The Ninth District and Canadian forces team up for Shiprider program
By JOHN C. MARCARIO, Associate Editor
Safety and Security
Shiprider enforcement activities
include detecting, monitoring and
potentially boarding vessels in either
Canadian or American waters.
In Canadian waters, Canada-U.S. Shiprider operations are subject to Canadian laws, policies and
procedures, and all operations are
undertaken under the direction
and control of the RCMP.
RCMP vessels designated as
Canada-U.S. Shiprider vessels have
a member of the U.S. Coast Guard
onboard and are able to enter U.S.
waters to enforce U.S. laws under
the supervision of the Coast Guard
member. The same procedure is
followed in reverse for U.S. Coast
Guard vessels with an RCMP
“It’s so quick to get across and it’s so hard to stop
without a partner,” Lamb said.
The following five Canada-U.S. Shiprider pilot operations “provided the basis to gain governmental support
for this framework agreement,” according to the RCMP:
in the Detroit-Windsor, Canada, area in September
2005; Super Bowl XL in Detroit in February 2006; two
simultaneous Canada-U.S. Shiprider pilot projects from
August to October 2007 in Cornwall, Ontario/Massena,
N. Y., and the Strait of Georgia between British Columbia
and Washington state; the 2010 Winter Olympic Games
Canada-U.S. Shiprider Security Operation in Vancouver;
and the 2010 G20 Shiprider Security Operation in support of the G8/G20 Summits in Toronto.
Lamb said both countries are trying to maximize
scarce resources and limited budgets. The Coast
Guard’s submitted fiscal 2014 budget proposal, released
in April, asked for $8 billion in discretionary funding, a
$600 million drop from what they are receiving in fiscal
2013. A House Appropriations Committee markup of
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and U.S. Coast
Guard have formed a close working relationship in an effort to
better assist one another with border security.
■ The standard operating procedure for the Integrated Cross-border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations program, also
known as Shiprider, was finalized between the RCMP and the
Coast Guard’s Ninth and Thirteenth Districts in June.
■ The Ninth District outlined enhancing bi-national cooperation
and governance as one of its six strategic objectives in its Great
Lakes Maritime Strategy.
■ Coast Guard officials in Sector Detroit said their work with
Canadian officials is one of the sector’s most important missions.
The U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in June finalized the standard operating procedure for the
Integrated Cross-border Maritime Law Enforcement
Operations, better known as Shiprider, forming a partnership designed to improve bi-national security along
the border between the two countries.
The two agencies previously participated in five pilot
operations to construct a proof of concept for the program.
“You look at Canada on a daily basis. Our entire area of
operations is shared with the Canadians,” said Lt. Jillian
Lamb, command chief of Sector Detroit, which is in the
Coast Guard’s Ninth District. There are 10,900 miles of
shared U.S. and Canadian shoreline in the Ninth District.
The agreement, which was first announced last year
and now is in full swing in the Detroit River and other
locations along the border, eliminates the invisible international border as Shiprider vessels will be jointly
crewed by specially trained and designated Canadian and
U.S. law enforcement officers who are authorized to
enforce the law on both sides, according to the RCMP.