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Serving Since 1789


The origins of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency can be traced all the way back to 1789 when it was known as the U.S. Customs Service. Over the next couple of centuries it has filled a variety of roles within the federal government and provided such services as immigration inspection, agricultural inspection,


facilitation


of international travel, and border patrol.


The terror attack on September 11, 2001, would change everything, including the CBP. Following that terrible event, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created,


and several federal


government law enforcement agencies, including CBP, were swallowed up by the new department.


The Mission The Mission


With more than 60,000 employees, CBP is one of the world’s largest law enforcement


is charged with keeping terrorists


agencies. and


It their


weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. According to the agency, their mission is “to safeguard America’s borders, thereby protecting the public from


The McAllen Air and Marine Branch is within the CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO). This branch uses a variety of assets to protect over 300 miles of Texas border that runs along the Rio Grande river, spanning from Brownsville west to


dangerous people and materials while enhancing the nation’s global economic competitiveness by enabling legitimate trade and travel.”


Falcon Lake. The geography is challenging along this stretch of water. Since illegals must swim across the river, marine assets are required and work in concert with ground and aviation units. The McAllen branch operates a mixed fleet of 10 interceptor-class boats that range from 33 feet to 38 feet long and reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour. These vessels are crewed by a team of 38 mariners.


40 May/June 2016


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