BORTAC or Border Patrol Tactical unit is the special group of agents that are assigned to protecting the United States of America from terrorist threats around the world. This special unit was first put together in 1984 to respond with disturbances occurring inside INS detention facilities. The mission is now under by I.C.E. (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement).
Due to the ever increasing threats faced by the USA, BORTAC has widened its scope and mission capabilities, and is now a rapid response unit. The unit is able to execute both foreign and national level domestic missions. BORTAC teams have been operating in 28 countries throughout the world. Their operations have included international training/advisory forums, counter terrorist operations, counter narcotics and drug enforcement, high-risk warrant services, high value target protection, interdiction & patrol operations, and tactical training to other US agencies and armed forces.
BORTAC is headquartered in El Paso, Texas at the Biggs Army Airfield. All tactical training is conducted at this location and includes specialized training for the CBP and counter narcotics training for many foreign forces. Current border patrol agents must meet requirements to become part of BORTAC.
The requirements are as follows:
Border Patrol Agents wishing to become members of BORTAC must meet the following requirements:
- Candidate must have 3 years continuous active service with CBP
- Must score 90 percent or higher on the Border Patrol Physical Efficiency Battery (PEB) and firearms testing (score must be at least 324 out of a possible 360)
- Undergo and pass oral board interview by current BORTAC members
- Pass the BORTAC certification test
- Must be available anytime/anywhere and for deployments up to 90 days
- Submit proper application to BORTAC facilities
Bortac agents help in many functions beyond highly dangerous missions. This includes overseeing security for events such as sporting venues like the Olympics. In addition, they assist with natural disasters like floods and hurricanes. The tactical unit still plays a vital role in the fight against drugs and narcotics in South America. Agents continue to counter the drug gangs along the Arizona, Mexico and Texas borders.