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A Ticket to Ride the TranSiberian
china plastic slide guides
Image by Viewminder
Cut off from the sea by the suspicious port authorities in Shanghai it seemed that the only way I was going to get out of China was overland. This was my ticket.

In Shanghai I had inquired of every traveler I met about the path ahead of me. I had heard tales of this magnificent and exotic railway adventure before… they called it the greatest railway journey on earth. The longest stretch of steel rail ever layed.

An Australian traveller named Mark told me that he had heard that there was a guy in Beijing who could get me a ticket.

I asked Mark how I could find this guy in Beijing. He said just go there and ask for ‘The Crocodile.’ Just go to a city of some ten million souls and ask for ‘The Crocodile’? It sounded almost insane to me.

Ditching Mark after he made moves on my Chinese girlfriend and ditching my Chinese girlfriend after she got all worked up when a soldier who was following me took a picture of us together on the riverfront… I understood her fear in that time of Tienenmen Square and I knew it was time once again to get moving. It was time to move north to Beijing… the city they once called Peking.

Tsu Tsu Mei was a nice girl. She had told me to call her Eleanor… because that was what she called her ‘American name.’ I couldn’t do it because she just didn’t look like an Eleanor to me… I always called her Tsu Tsu Mei. And I think that she really liked that I did… it would have been easier to call her Eleanor I’m sure… but each time I called her ‘Tsu Tsu Mei’ she gave me this look… it started with a big warm vulnerable smile that made it seem to me that she was melting inside with warm thoughts and shaking knees.

That look always made me want to scoop her up in my arms and give her the same feelings right back. Whenever I said her name and got that look… it just kind of summed everything up right there in that moment. I really liked that. Sometimes I wished that it had gone farther but the way it ended is why I have the memories I do… and I hope she does too… we never hurt each other… never not once… it was the hard and cold government of an opressive authoritarian regime that broke both of our hearts there in Shanghai. It wasn’t either of us… it wasn’t our fault.

I was with Mark the Australian when I met Tsu Tsu Mei… we were tooling around Shanghai and we had just gotten on the bus after a tour of the Shanghai Waterpipe Factory Number Seven where I had just purchased a fine example of a brass opium waterpipe. We had seen the place while riding the bus and jumped off… the factory was really happy to have foreigners tour the place. I couldn’t believe that there were at least six other water bong factories in Shanghai. Somehow we had found the seventh.

As foreigners we were pretty much used to talking in english right in front of people knowing full well that they couldn’t follow our conversation… especially the slang riddled prose we frequently used. When Tsu Tsu Mei got on the bus and stood next to me I turned to Mark and said "man she is the most beautiful Chinese woman I have ever seen."

Before Mark could agree… Tsu Tsu Mei let me know that she appreciated the compliment… she smiled and said "thank you" in perfect english.

Shocked that my subterfuge was exposed at first I was a little embarassed… until Mark took that half of a second to start in on her. No way I thought… I was the one who paid the compliment… I was going to be putting the moves on Tsu Tsu Mei. I’m not sure Australian guys understand the concept of a good ‘wing man’ but Mark sure had some learnin’ to do. He needed to watch the movie ‘Top Gun’ and take some notes.

Tsu Tsu Mei and I arranged to meet later that night in downtown Shanghai and proceeded to become great friends. She even took me to meet her parents… Norman Tsu… the first deaf technical drafting instructor in all of China and his ‘deaf wife Janie.’

Tsu Tsu Mei’s father Norman was sent to the United States to study technical drafting in the fifties. He went to Gaudellet University and he confided in me that he really liked it… that he didn’t want to come back to China… he stopped writing home and corresponding with the government… he wanted to drift away… but they corralled his mother who was a widow by this time… and they made her write Norman a letter that made it really clear that it was in her best interests that Norman return to China. That’s how China got its first deaf technical drafting instructor. Or how they got him back.

Norman always referred to his wife as ‘My deaf wife.’ Both of them were deaf and we passed notes to each other over a marvellous dinner… while Tsu tsu Mei just kept smiling at me and at her parents… unbelievable food Normans deaf wife cooked. It was a feast… and not the Chinese food I was used to… this was exotic and unknown to me. The Tsu’s really went out and they’ve been in my thoughts many times since then.

