Reorganization for Border Enforcement

DefenseDaily has a report of a pending reorganization of the Department of Homeland Security’s oversight of the border interdiction problem based on a 20 November memo from DHS Secretary Johnson. I was a bit surprised I did not see this reported anywhere else.

Johnson on Thursday directed the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Citizenship and Immigration Services to stand up within 90 days Joint Task Force East, Joint Task Force West, and Joint Task Force Investigations, DHS said on Friday afternoon. In the memo Johnson said at the end of the 90 days each task force should have a headquarters and relevant personnel should be “realigned.”

There will be two geographically defined operational task forces and a supporting investigative task force headed by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). It appears that the geographic divide roughly equates (but not exactly) to the split between the Atlantic and Pacific Areas. The Eastern Task Force (JTF-East) will be headed by the Coast Guard (presumably COMLANTAREA) and the Western Task Force (JTF-West) which apparently includes all the land border with Mexico, as well as he Pacific coast, will be headed by Customs and Border Protection (I presume COMPACAREA will be the Deputy).

Would be nice if all the Homeland Security agencies had common territorial divisions so that coordination could be simplified.

Thanks to Lee for the heads-up.

3 thoughts on “Reorganization for Border Enforcement

  1. Could not agree with you more on the DHS uniform regional alignment comment- here in New England USCG D1 is within FEMA regions 1&2, and neither line up with ICE, USBP, or USSS administrative regions- as we saw following Hurricane Sandy it makes “regional coordination” a big challenge.

  2. I’m told that JTF-East will actually cover both maritime borders, Atlantic and Pacific, and will be based in Norfolk. At first I saw no logic in that, but if the intent is to exploit the Navy’s Maritime Domain Awareness (assuming they actually do that off the US coasts), it would make sense. It does appear to create some potential conflicts with the PAC and LANT Area Commander responsibilities. We should be hearing more about this.

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