Border Patrol Academy Graduates Egyptian Border Guard Officers
What started this year as a series of tours to CBP facilities by high-level Egyptian border guard officials grew into an international border guard training program at the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. The first-ever class graduated Sept. 19.
The curriculum drew from CBP’s International Affairs Technical Assistance Handbook along with Border Patrol and Department of Defense training courses, resulting in a 60-day program in border security that supplements existing skills and experience.
The course came about after months of negotiations in Cairo between CBP and senior Ministry of Defense members after the Egyptians requested the training.
“This course will not only enhance communication and improve the border security skills of the Egyptian border guard force officers, it establishes a formal blueprint for training the U.S. Border Patrol’s foreign counterparts,” according to Doyle E. Amidon Jr., CBP’s attaché to Egypt. “It lays the foundation of an alumni group consisting of the best and brightest from the global border guard community that will help build relationships, capacity and information sharing for decades.”
Twenty-two mid-level Egyptian border guards made up the class that covered a wide range of subjects, such as developing judgment, weapons fundamentals, pursuit of suspects, use of force, physical conditioning and even searching for hidden compartments in vehicles. Six Egyptian border guard generals Amidon escorted observed some of the training.
“The delegation was surprised that we were willing to share so much information about our training program,” he said.
These programs are built upon strong relationships that create trust, Amidon said. Through CBP’s International Visitors Program backed by State Department funding, Amidon has brought several Egyptian delegations to the U.S. to highlight CBP’s best practices and how U.S. agencies coordinate and share intelligence.
When you take people on the road, you cannot help but develop friendships and trust, Amidon said a senior Egyptian official told him. “In this part of the world, like most parts of the world, everything revolves around trust,” he said.
However, the program isn’t all work. Giving the Egyptians a taste of American culture is just as important as academics and they experienced a little bit of everything, including a county fair and rodeo, lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, a high school football game, the beach at Lake State Park and the UFO museum in renowned Roswell, New Mexico.
Future classes will hinge on findings from this first class, said Border Patrol Assistant Chief Robert Shupe. “We’ve never done anything as large in scope,” he said.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.