Sailors Help Keep Summer Safe on Lake Champlain

NY Naval Militia Supports Customs and Border Protection Mission

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New York Naval Militia Petty Officer Garret Aldershof watches as Border Patrol Agent Mike Sisco moves out to intercept another boat heading into the United States from Canada in 2009.

ROUSES POINT, N.Y. (07/15/2011)(readMedia)-- For the third time in four years, Sailors of the New York Naval Militia will assist the United States Border Patrol inspecting pleasure craft entering the United States from Canada on Lake Champlain during the months of July and August.

Over five consecutive weekends from July 15 through August 14, a Naval Militia boat and two-man crew will join Border Patrol Agents in inspecting boats entering the United States at Rouses Point, Clinton County; and directing them to Customs and Border Protection inspection station.

The Border Patrol routinely mounts operations during the summer to remind boaters of the need to check-in as they enter he United States. More than 2,000 boats make entry into U.S. waters from the Richelieu River into Lake Champlain each summer. During the peak boating season and high traffic periods of summer weekends, an estimated 100 to 150 boats will pass through the border daily.

The Naval Militia crews on Patrol Boat 221,--a MetalCraft Marine Kingfisher 22 foot Hardtop boat -- will team with Border Patrol Agents to meet with visiting boaters that do not report, explain the inspection process and direct them to the customs station, in partnership with law enforcement agents on personal watercraft.

In order to sustain the month-long mission, six Naval Militia crewmembers will rotate over different cycles to improve boatswain's training.

"Our partnership with the New York Naval Militia continues to be a force multiplier for the U.S. Border Patrol and our efforts to keep waterways of Lake Champlain safe for everyone," said Chief Patrol Agent John Pfeifer. "Their participation allows us to better use our own agents in other regions of the lake and increase border security across our area of operations."

"Partnerships like this one with the NYS Naval Militia show some of the best ways to use state and federal resources," Pfeifer said.

The New York Naval Militia is a component of the New York Military Forces commanded by the Adjutant General, Major General Patrick Murphy. During the joint operations the Naval Militia members are in State Active Duty status, work at the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and will be paid by the State of New York.

The Naval Militia is composed of about 2,000 members of the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard Reserves who agree to perform state missions when needed at the order of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, as well as a small group of retired reservist members.

The Naval Militia maintains a fleet of nine patrol boats in its Military Emergency Boat Service (MEBS) which support law enforcement agencies, the United States Coast Guard and other federal agencies. The Naval Militia works regularly with the United States Coast Guard in New York Harbor, carrying inspection teams out to ships waiting offshore to enter the harbor about Patrol Board 440, a state-of-the-art patrol boat.

Photo cutline: New York Naval Militia Petty Officer Garret Aldershof watches as Border Patrol Agent Mike Sisco moves out to intercept another boat heading into the United States from Canada at the Rouses Point Border Crossing, July 25, 2009. This summer will be the fourth year of support to the Custom and Border Patrol mission on Lake Champlain. Photo by Capt. Shawn Shutts, NY National Guard.