The Tsu family was really good to me and things were moving right along with Tsu Tsu Mei too until that soldier decided that he’d turn our little hand holding session on the Shanghai riverfrint into a Kodak moment. I had seen that guy following me before… he was the tallest Chinaman I’d ever seen… a full head above the rest of the general population. I found great amusement in shagging him… going into a store and going out the back door. It was really like a game. Still… he always found me… he was on me for days there in Shanghai. And after he took that picture I realized that my company with Tsu Tsu Mei wasn’t looked upon favorably by the authorities. She was terrified of the repurcussions. I knew that was it… I wasn’t going to get her or her family inot any trouble. I was going to get out of Shanghai.

I purchased a train ticket on a sleeper train for the seventeen hour ride from Shanghai to Beijing. How was it that I could go to a city the size of Beijing almost a thousand miles to the north and find this man called ‘The Crocodile’ simply by asking? It seemed completely insane… but such was the world I found myself in this year… for me, 1990 was the year of living insanely.

After seventeen hours of watching China slide by through the window accompanied by the soundtrack of nonstop kung fu videos on the train’s television sets, I stepped off the carriage in Beijing, China’s capital city. Which was a godsend because I could not have taken one more of those videos. The Chinese truly love them… they must be a part of their national identity… the way that the Japanese love Godzilla. Godzilla was a mechanism that helped the Japanese to cope with their loss of World War Two and the painful shock of getting Nuked twice. Even though Godzilla always stomps their cities to pieces they always triumph. It’s like a morality tale with them.

When I was living in Osaka someone who worked in the studio that made the Godzilla movies decided to borrow the costume and wear it to a party where he caused it to be damaged to the tune of a hundred and seventy five thousand dollars. I wish I was at that party. Hanging out with the Nigerians. That would have been epic.

The first european looking guy I saw in Beijing… I stopped him as was my custom in the orient and inquired of the conditions and opportunities there in this new city. Blonde hair in China or Japan had always meant ‘help desk’ to me. We vagabonds and adventurers always stuck together and usually became instant friends as long as there wasn’t a woman involved.

Then I asked him if he had ever heard of ‘The Crocodile.’

He said that he would take me to see him right now. Right then. Right there. Unbelievable. I’m not kidding. No shit. I couldn’t believe it either.

I had found ‘The Crocodile.’

The man walked me to a hotel a few blocks away from the railroad station. It was an old building that looked straight out of the 1920’s, like just about every other building in Beijing. You could see that it was really beautiful at one time… maybe even opulent or exclusive… but it, like anything else that was once beautiful or opulent, it seemed to fall into despair and decay under the custodianship of the communists. That was the way pretty much all of Beijing looked. With brown air and trees and bushes that were different from all those I had even known. I always notice the trees and bushes in a new city. Here on the other side of the world the plant life and the vegetation was odd to me… just unusual enough to stick out in my mind.

The man knocked on the door and we were answered by a nice looking blonde woman on her early twenties. She looked kind of pissed off but invited us in still. My guide just turned around and left with little more than a gesture to the woman. I followed her into the room.

It had become a bit of a self entertainment for me to wonder why the man I was seeking should be called "The Crocodile." It intrigued me from the moment I had heard it and in my mind I came up with all sorts of reasons for the nickname. None of them pleasant.

The room was an illustration in contrasts… inside "The Crocodile" had rented two rooms… he knocked down the wall that had seperated them and completely remolded it. This guy was livin’ cush. He sat on the edge of his bed playing with the tv remote control as if it had befuddled him… I could tell from body language that his girlfriend and he had just been fighting.

"The Crocodile" stood up and turned around to face me… the guy must have been six and a half feet tall… and immediately I could see why they called him "The Crocodile."

He wore these braces on his teeth… the largest mass of metal I’ve ever seen in a persons mouth. Communist braces aren’t very pretty… but these… "The Crocodiles" mouth looked like it had been installed by a blacksmith… an angry, drunken blacksmith. Like hammered bars of hot metal hand forged around each of his teeth.

