Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke assumes command
GRAND FORKS, N.D.— Grand Forks Border Patrol Sector held an official Change of Command ceremony today at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Chief, U.S Border Patrol Michael J. Fisher officiated over the ceremony, which formally installed Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke as the head of Grand Forks Sector replacing Chief Patrol Agent Austin L. Skero II who was selected as the Director of the CBP Use of Force Center of Excellence in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
The Change of Command ceremony is a long-standing tradition and symbolizes the transfer of responsibility to the incoming Chief Patrol Agent. It also allows Border Patrol Agents assigned to Grand Forks Sector to participate in the transition of leadership. During the ceremony, Chief Fisher pinned the Chief Patrol Agent badge on Chief Heitke, who recited the Oath of Office, reaffirming his commitment to protecting the borders of the United States. The ceremony was attended by numerous federal, state, and local partners.
Chief Heitke’s Border Patrol career covers more than 17 years of service, beginning in February 1998 at Yuma Sector. He worked as a Supervisory Border Patrol Agent, and later as Patrol Agent in Charge, at the Grand Marias Station. After Grand Marias, he was promoted to Assistant Chief Patrol Agent at Houlton Sector. In September 2009, he was promoted to Associate Chief in the Enforcement and Information Technology Division (EIT) at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters. After a year in EIT, he served a one-year detail as the Border Patrol liaison at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Headquarters. Following his detail to ICE, he became the Associate Chief for the Arizona Corridor and the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats within the Southwest Border Division at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Chief Patrol Agent of the Havre Sector before being selected as Chief Patrol Agent.
In transferring command of Grand Forks Sector to Chief Heitke, Chief Fisher told him, “Tell them what you expect from them, provide a broader context, provide feedback, and we as a nation will be more secure.” In his first official remarks Chief Patrol Agent Heitke thanked Chief Fisher for the honor of leading the agents of Grand Forks Sector and said “I look forward to the honor to give back to the Border Patrol, and specifically to the sector that’s given me so much.”
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.