Strengthening partnerships, improving border security

Operational Integration Center display

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE - The information display at the new Operational Integration Center as displayed to a tour given to distinguished visitors, March 24, 2011. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener).

The importance of integrated joint operation centers to strengthen partnerships, improve information sharing and facilitate prompt coordination of response resources is a familiar topic on the Compass.

Today’s opening of a new Operational Integration Center (OIC) at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Detroit further demonstrates the continued unity of effort. The OIC is not only a joint federal, state, and local operation center but also binational as our Canadian counterparts join the collaborative workspace to improve border security and public safety across the shared 1,500 mile northern maritime border.

“To enhance shared border security in a region with vast stretches of open water and narrow choke points along interconnecting river systems, there is a premium on integrated operations and effective partnerships,” said Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, in a post on the Coast Guard Great Lakes blog. “The high volume of traffic and jurisdictional complexity demands robust detection and sorting capabilities, so potential threats and high-risk traffic can be identified and addressed.”

Ribbon cutting

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE — Vice Commandant Sally Brice-O’Hara, (center) and other distinguished guests, cut a ribbon officially opening the new Operational Integration Center here, March 24, 2011. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener).

The OIC is built on the premise that by coordinating, collaborating and integrating the various organizations whose missions involve border security and public safety, it leverages and adds to existing resources, information and technology to increase the effectiveness in securing the shared border.

“Mission success begins with information,” said Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, the vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, during her remarks at the dedication ceremony. “We embrace the opportunity to take these existing partnerships to new levels with the Operational Integration Center.”

Read more about the OIC on the Coast Guard Great Lakes blog.

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