CBP Center’s Expansion to Strengthen Air and Marine Interdiction Efforts
Southern California Site Brings Together Multiple Federal, State and Local Agencies
A new center will help U.S. Customs and Border Protection do a better job of securing America’s borders, from the air and on the seas. In a ceremony that drew more than 200 guests to March Air Reserve Base, just east of Los Angeles, officials cut a ribbon March 22 to signify the opening of a new, state-of-the-art 22,000-square-foot expansion to the Air and Marine Operations Center, better known as the AMOC. The center conducts air and marine surveillance, providing direct coordination to Air and Marine Operations; CBP law enforcement personnel on the border; and other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies conducting criminal investigations. AMOC coordinates operations with the North American Aerospace Defense Command, and the governments of Mexico, Canada, and the Bahamas.
“Today we are celebrating an important milestone,” said Tony Crowder, AMOC executive director. “Our critical mission toils silently in the background keeping watch over our national leadership, supporting special events, collaborating with international partners and unblinking over-watch of our nation’s non-commercial air and maritime environments.”
The expansion will accommodate automated data processing, telecommunications and systems support sections and will provide administrative offices, meeting and training spaces, as well as secure storage. AMOC’s sophisticated technology can track over 50,000 targets.
It’s a project that came together from design to ribbon cutting in just more than two years, a pretty aggressive schedule for a project of this size and complexity. That speed is credited, in large part, because of the work by CBP’s Office of Facilities and Asset Management.
“We crashed all the personnel to pull the requirements together and get design work as quickly as possible,” said Karl Calvo, the office’s assistant commissioner. “The two-year timeframe is a pretty aggressive schedule. It was completed about 12 months ahead of schedule for something of this size.”
Calvo credited his project manager, Erin Mercer, for helping bring it together so quickly from the start of the design phase in February 2016 to completion today. “She lived the project every day,” Calvo said.
“It was a tight timeline, but we had a very committed team,” Mercer said, pointing out Facilities Management had to coordinate with CBP’s Air and Marine Operations and the Department of Defense. “It was made possible by everyone working together as a team.”
Mercer added March Air Reserve Base leadership, as well as the local community, has been extremely supportive of the AMOC, not just in this effort, but for the 30 years AMOC has been on the base.
There are a few items that need to be finished up, but Mercer expects the expansion to be fully completed and occupied in the next few weeks.
Calvo is proud of how his team helped bring this together and how they worked in the diverse environment of Air and Marine Operations, as well as DOD assets and people.
“It’s exciting every time I get to support the operators in this Air and Marine Operations wing, giving them exactly what they need and delivering a product not only on time, but ahead of schedule,” Calvo said. “All the stars aligned and gave us a tremendous product at the end of the day.”
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.