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Mission Accomplished: Advanced Technology Pursuit Boat Concept Becomes Reality, Goes Operational
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A Report from Dr. Al Brandenstein

Super Sniffer Drug Dogs

By Land or By Sea or By Air

Carrying Out Congress' Command

Anti-Cocaine Medications

DENS: The Drug Evaluation Network System

Friends Under the Dome

Mission Accomplished: Advanced Technology Pursuit Boat

Technology Transfer Program's Impact

The DARPA Connection

The Technology Transfer Program: Applying for Advanced Counterdrug Technologies

A CTAC-FBI Partnership

VoiceBox Digital Wiretap

Unlocking Mysteries Deep in the Brain

BOB PERETTE might have been content to run his auto repair shop in a Boston suburb, never invading the offices of federal bureaucrats breathing fire and demanding attention for more than 4 frustrating years. If only it hadn't been for that newspaper story he read.

"US Customs was chasing a boat with $15 million of heroin in it and the Customs boat broke down. I turned to my wife and said, I can help these guys.'" Perette could not have known that in that moment he had begun a passionate pursuit that would get him branded by some as obsessed and would ultimately revolutionize law enforcement's capabilities.

He networked his way to the officers who put their lives on the line to chase the fast drug boats on the high seas and in coastal waters and he listened. Perette learned that even when the good guys' boats don't break down, the slam-slam-slam of the boat bouncing through the water physically exhausts the boat crew, making them much less capable in the event of a confrontation. Even if they won the chase, they were more vulnerable in a fight. So Perette studied boat designs looking for stability and speed. He decided on a split hull catamaran, bought a used one, and began tearing it apart and rebuilding it, over and over again. After spending most of his life savings to create the NightCat, after paying MIT to test its design, and still failing to get through to decision makers in federal law enforcement agencies, Perette went for help to his member of the House of Representatives, William Delahunt, a lawmaker who had taken the time to visit drug producing countries and listen to the cops who are on the front lines there and in the U.S. Delahunt forwarded Perette's development to CTAC.

Under its Congressionally mandated test and evaluation function, CTAC sponsored sea trials of the NightCat 27 and the results were the Navy's version of a standing ovation. The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center's experts pushed the 75 m.p.h. boat hard, turning it smoothly at speeds that would capsize others. And that awful whomping, the terrible, exhausting vibration, was all but eliminated. The Navy called Perette's drug smuggler chaser, "a superior riding and handling craft when compared to any craft in the present inventory."

During the summer of 2000 the first production line model of the NightCat 27 was handed over to the U.S. Border Patrol's South Florida Task Force. Bob Perette's dream had come true. Today, the NightCat is on patrol off Florida, making life a lot tougher for drug smugglers and a lot safer for law enforcement.
Mission Accomplished: CTAC Director Brandenstein, Assistant Chief Keith A. Roberts, Miami Sector Border Patrol, Designer Perette and Congressman Delahunt at the boatyard in Hingham, MA.

Last Updated: August 29, 2002

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