You can run but you cannot hide
The department of homeland security has now got eyes in the sky and on the water to watch for illegal activity at the border and beyond the border.
On August 20 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE division) unveiled their first northern border Air and Marine Branch (AMB) at the Bellingham airport, the first of five planned along the 49th parallel.
“We thought we’d start at the ends and finish in the middle,” said national AMB communications director Gary Bracken. The focus here is on the northwest corner of the United States.”
it’s fully operational the
branch will have a fixed wing aircraft, two helicopters,
an interceptor boat and a small utility boat. A turbo-prop
surveillance aircraft will monitor within a 250-mile
radius of the Bellingham base. “It’s basically
within an hour response, along the border and down
into Washington, Oregon,” Bracken
said. The aircraft could also respond further afield
if necessary, as far as Idaho. The interceptor boat
is designed for patrolling local waters and responding
to incidents. “It’s
a high speed, high capability design that can handle
heavy conditions, chase down targets,” Bracken
Helicopters can be used for incident response and monitoring of the Whatcom County borders such as Point Roberts that today are monitored little, if at all. They can also be used to keep an eye on Interstate 5, which U.S. Representative Rick Larsen, who attended the AMB opening, said was an important role for the new operation. “Interstate 5 is not only a great trade pipeline but a pipeline for drug and people smuggling,” he said. “I think this is going to be a great addition to many ongoing border issues.”
Bracken said the AMB wasn’t a new idea, just new on the U.S. Canada border.
“It’s taking the resources and experience we’ve had working on the southern border and moving it to the northern tier,” he said.