis, fully productive. Also, two of the audited Guard Components, which
were scheduled to receive a RAID, had not decided specifically how the RAID
units would be used. The Counterdrug Coordinator for the Texas Guard stated
it planned to temporarily deactivate its RAID after budget cuts to the Program
were announced in January 1994. The decision to deactivate the RAID in Texas
was supported by all the major Federal LEAs receiving support from the Texas
Guard. LEA personnel stated that use of full-time Guard personnel to augment
LEA activities was considered a higher priority than the use of the RAID
helicopters with photo reconnaissance and thermal imaging capabilities.

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