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CBP Supports 58th Presidential Inauguration

Release Date: 
January 24, 2017

CBP’s Joint Color Guard, flanked by two riflemen, carried flags of the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, the CBP Ensign and the OFO and AMO flags. Photo Credit: Robert Frongello
CBP’s Joint Color Guard, flanked by two
riflemen, carried flags of the United States,
the Department of Homeland Security,
the CBP Ensign and the OFO and AMO flags.
Photo Credit: Robert Frongello

With the eyes of the world watching the events of the Inauguration of the Nation’s 45th President, Donald J. Trump, U.S. Customs and Border Protection served both highly visible and some less-visible functions throughout the historic day.

CBP supported security efforts with nearly 200 officers and agents on land, on the Potomac River, and in the air. Another 75 personnel from U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine Operations and the Office of Field Operations participated in Friday’s inaugural parade.

“We are honored to have participated once again in the President’s Inaugural Parade,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “I also want to recognize the commitment of our law enforcement personnel who are supporting security efforts to ensure a safe environment for everyone.”

Inauguration Security

More than 140 CBP officers and Border Patrol agents supported the U.S. Capitol Police to provide a safe inauguration. “We had a uniformed presence on the Capitol grounds with about 70 [Border Patrol] agents,” said James Damato, an assistant chief with the Border Patrol. In addition, OFO contributed about the same number of officers who screened objects and vehicles entering restricted areas.

Marine interdiction agents monitor and secure the waterways around the Washington, D.C., area Jan. 17, ahead of the inauguration of the 45th President, Donald J. Trump. Photo Credit: Glenn Fawcett
Marine interdiction agents monitor and
secure the waterways around the
Washington, D.C., area Jan. 17, ahead of
the inauguration of the 45th President,
Donald J. Trump. Photo Credit: Glenn Fawcett

AMO contributed 56 agents to the security effort. Agents conducted maritime security operations on the Potomac River with two 38-foot patrol boats. AMO also deployed eight helicopters to monitor the area and provide a live video feed to operations centers across the region and to law enforcement personnel on the ground.

Brian Hastings, CBP’s Lead Field Coordinator, coordinated CBP’s inauguration activities from the National Targeting Center in northern Virginia. Nicholas Hanke, acting director for OFO’s incident management division, served as CBP’s incident commander at a central facility near the Capitol.

 

Inaugural Parade

Two marshals displaying the Border Patrol banner led USBP in the parade, followed by a command platoon, a rifle platoon and the award-winning Border Patrol Pipes and Drums, giving viewers a spirited view of the men and women of CBP.

CBP’s Joint Color Guard, flanked by two riflemen, carried Old Glory, the flag of the Department of Homeland Security, the CBP Ensign and the OFO and AMO flags.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection's presence was evident as they played a role in the events on Inauguration Day, from marching in the parade to providing security. Photo Credit: George Felton
U.S. Customs and Border Protection's
presence was evident as they played a
role in the events on Inauguration Day,
from marching in the parade to providing
security. Photo Credit: George Felton

For several members in the color guard, it was their first time marching in an inaugural parade. “It was a privilege to represent our agency,” noted April Peterson, AMO’s national honor guard commander.

Marine Interdiction Agent Roberto Ponce, one of three AMO members of the joint color guard, viewed the parade as a “once in a lifetime opportunity. I jumped right at it. I didn’t hesitate,” he said.

Thousands applied to enter the parade; CBP was among the 41 participants chosen. Once the selection was made, volunteers quickly stepped forward, said Richard Fortunato, a Border Patrol assistant chief and commander of U.S. Border Patrol’s Pipes and Drums. “People were excited and enthusiastic about participating, and ready and willing to go,” he said. “Internationally, we were looked at by other pipes and drum units.”

Standing out from CBP’s formations were four OFO vehicles and an eight-horse Border Patrol horse-patrol unit striding in two columns, led by Rio Grande Sector Chief Patrol Agent Manny Padilla. Once wild Mustangs, the horses were rescued from the Midwest and domesticated. They were transported to the Washington, D.C., area during a three-day trip from the Rio Grande Sector, said Christopher Levy, Border Patrol assistant chief and national horse patrol coordinator.

During their stay, the Mustangs were safeguarded by the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office and corralled at a farm in Warrenton, Virginia. “They were very gracious to us,” said Levy. A press reception for the horse patrol took place Wednesday at the Great Meadows Foundation in The Plains, Virginia.

Ensuring their best parade performance, CBP’s units rehearsed at locations in Virginia then mustered Friday near the Capital where the parade commenced, said Jonathan McElhaney, OFO program manager and the national honor guard commander.

Last modified: 
February 15, 2017