to detect and then launch an interdiction mission. Here, you are
either out there and catch it, or get
a tip, or you miss it,” Lamb said.
More than 30 percent of the
Canadian population lives in the
Great Lakes basin, and some residents have expressed concern
about having U.S. officials on
Shiprider has been met with
some opposition in Canada. Those
concerns were acknowledged by
RCMP Chief Superintendent Joe
Oliver, who told the Parliament of
Canada’s Senate National Security
and Defence committee May 14,
“we recognized early that this
approach would raise concerns
about sovereignty, of privacy and
civil liberties of Canadians. … We
said ‘Let’s take baby steps, let’s start
with two agencies to test the con-
cept, let’s demonstrate to Cana-
dians and Americans that such an
approach might work.’”
In a statement released to the
Coast Guard for use in this report,
The Coast Guard’s Ninth District knows the impor-
tance of having a close working relationship with
Canada, outside of Shiprider, as district officials iden-
tified enhancing bi-national cooperation and gover-
nance as one of the six strategic objectives in their
Great Lakes Maritime Strategy.
“It is only through combined and interagency effort
that daily contingency mission requirements can be
met,” according to the strategy, which covers 2011-2016.
Part of this cooperation includes hosting Canadian
liaison positions on the district staff, seeking opportunities to better integrate operations and harmonize
mission goals, and making sure nearly everything the
district does is “watermarked” with Canada, according
to the strategy.
U.S. COAST GUARD
Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Demucha, a maritime enforcement specialist
from Coast Guard Sector Detroit, trains with members of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police during a Shiprider exercise on the Detroit River between
Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Oct. 25. Shiprider operations respect
the sovereignty of both the United States and Canada and are based on the
shared border management, effective law enforcement, appropriate and
measured information sharing, and robust privacy protection.
the budget would increase the service’s acquisition,
construction and improvements line from a proposed
$951 million to $1.2 billion.
The service said a vessel could cross into and out of
Canadian and U.S. waters more than 70 times while
traveling along the Detroit River, which flows from
Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie and straddles the two countries. The close distance between them, sometimes a
few hundred yards in some places, poses significant
challenges for the Coast Guard, Lamb said.
“It’s very easy for smugglers, or anybody intending
to elicit illegal activities, to come into the country,”
Canadian and U.S. forces are working harder to identify and arrest smugglers, specifically along the Detroit
River, which has a high volume of illicit activity that
passes through daily, according to service officials.
“You can get across the river in two minutes. It’s not
like the West Coast, where you could have a few hours