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DHS ignores border security backup requests

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 06/09/2012 @ 9:25 pm In Front Page,U.S. | No Comments

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WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security isn’t meeting up to a quarter of service requests for air and marine backup to meet potential homeland security threats, according to the congressional watchdog Government Accountability Office, Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin is reporting.

The Custom and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine, or OAM, provides air and marine support at the request of the U.S. Border Patrol. In fiscal year 2010, OAM met 73 percent of 38,662 requests for air support and 88 percent of the 9,913 requests for marine support.

The level of support differed by region in which OAM met requests for air support 77 percent of the time in the northern region but 60 percent of the time in the southeast region.

Some of these non-responses occurred at locations designated as high priority based on threats.

OAM seeks a 95 percent goal. The reasons given for not achieving this goal had to do with maintenance and adverse weather, in that order.

OAM has begun to take action to acquire modern aircraft and to purchase all-weather vessels to deal with these deficiencies. However, OAM didn’t keep good documentation to analyze its support of “asset mix and placement across locations.”

GAO also called for better coordination between OAM and the U.S. Coast Guard to co-locate OAM and USCG units which currently share some marine but no aviation facilities.

In this regard, DHS does not have an active program office dedicated to coordinating aviation or maritime issues with USCG.

While DHS says it concurs with the GAO’s recommendations, there is no indication how long it will take to reach up to 95 percent efficiency.

This lag undoubtedly will have a bearing on continued illegal entries either by air or by water into the United States.

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