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  • Canada US border protection

    New base will expand U.S. air patrols along Canadian border

    Kerry Williamson, CanWest News Service; Calgary Herald
    Published: Sunday, September 03, 2006

    CALGARY -- As Canadian border guards look forward to having guns on their hips within a year, the Americans will soon be patrolling the U.S.-Alberta border with two Black Hawk helicopters and planes equipped with radar units taken from F-16 fighter jets.

    The Northern Border Air Wing a department of U.S. Homeland Security is setting up a new base in Great Falls, Mont., a post that will see security tightened along the America-Canada border like never before.

    One Black Hawk helicopter, similar to that used by the U.S. military, is already stationed at the Great Falls International Airport, with another due to arrive within days.

    The air wing will bolster the border guards based out of Havre, Mont., and patrol about 730 kilometres, from the North Dakota border to the Continental Divide.

    The post, a direct result of the U.S.-led war on terror, is one of five that will eventually help patrol the entire 8,891 kilometres of the world's longest undefended border a claim that now seems to be a misnomer.

    Mike Milne, a Seattle-based spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said officers stationed at the Great Falls post will chase down illegal aliens and drug-runners, but their priority will be preventing terror suspects from entering the U.S. from Canada.

    "The first priority is terrorism," Milne said.

    "They will fly missions along the border, to prevent terrorist and terror weapons from coming into the U.S., to target drug smuggling and illegal entry of people that are avoiding going through ports of entry."

    Once operational, the air wing is expected to have a one-hour response time, anywhere along the border. Aircraft will be on the lookout for people crossing by air and by land.

    Anyone crossing illegally will initially be considered a terror threat.

    "You basically start with a matrix are they terrorists, or with terror weapons?" said Milne. "Then you go down from there."

    Pilots and ground staff are currently undergoing training, flying out of the Great Falls airport. Homeland Security signed a multi-year lease for hangar and office space in June.

    "The expansion of operations in Montana is another significant step forward toward a deliberate and strategic expansion of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) border security operations along the northern border," Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner for CBP air and marine, said at the time.

    More than 50 personnel will work out of the new detachment, including 20 pilots, and about 25 maintenance crew. The post is expected to be fully operational within six weeks.

    Dennis Lindsay, director of air operations at the Great Falls post, said the border detachment will replicate work already being done out of posts in Bellingham, Wash., and Plattsburgh, N.Y.

    Two more posts will eventually be developed in North Dakota and Michigan next year.

    "It's an effort to provide assistance to the border patrol section, to help them to better secure the border," said Lindsay, adding the town of Great Falls has embraced the new post. "This will have huge economic impact on Great Falls."
    Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
    Groucho Marx

  • #2
    Originally posted by Eric
    CALGARY -- As Canadian border guards look forward to having guns on their hips within a year, the Americans will soon be patrolling the U.S.-Alberta border with two Black Hawk helicopters and planes equipped with radar units taken from F-16 fighter jets.
    Leave it to us to try to one up the Canadians.

    "What, they're getting guns???? Get us some black hawks! "
    "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
    "The Curve" 1998

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Eric
      "The first priority is terrorism," Milne said......

      "Anyone crossing illegally will initially be considered a terror threat.....

      "You basically start with a matrix are they terrorists, or with terror weapons?" said Milne. "Then you go down from there."
      "
      I like that way of thinking. "Ok he's not a terrorist so we STILL bust him for drugs."

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      • #4
        As an American, with a Canadian heritage i think it is sad. Necessary, but still sad.
        "Gun control, the theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists. " Author Unknown

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