U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations, unveiled its newest operating location — the Fajardo Marine Unit — at the former Naval Facility Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba.
Completed at just under $4.7 million, the facility is on less than one acre of land with an existing pier and boat slips for rapid deployment of watercraft, the agency noted.
The Caribbean Air and Marine Branch’s area of responsibility extends south to International waters of Venezuela, west to the Dominican Republic, and southeast to the Lesser Antilles.
“We have several satellite locations in Puerto Rico, but this new Marine Unit Facility provides us with a centralized location to more effectively conduct our mission to interdict drugs, and protect the American people,” said Johnny Morales, Director, Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
The unit runs on a permanent generator, and features a pier, and boat slips for AMO’s vessel fleet, including the new 41-foot SAFE Boat. It employs 13 staff members.
Construction began in January 2017 and was anticipated to be completed in October 2017. However, the project was delayed more than five months due to Hurricanes Irma and María, agency officials said. It was substantially completed in March 2018.
Today, Air and Marine Operations has some 1,800 federal employees, including 1,200 federal agents, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.