U.S. and Dominican Republic hold 4th Maritime Interoperability Conference

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – Caribbean Border Interagency Group partner agencies and Dominican Republic authorities met Wednesday in Punta Cana to conduct the Fourth U.S. and Dominican Republic Maritime Interoperability Conference.

The two-day Interoperability Conference, sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command, consists of a discussion forum to review operational procedures between Caribbean Border Interagency Group partners and Dominican authorities across their maritime mission areas.

Coast Guard and Dominican Republic authorities regularly share information and respond jointly to Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement cases off Dominican Republic shores. The conference provides a venue to discuss lessons learned, identify areas where operational procedures may be refined, and for the review of standing bilateral agreements between both countries on Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Alien Migration Interdiction Operations.

“This conference gives us the opportunity to meet with partners in the Dominican Republic and continue to foster the excellent working relationship that exists between our countries,” said Capt. Eduardo Pino, Sector San Juan Commander. “We must continue to share information and best practices between federal and local agencies in Puerto Rico and our partners in the Dominican Republic to better protect our maritime border against potential terrorist threats and illegal migrant and drug smuggling activities. Through our collective efforts we can better protect life and the environment by sharing strengthened technologies and procedures in maritime search and rescue and environmental pollution response.”

“This conference strengthens the friendship ties between the United States and Dominican Republic,” said Capt. Edmundo Felix Pimentel, Director the Dominican Republic Naval Opereations Division. “At the time that it becomes a tool to increase our effectiveness in operating together in Search and Rescue and Maritime Interdiction missions, and when facing other common threats and challenges.”

Caribbean Border Interagency Group agencies participating in the Interoperability Conference include the Coast Guard, U.S Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Border Patrol and Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action. Dominican authorities included the Dominican Republic Navy, Army and Air Force, the Dominican Specialized Port Security Group, National Drug Control Division and Civil Aviation Institute.

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