I had to make myself stop staring as he got right down to business. Croc asked me when I wanted to leave… he said he had one ticket and he wanted a hundred and ten bucks American for it. There’d be no negotiating I could tell that right away. I had a feeling that if I tried that he’d have just relieved me of all my dough right there. Probably my gear too.

We were in a bit of a funny situation for a couple of reasons… I thought the ticket looked fake… it looked worse than some of the permits and passes I’d forged in school. I didn’t have a visa to enter Russia… and I didn’t carry that kind of currency in US dollars. I wasn’t too sure that the Russians would actually be too excited about me coming to their country either. When I expressed this to "The Crocodile" he laughed a powerful and boisterous laugh and told me not to worry about it… he’d just gimme the ticket on good faith… so I could try and get a visa and cash a travellers check or something to come up with the Dollars he wanted. Besides he said "I know where your seat is and when you’ll be leaving and if you fuck me I’ll kill you" after which he laughed another deep laugh and gave me a half hug. "I want my money by next week he said." and walked me to the door where he said goodbye and his girlfriend gave me another dirty look.

That was it. Absolutely fucking unbelievable. I’m in Beijing less than two hours and I found my guy and I got my ticket. Now I just needed a visa from the Soviet Consulate. He’d also tell me there if the ticket was real I figured.

But right now I needed a place to stay. That would have to be my first order of business. The Croc’s hotel seemed a little too luxurious for my budget… I needed something ‘dumpier.’ Something where my kind’d fit in you know?

I walked out of the hotel and on to the street… pausing for a moment to take a breath of the sulfery yellow tinged air and feel the pulse of the street there…a moment to let the vibe of it all sink in. I could have gone left or I could have gone right but it really didn’t matter because I had no idea where I was going anyway. It’s like a rule with me… like walking on the upwind side of the street because that’s where all the paper money blows. Go left.

My friend Joel… the guy who’d saved my ass from the knife weilding Yakuza that pressed certain death into my throat in that bar in Osaka… he told me that he went insane and that he would hear these voices in his head that always said the same thing… "look to the left Joel." If he wasn’t crazy already he said that those voices would do it… he never understood the meaning of it. Stupid voices in your head… they never tell you anything good… like "stay away from that one… she’s trouble." They’re always all cryptic. You gotta try to figure them out and break the code. Joel said the lithium they gave him pretty much shut the voices down. I never had heard voices though. It would probably be fun for a day or two… just to see what they would say. I think if I had voices they would sound like Vincent Price on LSD.

So I went left after I walked out of the Crocodile’s hotel. I usually always go left when I got no idea but this time I was especially glad I did.

I get about a block and right there smack dab… badda bing… I run into this guy I lived with in Osaka Japan… Mike Levine… a Jewish guy from Jersey. He had let me borrow a pair of his shoes because I could find any in my size in Japan. Mike’s got this big smile on his face as he sees me… we hug and slap each others backs and talk about the fight that got me thrown out of the university in Japan that we both went to.

Mike gave me directions to a suitably dumpy hotel and we parted ways.

Walking down the street I saw a couple of American girls… who turned out to be two really granola looking lesbian backpackers from Nebraska.

I stopped them there and asked them where they were staying… they said they had no idea… I invited them to share a hotel room with me if we could find one… plus the thought of girl on girl action sounded like really good fun to me. I felt like I was really going to like Beijing. It seemed like an easy city. Things were looking good.

Was this my lucky day or what?

Shit, I been here for like two hours… I already met the guy I came to meet, had a ticket for the Trans Siberian, hooked up with two lesbians and there we found a three dollar a night hotel. Six yuan a night for each of us. What more greatness could god bestow on me? Another lesbian? A blind supermodel? That would just be asking too much I thought. Lady Luck, I’ve always said, she was indeed a friend of mine.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth they say… so I unpacked my gear in the hotel room… every bit of it… and spread it all around. I always unpack fully so if I get robbed they can’t just take one bag and split… they gotta work for it… then I unscrew all the lightbulbs in the room so they gotta have a flashlight to do it well… and then I make some loud noise making booby trap… like a pyramid of empty beer cans behind the door… then they gotta have nerves of steel to finish the job. Never got robbed once. Never. I have come home more than a few times affected by some intoxicant or another and fallen vicim to my own booby traps though. It always scared the beejesus out of me.

