Border Patrol agents in Arizona are blasting their bosses for telling them, along with all other Department of Homeland Security employees, to run and hide if they encounter an "active shooter."
It's one thing to tell civilian employees to cower under a desk if a gunman starts spraying fire in a confined area, say members of Tucson Local 2544/National Border Patrol Council, but to give armed law enforcement professionals the same advice is downright insulting. The instructions from DHS come in the form of pamphlets and a mandatory computer tutorial.
“We are now taught in an ‘Active Shooter’ course that if we encounter a shooter in a public place we are to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’" union leader Brandon Judd wrote on the website of 3,300-member union local. “If we are cornered by such a shooter we are to (only as a last resort) become ‘aggressive’ and ‘throw things’ at him or her. We are then advised to ‘call law enforcement’ and wait for their arrival (presumably, while more innocent victims are slaughtered)."
I found this report disturbing, but not the least bit surprising. It's typical of a half baked edict put out by bureaucrats in a far away headquarters who don't have a clue what is happening on the front line. Border Patrol Local 2544 feels the same. This blanket guidance to armed law enforcement officers does not make sense. Is it an over reaction to civilian casualties, or the fear of civilian casualties, in a police shootout? Possibly. Intended or not, it is surely a slap in the face to a dedicated group of law enforcement officers tasked with the impossible mission of actually defending our borders.
Several times I have commented on how I think we should guard our borders. Take a sizeable chunk of resources out of the DoD and apply it to this mission. There are two ways this could be done. The first way is to deploy something like twelve (just a SWAG on my part) infantry combat brigade teams to the border and defend the border as a military mission. This way is fraught with problems... legal problems, coordination problems and public perception problems. A better way is to create a twelve brigade size Border Patrol force to augment the existing Border Patrol. This way the Border Patrol can guard the borders rather than just patrol the borders.
I would create brigades consisting of three to six squadrons loosely based on the Army's RSTA squadron concept. They should be called surveillance, search and rescue (SSR) squadrons to emphasize their law enforcement function and identity rather than being pure military organizations. The brigade should also have an aviation squadron with one or more transport helicopter troops and a mix of manned and unmanned arial surveillance assets. The brigade would also have a headquarters and support squadron to provide supply, maintenance, transportation and intelligence support for the SSR squadrons.
Each SSR squadron would have a mix of troops. Some on foot, some mounted on light patrol vehicles and even a horse mounted troop or two. Each troop needs enough organic support to conduct extended field operations out in the boonies. Something similar to what a light infantry company might have. I would definitely like to see a mess team with each troop. It's an unbelievably effective morale booster in the field.
To support Border Patrol operations along coastal areas and in ports, one or more SSB squadrons need to be organized as maritime squadrons equipped with appropriate harbor patrol and coastal patrol craft. The entire force needs to be supported by a training brigade perhaps based on a part of Fort Hood deeded to the Border Patrol.
What say the members of this committee of correspondence?