Laughlin fosters partnerships with local law enforcement agencies Published Aug. 18, 2023 By Airman 1st Class Keira Rossman 47th Flying Training Wing LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas-- Laughlin recently hosted a base tour with leaders from the U.S. Border Patrol, Del Rio Sector and the Val Verde County Sheriff's Department to enhance interagency cooperation and community engagement. At the heart of this joint venture is the shared goal of augmenting community partnerships to cultivate an environment of collaboration and support to fortify community safety measures. "Fostering strong partnerships between the Air Force Security Forces at Laughlin AFB and the surrounding law enforcement agencies enable a shield of protection around our community," said Maj. Robert Stone, 47th Security Forces Squadron commander. "The unique jurisdictional boundaries and ongoing Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) operations in the border region create phenomenal operational collaboration and validate the unwavering protection of Airmen and their families within Val Verde County. I'm encouraged to host and build enduring partnerships with both Sheriff Martinez, his Law Enforcement professionals, as well as Chief Bernal and the professionals within the Del Rio CBP Sector." Central to Laughlin's core mission is its ongoing effort to synergize base development and activities with federal, state, and local communities. This approach ensures support for initiatives such as the Del Rio Compatible Use Study, a critical assessment of the base's compatibility with neighboring areas. By aligning goals and resources, Laughlin aims to amplify positive impacts on its military mission and the local populace. "Although the U.S. Border Patrol's Del Rio Sector has over 2,000 employees, we are responsible for enforcing federal laws in over 53,000 square miles in 47 Texas Counties, which can seem an almost impossible task when the complexity of our daily duties and responsibilities are taken into consideration," said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Juan Bernal, U.S. Border Patrol, Del Rio Sector. "Collaboration and open communication with other federal departments is a force multiplier in our enforcement efforts." During the tour, 47th FTW Security Forces Defenders showcased various safety and security capabilities, including a breeching and repelling compound, the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance (CATM) range, K-9 defensive maneuvers, and a virtual reality training simulator. The overall tour also served as a platform to identify opportunities for further improvement through collective efforts. Among the notable prospects highlighted were the potential for a collaborative shooting range initiative and extensive joint training possibilities. "Collaboration with Laughlin Air Force Base helps enhance the effectiveness of Border Patrol Operations by having more well-trained eyes and ears that are focused on homeland security,” said Bernal. “This makes for a safer country and community in which we live and work in." The Border Patrol and Val Verde County Sheriff's Department's immersive visit to Laughlin was a testament to the power of collaboration. Through community engagement, advanced training concepts, and firsthand experiences, Laughlin is steadfast in its commitment to the local community’s well-being and cooperation alongside the local law enforcement parties.