The Nebraska lesbians unpacked too.

Time to get out of here… It was time to go have a look at Beijing.

I left the hotel in a hurry and jumped on the first bus I saw… it didn’t matter where the bus was going…I didn’t care… I was sure that I hadn’t been there anyway. That’s the great thing about exploring like that. A new city… just go anywhere. It’s all new.

Sitting on the bus I was of course the only westerner riding it. The Chinese weren’t as polite as the Japanese and they would just stare at you forever… sometimes with mouth agape even… and I found myself very much the center of attention… the center of attention was something I really didn’t want to be. I kinda wanted to blend in really. That was going to be tough.

I started having what could only be described as auditory hallucinations on that bus… that happened alot to me in China… but right there it was bad… the cacaphony of Chinese voices started to filter itself out in my hyperactive mind and become english… I could understand things sometimes… I was certain that people were commenting on how intoxicated I was… they all knew it… they were all talking about me… looking at me… ‘Is that American guy drunk out of his gourd or what?’ I had to get off that bus. The sweat was pouring from my pores. It was getting to be more than uncomfortable… it was unbearable.

The next stop was my stop no matter where it might be… soon as it stopped I jumped off that bus so fast… I didn’t even have a clue as to where I was… and I didn’t care. Away from that hash house hotel and off of that bus…I just wanted my own little piece of contraband free real estate where I could sit and watch China go by and make amusing comments in my head to entertain myself.

This was my stop.

Before me was layed an enormous plaza… I had never seen such a large paved public space. It was gigantic enough it looked like you could lay down and land a 747 in it if you went from one corner to the next. It was so big and vast that the smog of Beijing obscured the other side of it from me. I didn’t know what this place was, but it made me feel realy small… insignificant actually… which was precisely how I wanted to feel.

I stood at Tienenmen Square.

This was the old Beijing… the one that used to be before the extremely systematic exploitation of cheap labor turned the place into a giant pachinko parlor… this was the dirty, dusty and gritty beijing where products were pulled around on wagons by teams of horses who shit big piles in the streets that you’d go straight over the handlebars of your bicycle if you didn’t look where you were going. I’d seen it.

This was the Beijing where the streets seemed impossibly large considering no one really owned a car… the Beijing where the old people all wore those navy blue or black or gray kung fu outfits and walked around stooping with their hands clasped behind their backs as if some ultimate power had ordered them to for all time.

This was the square in Beijing where less than a year had passed since thousands of students took a chance to try and change their world… this was the Beijing where tanks had rolled over them without mercy and their bodies were torn apart by the callousness of lead flying around at ballisticly high speeds and cruel random trajectories. This was the Beijing where their blood ran like rivers down the curbs and into the sewers where like the extinguishing of their tender lives for naught all was soon forgotten by a world more infatuated with its demand for cheap consumer electronics in attractive clamshell packaging.

The one year anniversary of the slaughter was approaching and here as if by accident I find myself in the place where history was made and so conveniently forgotten.

Here and there I could still see bullet scars, burns and other marks that told the tale of a failed movement killed in a single night of murderous debauchery.

It was eerie in Beijing. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was it just the intoxicant’s influence? I couldn’t place it until I found a nice grassy place to sit down and let everything stabilize. Let my altered mind stop spinning.

The young people were all gone.

The government had sent what looked like the entire youth of the capitol city to ‘summer camp,’ where they’d sing patriotic songs and watch lots of motivational films and learn the error of their ways. It was re-education for the entire young population… there was almost no one walking around that city bettween the age of fourteen and twenty one. It was spooky… strange mojo in a strange land. Like some kind of Twilight Zone episode.

