U.S. and Dominican Republic hold 5th Maritime Interoperability Conference

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – U.S. federal law enforcement agencies and Dominican Republic authorities kicked-off in Punta Cana Wednesday the Fifth U.S. and Dominican Republic Maritime Interoperability Conference.

The two-day Interoperability Conference is sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command.

U.S. federal law enforcement agencies and Dominican authorities will discuss the progress of ongoing initiatives and existing procedures as well as evaluate new interoperability initiatives between both countries to combat drug trafficking, illegal migrant voyages and human trafficking.

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.

“The interoperability initiatives that we implement together with the Dominican Republic Navy and other Dominican authorities strengthen our ability to conduct successful law enforcement and search and rescue operations in the Mona Passage,” said Capt. Eduardo Pino, Sector San Juan Commander. “Through mutual cooperation and the friendship relationship that exists between both countries, together we will continue to save lives in the high seas and protect our maritime borders from common threats.”

U.S. federal law enforcement agencies participating in the Interoperability Conference include the Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Border Patrol, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and Joint Interagency Task Force-South. Dominican authorities included the Dominican Republic Navy, Army and Air Force, the Dominican Specialized Port Security Group, National Drug Control Division, Dominican Civil Aviation Institute and the Joint Interagency Task Force-DEPROSER (Defend, Protect and Serve).

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