CBP’s 2025 forecast
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO), released its Vision 2025 report earlier this month. In case you missed it, AMO consists of some 1,300 agents who act as a mini-Coast Guard/Air National Guard with a fleet of aircraft and littoral assets who run down smugglers.
The big word in the plan is more integration through their Domain Awareness Network as a force multiplier to get the biggest bang for their buck.
An excerpt of the plan, forcast to a decade from now:
Texas Gulf Coast – 2025
A DHC-8 aircraft on routine patrol detects and identifies numerous fishing vessels. As each vessel is identified by name and registration number, a mission sensor operator aboard the DHC-8 accesses AMO’s domain awareness network to check law enforcement and open source databases, while simultaneously streaming video and sensor data of the vessel into the network.
AMOC is also observing the vessels over the network. An intelligence research specialist discovers a link between a particular vessel and a known TCO, and advises the aircrew, passing all relevant information via the network. A CIV responds, relying on the same information to plot an intercept and plan a tactical approach. As the interceptor closes its range with the fishing vessel, it begins to contribute to the operating picture.
Meanwhile, a P-3 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft has been following a track of interest from the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico. A fully-networked common operating picture reveals that the air track is approaching the suspect vessel. An air interceptor launches and immediately begins using this same operating picture to calculate its intercept. The P-3 AEW assumes on-scene command and begins to de-conflict air traffic. As the air track approaches the fishing vessel, it descends below normal land-based radar horizon, but the P-3 AEW and a coastal tethered aerostat radar system maintain contact. That data is seamlessly networked as all assets share an uninterrupted tactical picture.
From six miles away, the crew of the DHC-8 observes a single-engine airplane overfly the fishing vessel and drop several packages before continuing Northbound. As the fishing vessel retrieves the packages, the crew of the CIV sees this video in real-time and begins a final intercept. The CIV stops the suspect vessel, seizes 45 bales of cocaine still in plain view, arrests the crew and seizes the vessel. The air interceptor continues to use radar data from the AEW to covertly follow the airplane into a municipal airport, detain the pilot, and eventually obtain a search warrant. A search of the airplane reveals an additional kilo of cocaine. Agents arrest the pilot, and seize the cocaine and airplane.