U.S. Customs and Border Protection Opens Operational Integration Center
Detroit - U.S. Customs and Border Protection opened a new facility that will provide a centralized location to gather, analyze and disseminate operational and strategic data. The new Operational Integration Center will provide an operational laboratory for improving operational integration of border security efforts by improving detection capabilities while enhancing situational awareness for CBP and their federal, state, local and international mission partners in the region. A formal ribbon-cutting event was held today to officially open the facility.
"With the opening of this Operational Integration Center, Customs and Border Protection is taking a step forward in working with all of our partners to provide our agencies' front line officers and leaders with the information they need to be successful in accomplishing our missions in this region," said James Wainer, OIC director. "This new center is an example of what can happen when we all work together to improve our agencies situational awareness in this region."
In March 2007, Congress directed CBP to apply $20 million to begin addressing northern border vulnerabilities. In April 2007, the Executive Steering Committee created a Northern Border Working Group to make recommendations concerning the location of the Northern Border Project. The recommendation was to locate the NBP in the Detroit area, and the Great Lakes area was identified as the first deployment priority on the northern border.
The Great Lakes region presents unique border enforcement challenges due to heavy use by recreational boaters in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter, and extensive commercial and transportation infrastructure vulnerable to exploitation.
The Northern Border Project was expanded in 2009, to include a second increment of funding for additional technologies along the northern border. The second increment was titled the "Northern Border Demonstration". The Northern Border Demonstration led to the creation and development of the OIC.
Increment 2 of the Northern Border Project, commonly referred to as the Northern Border Demonstration, focuses on integrating sensors, people and operations. It was established in response to the 2009 Appropriations Act which called for an additional $40 million to be invested in northern border security.
Agencies taking an active role in the OIC include: CBP's Offices of Field Operations, Border Patrol and Air and Marine, U.S. Coast Guard, Michigan State Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario, Provincial Police.
The OIC will provide a centralized location to gather, analyze, and disseminate operational and strategic data. Through this process, information and intelligence can be used to directly support field leadership, commanders, front line agents and officers at the federal, state, local and international levels.