Everybody’s seen the picture of ‘Tank Man,’ that guy whose name the world doesn’t know… the one who was walking home from the grocery store with a couple of plastic bags in his hands… the guy who became a lonely human roadblock for a column of tanks… I know I could never forget that guy… he had balls the size of watermelons that one. I woudda love to have bought that guy a drink or eight.

I was walking down that street and a momentary sense of deja vu made me stop… It felt like I’d been there before… it didn’t take too long for the reality to hit me… I was standing in that spot. In the Tank Man’s spot. The premonition came from looking at that photograph.

There was a pay phone there… on the side of the street… you can see it in the Tank Man picture… I thought my parents might like to know where in the world I was so I tried to call them from it without luck. Maybe they’d think it was cool that I was calling them from there I thought.

I wanted to feel the scene out… I wanted to let it all sink in a little bit so I sat down and I had a look around. It all began to unfold in my mind… the direction the tanks came from… the sounds they’d make… their squeaking tracks rolling on the asphalt echoing in the canyon of concrete buildings… I could see the crosswalk he was walking across when it happened.

I stood up, still painting the scene on the canvas of my mind with the brushes of my imagination and I walked towards the crosswalk… just as he did that remarkable day.

Man… sometimes even I have a hard time putting things into words… sometimes feelings, emotions and perceptions are just too powerful and swift to get a grasp on.

Surveying the scene where this historic collision happened from the street… it was so much different than the picture we all know… that was shot from high above… it’s got a whole different tone than the lonliness and isolation that the street level offered. Just like in the square where I had felt so small… even the street there was massive in width… one of those subcompact cars flying through the smog could have crushed me like a bug. The thought of standing my ground in front of a column of many ton armored tanks with their diesel engines shaking and belching thick black smoke and rumbling in anger… I’ll tell you this… with the greatest respect that I can muster… that guy… at that moment… he took on the entire world. He was a bad ass motherfucker who said ‘hey… I don’t like what’s going down here.’ and he backed it up with his hundred and fifty pound body alone in the streets. He never even put those grocery bags down. But for a moment, that man stopped the world. He stood his ground. He stood our ground. He stood for everyman that day.

I didn’t.

I didn’t even chance stopping where he did. I didn’t want to stop a bus.

When I got across the street I walked back towards Tienenmen Square wondering what happened to the guy.

These thoughts were crisply punctuated when I found the remains of a completely flattened bicycle. It had been run over by something pretty heavy because it was as flat as a bicycle could conceivably become. It even had a curve to it… a lot of parts were gone but the frame, the handlebars, even the rims were crushed flat. I picked it up, still thinking about Tank Man and I realized what it meant.

Something inside me wanted to take it home… to show my people… people born and raised with a freedom fought for by others… I wanted to show them what we pretty much let happen here… the great crime that we ignored. It was a strong symbol to me at least of an oppresive government that lost it’s temper on it’s own people.

I’d never get that flattened bicycle home, but I carried stashed inside the tubes of my backpack messages that people had asked me to carry out of the country to a place where mistakenly so they thought good and decent people might give two shits about the treachery bestowed upon them in their quest for what we have but could really care less about. A freedom so strong… a freedom so deep that it was a part of me wether I was conscious about it or not… a freedom that formed the person I was and carried me on a long and mostly accidental journey to a place where youth was cut short for having the audacity and lack of patience to demand a more tolerant society where people would count for just a little more than cheap labor.

I promised myself I’d remember what happened to them. I promised myself that on June 4th, 1990 that I’d say a prayer there in Tienenmen Square. I’d recognize their martyrdom to the cause of freedom and I’d pay my respects on the anniversary of the barbarism of their all powerful and vicious central authority.

When that morning came with its sultry brownish orange sunrise, three hundred and sixty five days after the blood letting, when the flag of a nation was raised over it’s most proud square… I was the only person that wasn’t Chinese standing there as a witness to at least offer the the quiet contempt of my heart and the objection of my soul as a counterbalance to the disgrace of the murder of these children.

There were no television cameras or satellite trucks… no journalists fixing their hair or taking notes on those long pads that they carry. Nothing.

I carried no sign or banner… I spoke no message of objection. I sought to instigate nothing.

I stood there in Tienenmen Square as a witness.

