Homeland Security Briefs

May 1, 2005

DHS begins second phase of Arizona border effort

Leaders of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detailed a federal law-enforcement effort to tighten control of the Arizona border with Mexico and prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the U.S. by reducing the flow of illegal aliens, drugs, and other contraband. Announcing the effort-the second phase of the DHS Arizona Border Control (ABC) Initiative-were U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert Bonner and Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Michael Garcia. ABC phase II will increase personnel, double aerial support, increase the use of “smart border” technologies, and strengthen partnerships with state, tribal, and local law enforcement. The Arizona border will get 534 border patrol agents-an increase of nearly 25 percent-as well as 23 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft temporarily assigned to the area.

Northrop Grumman lays keel for National Security Cutter

Officials at the Northrop Grumman Corp. shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., laid the keel for the U.S. Coast Guard’s new National Security Cutter (WMSL 750), the largest cutter and the crown jewel in the Coast Guard’s “Deepwater” modernization program. The National Security Cutter will be 418 feet long, sustain speeds of 28 knots, be capable of 29 knots sprint speeds and will have an endurance of as long as 60 days.

DHS announces support for rail hazmat placards

Federal officials recommend continuing the placard system for hazardous materials transported by rail to ensure the safety of citizens and first responders. Experts from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made their recommendation after completing a study that included input from first responders, rail operators, and others. “This is a common-sense approach to risk management,” says Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. A 2002 federal survey examined available technological alternatives to the current placard system. Based on assessing nine alternative technologies, data from the study found that no existing technology adequately addressed the safety needs of the first-responder community.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!