WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a Northern Border Coordination Center to be collocated with existing DHS components that are currently operating out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base has advanced in the Senate. The Center would help improve coordination across DHS and with state, local, and Tribal governments, and other key stakeholders, to ensure DHS and its operational components are able to fulfill their security mission at the Northern Border. The bill was approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where Peters serves as Chair. It now move to the full Senate for consideration.
“The federal government must ensure the needs of the Northern Border are met and that DHS personnel have what they need to effectively secure the Northern Border,” said Senator Peters. “Selfridge Air National Guard Base already houses a number of DHS missions and this Center will work hand-in-hand with existing resources and capabilities, allowing the Department to further enhance efforts to ensure that the Northern Border’s security needs remain a priority.”
“The Northern Border Coordination Center established by this bipartisan bill will support border operations and enhance domain awareness with the shared goal of keeping Maine safe and secure,” said Senator Collins. “This legislation is a valuable step forward in assessing and prioritizing the efforts on the ground at our Northern Border.”
The Northern Border Coordination Act will require DHS to establish the Northern Border Coordination Center, to be collocated with an existing U.S. Border Patrol sector headquarters, the U.S. Border Patrol Northern Border Coordination Center, an Air and Marine Operations Branch, and a U.S. Coast Guard air station. The Center would support implementation of the Northern Border Security Strategy, help to track Northern Border security metrics, serve as a training location for DHS personnel and as a testing grounds for new border security technologies. The legislation also requires Air and Marine Operations to maintain quick reaction capabilities at the Center to support the border security mission along the Northern Border, including against the rising threat of illegal cross-border drone activity.