A witness to what the rest of the free world was so selfishly quick to forget.

Two days later I’d board a train that I’d get off of in another world… where a wall that represented hate and anger and mistrust would be falling, hacked to pieces bit by bit by a people celebrating a new freedom and unity.

Nice China Mould Produce photos

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Stalinorgel. Stalin’s Organ. Сталинский орган.
china mould produce
Image by Peer.Gynt
Katyusha multiple rocket launchers (Russian: Катюша) are a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. Compared to other artillery, these multiple rocket launchers deliver a devastating amount of explosives to an area target quickly, but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload. They are fragile compared to artillery guns, but inexpensive and easy to produce. Katyushas of World War II, the first self-propelled artillery mass-produced by the Soviet Union,[1] were usually mounted on trucks. This mobility gave Katyushas (and other self-propelled artillery) another advantage: being able to deliver a large blow all at once, and then move before being located and attacked with counter-battery fire.

Katyusha weapons of World War II included the BM-13 launcher, light BM-8, and heavy BM-31. Today, the nickname is also applied to newer truck-mounted Soviet multiple rocket launchers—notably the common BM-21—and derivatives.

The nickname

Initially, the secrecy kept their military designation from being known by the soldiers who operated them. They were called by code names such as Kostikov Guns (after the head of the RNII), and finally classed as Guards Mortars.[2] The name BM-13 was only allowed into secret documents in 1942, and remained classified until after the war.[3]

Because they were marked with the letter K, for Voronezh Komintern Factory,[3] Red Army troops adopted a nickname from Mikhail Isakovsky’s popular wartime song, Katyusha, about a girl longing for her absent beloved, who is away performing military service.[4] Katyusha is the Russian equivalent of Katie, an endearing diminutive form of the name Katherine: Yekaterina →Katya →Katyusha.

German troops coined the sobriquet Stalin’s organ (German: Stalinorgel), after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin for its visual resemblance to a church musical organ and alluding to the sound of the weapon’s rockets. They are known by the same name in Sweden. [4]

The heavy BM-31 launcher was also referred to as Andryusha (Андрюша, “Andrew”, endearing diminutive).[5]
Katyushas of World War II

Katyusha rocket launchers were mounted on many platforms during World War II, including on trucks, artillery tractors, tanks, and armoured trains, as well as on naval and riverine vessels as assault support weapons.

The design was relatively simple, consisting of racks of parallel rails on which rockets were mounted, with a folding frame to raise the rails to launch position. Each truck had between 14 and 48 launchers. The 132-mm diameter M-13 rocket of the BM-13 system was 180 centimetres (70.9 in) long, 13.2 centimetres (5.2 in) in diameter and weighed 42 kilograms (92 lb). Initially, the caliber was 130 mm, but the caliber was changed (first the designation, and then the actual size), to avoid confusing them with regular artillery shells[3]. It was propelled by a solid nitrocellulose-based propellant of tubular shape, arranged in a steel-case rocket engine with a single central nozzle at the bottom end. The rocket was stabilised by cruciform fins of pressed sheet steel. The warhead, either fragmentation, high-explosive or shaped-charge, weighed around 22 kg (48 lb). The range of the rockets was about 5.4 kilometres (3.4 mi). Later, 82-mm diameter M-8 and 310-mm diameter M-31 rockets were also developed.

The weapon is less accurate than conventional artillery guns, but is extremely effective in saturation bombardment, and was particularly feared by German soldiers. A battery of four BM-13 launchers could fire a salvo in 7–10 seconds that delivered 4.35 tons of high explosives over a four-hectare (10 acres) impact zone.[2] With an efficient crew, the launchers could redeploy to a new location immediately after firing, denying the enemy the opportunity for counterbattery fire. Katyusha batteries were often massed in very large numbers to create a shock effect on enemy forces. The weapon’s disadvantage was the long time it took to reload a launcher, in contrast to conventional guns which could sustain a continuous low rate of fire.

The sound of the rocket launching also was unique in that the constant "woosh" sound that came from the firing of the rockets could be used for psychological warfare. The rocket’s devastating destruction also helped to lower the morale of the German army.

