Coast Guard strengthens partnership with Customs and Border Protection

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston-based United States Coast Guard and United States Customs and Border Protection units entered into a personnel exchange program Thursday to enhance their cooperation and interoperability between the two Department of Homeland Security agencies.

Mr. Robert Fencel, the CBP port director, and Capt. Michael McAllister, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Charleston, identified positions at the field and supervisory level within each of their respective agencies to participate in a rigorous five and ten-day exchange program beginning in March.

Coast Guard and CBP personnel will participate in operations, activities and training evolutions designed to improve the knowledge and understanding of each agency’s goals, missions, resources, statutory authorities and operating procedures.

“Although both agencies are part of the Department of Homeland Security, this will give us the opportunity to learn more about each agency’s local operations here in Charleston,” said Fencel.

Both agencies are currently members of the Unified Command of Project SeaHawk in Charleston and routinely operate together conducting vessel boardings and inspections.

“Project SeaHawk has been an excellent tool to eliminate duplication of effort and increase information sharing. This program takes the integration of our agencies to a new level so that we have true unity of effort in our field operations,” said McAllister.

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