DHS Agencies Showcase Air Power
CBP hosts law enforcement partners
HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine hosted law enforcement agencies to an open-house style event highlighting aircraft capabilities within the local area.
More than 100 officers, agents, sheriff’s and representatives from federal, state and local police agencies gathered at the Lone Star Executive Airport in Conroe, Texas to discuss opportunities for collaboration particularly some of the best uses for law enforcement aircraft.
“These types of outreach events allow partners and stakeholders at all levels of law enforcement to come together outside of an operation,” said Houston Air and Marine Branch’s Acting Director of Air Operations Chad Bull. “Air support can be critical to an operation and after today’s event each attendant will have a better understanding of the capabilities available in the area.”
The event featured various aircraft from other agencies besides CBP that included U. S. Coast Guard, U.S. Federal Marshals, Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Law enforcement agencies at all levels of government who attended took inventory of the various resources available among their partners. Pilots, agents and officers toured the different aircraft and static displays. The synergy created by this outreach allowed participants to review common radio frequencies, call signs and other operational protocols.
“Organizations must be able to effectively work with local, state, regional, and federal partners to return the maximum value to the public,” said Scott Langum, U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Houston Commander “The importance of building and sustaining these partnerships will only increase as fiscal resources decrease. Events like this are an important step in this process. Coast Guard Air Station Houston is honored to be participating.”
A training exercise demonstrating interagency cooperation among CBP, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was the event’s highlight. The team rehearsed conducting a collective approach of a high-risk suspect vehicle.
Participants agreed that outreach events like this strengthen partnerships among those who risk their lives daily.
“HSI is excited to participate in this important event,” said Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of HSI in Houston. “We continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners in protecting the homeland. Events like this build seamless collaboration that promotes public safety and the integrity of our nation’s borders.”
Following that demonstration, members from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Houston performed a Rescue Helicopter and Hoist demonstration.
Aside from the show of air power, CBP displayed its 39-foot-vessel, Midnight Express, its mobile laboratory and a non-intrusive inspection vehicle. HSI brought a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) brought one of its SAFE boats and the Transportation Security Administration provided information about flying while armed through George Bush International Airport.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.