Development
Katyushas of World War II

Katyusha rocket launchers were mounted on many platforms during World War II, including on trucks, artillery tractors, tanks, and armoured trains, as well as on naval and riverine vessels as assault support weapons.

The design was relatively simple, consisting of racks of parallel rails on which rockets were mounted, with a folding frame to raise the rails to launch position. Each truck had between 14 and 48 launchers. The 132-mm diameter M-13 rocket of the BM-13 system was 180 centimetres (70.9 in) long, 13.2 centimetres (5.2 in) in diameter and weighed 42 kilograms (92 lb). Initially, the caliber was 130 mm, but the caliber was changed (first the designation, and then the actual size), to avoid confusing them with regular artillery shells[3]. It was propelled by a solid nitrocellulose-based propellant of tubular shape, arranged in a steel-case rocket engine with a single central nozzle at the bottom end. The rocket was stabilised by cruciform fins of pressed sheet steel. The warhead, either fragmentation, high-explosive or shaped-charge, weighed around 22 kg (48 lb). The range of the rockets was about 5.4 kilometres (3.4 mi). Later, 82-mm diameter M-8 and 310-mm diameter M-31 rockets were also developed.

The weapon is less accurate than conventional artillery guns, but is extremely effective in saturation bombardment, and was particularly feared by German soldiers. A battery of four BM-13 launchers could fire a salvo in 7–10 seconds that delivered 4.35 tons of high explosives over a four-hectare (10 acres) impact zone.[2] With an efficient crew, the launchers could redeploy to a new location immediately after firing, denying the enemy the opportunity for counterbattery fire. Katyusha batteries were often massed in very large numbers to create a shock effect on enemy forces. The weapon’s disadvantage was the long time it took to reload a launcher, in contrast to conventional guns which could sustain a continuous low rate of fire.

The sound of the rocket launching also was unique in that the constant "woosh" sound that came from the firing of the rockets could be used for psychological warfare. The rocket’s devastating destruction also helped to lower the morale of the German army.

Combat history
BM-13 battery fire, during the Battle of Berlin, April 1945, with metal blast covers pulled over the windshields

The multiple rocket launchers were top secret in the beginning of World War II. A special unit of the NKVD secret police was raised to operate them.[2] On July 7, 1941, an experimental artillery battery of seven launchers was first used in battle at Orsha in Belarus, under the command of Captain Ivan Flyorov, destroying a station with several supply trains, and causing massive German Army casualties. Following the success, the Red Army organized new Guards Mortar batteries for the support of infantry divisions. A battery’s complement was standardized at four launchers. They remained under NKVD control until German Nebelwerfer rocket launchers became common later in the war.[6]
A battery of BM-31 multiple rocket launchers in operation

On August 8, 1941, Stalin ordered the formation of eight Special Guards Mortar regiments under the direct control of the General Headquarters Reserve (Stavka-VGK). Each regiment comprised three battalions of three batteries, totalling 36 BM-13 or BM-8 launchers. Independent Guards Mortar battalions were also formed, comprising 36 launchers in three batteries of twelve. By the end of 1941, there were eight regiments, 35 independent battalions, and two independent batteries in service, holding a total of 554 launchers.[11]

In June 1942 Heavy Guards Mortar battalions were formed around the new M-30 static rocket launch frames, consisting of 96 launchers in three batteries. In July, a battalion of BM-13s was added to the establishment of a tank corps.[12] In 1944, the BM-31 was used in Motorized Heavy Guards Mortar battalions of 48 launchers. In 1943, Guards Mortar brigades, and later divisions, were formed equipped with static launchers.[11]

By the end of 1942, 57 regiments were in service—together with the smaller independent battalions, this was the equivalent of 216 batteries: 21% BM-8 light launchers, 56% BM-13, and 23% M-30 heavy launchers. By the end of the war, the equivalent of 518 batteries were in service.[11]
[edit] Katyushas since World War II
Russian forces use BM-27 rocket launchers during the Second Chechen War

The success and economy of multiple rocket launchers (MRL) have led them to continue to be developed. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union fielded several models of Katyushas, notably the BM-21 launchers fitting the stereotypical Katyusha mould, and the larger BM-27. Advances in artillery munitions have been applied to some Katyusha-type multiple launch rocket systems, including bomblet submunitions, remotely-deployed land mines, and chemical warheads.

