Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 20, 2006

CBP streamlines air and marine assets

Filed under: Border Security,Organizational Issues — by Christian Beckner on January 20, 2006

GovExec notes today an effort to combine Customs and Border Protection’s air and marine assets into a single organization:

In a long-awaited move, the Homeland Security Department’s Customs and Border Protection bureau announced earlier this week that it is consolidating all marine and aviation assets into an organization known as CBP Air and Marine.

The reorganization, which took effect on Tuesday, spells the final chapter in the contentious dismantling of the former Air and Marine Operations office, a former Customs Service agency originally established to conduct counternarcotics operations in support of several federal agencies.

Last fall, in an effort to streamline operations and consolidate aviation-related training, maintenance and procurement, CBP merged aviation assets from AMO and the Border Patrol to create CBP Air. That organization has been subsumed by CBP Air and Marine, which seeks to gain similar efficiencies across marine programs.

This is a good move by CBP, one that should be emulated elsewhere in DHS; and not only within directorates, but across them. There are too many overlapping assets – aviation fleets, operation centers, etc. – across the key operational entities of DHS, and real cost savings could be found if there was a concerted, department-wide effort to streamline them.

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