With the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia inherited most of its military arsenal including the Katyusha rockets. In recent history, they have been used by Russian forces during the First and Second Chechen Wars and by Armenian and Azerbaijani forces during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Georgian government forces are reported to have used BM-21 or similar rocket artillery in fighting in the 2008 South Ossetia war.[13]

Katyushas were exported to Afghanistan, Angola, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, East Germany, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Poland, Syria, and Vietnam. They were also built in Czechoslovakia[14], People’s Republic of China, North Korea, and Iran.[citation needed]

Katyushas also saw action in the Korean War, used by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army against the South and United Nations forces. Soviet BM-13s were known to have been imported to China before the Sino-Soviet split and were operational in the People’s Liberation Army.

Israel captured BM-24 MRLs during the Six-Day War (1967), used them in two battalions during the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the 1982 Lebanon War, and later developed the MAR-240 launcher for the same rockets, based on a Sherman tank chassis. During the 2006 Lebanon War, Hezbollah fired between 3,970 and 4,228 rockets, from light truck-mounts and single-rail man-portable launchers. About 95% of these were 122 mm (4.8 in) Syrian-manufactured Katyusha artillery rockets, which carried warheads up to 30 kg (66 lb) and had a range of up to 30 km (19 mi).[15][16].[15][17][18] Hamas has launched 122-mm “Grad-type Katyusha” rockets from the Gaza Strip against several cities in Israel,[19] although they are not reported to have truck-mounted launchers.

Katyushas were also allegedly used by the Rwandan Patriotic Front during its 1990 invasion of Rwanda, through the 1994 genocide. They were effective in battle, but translated into much anti-Tutsi sentiment in the local media.[20]

It was reported that BM-21 launchers were used against American forces during 2003 invasion of Iraq. They have also been used in the Afghanistan and Iraq insurgencies. In Iraq, according to Associated Press and Agence France-Presse reports, Katyusha rockets were fired at the Green Zone late March 2008.[21][22]

NYC – Metropolitan Museum of Art: Astor Court – Cold Spring Pavilion
china mould produce
Image by wallyg
Historically, the finest scholars’ gardens of China were in Suzhou (soochow), a serene city inland from Shanghai. The design of the Astor Court is based on a courtyard in the Garden of the Master of the Fishing Nets (Wangshi Yuan) in Suzhou. Like its model, this court has three typical garden structures: a covered walkway, a small reception hall, and a half-pavilion along the west wall. Cold Spring Pavilion, identified by a tile plaque set in the wall, takes its name from the nearby pool. The exuberant upsweep of the roof corners is characteristic of Chinese architecture in the south.

Gray terracotta was a popular building material in Chinese gardens. In this court, the bricks are arranged in alternating sets of four; the large suqare floor tiles the doorframes, the low balustrades, and the trim along the tops of the walls are all low-fired unglazed ceramic specially produced for the Astor Court at an eighteenth-century imperial kiln near Suzhou. The granite slabs and the wood elements were also crafted in China ccording to traditional techniques. The components were installed by a team of twenty-seven Chinese engineers and craftsmen who worked at the Museum from January through May 1980.

The Ming’s Scholar’s retreat, a garden court and reception hall, was the concept of Brooke Russell Astor and became a reality because of her steadfast and generous support.

**
The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s permanent collection contains more than two million works of art from around the world. It opened its doors on February 20, 1872, housed in a building located at 681 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Under their guidance of John Taylor Johnston and George Palmer Putnam, the Met’s holdings, initially consisting of a Roman stone sarcophagus and 174 mostly European paintings, quickly outgrew the available space. In 1873, occasioned by the Met’s purchase of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriot antiquities, the museum decamped from Fifth Avenue and took up residence at the Douglas Mansion on West 14th Street. However, these new accommodations were temporary; after negotiations with the city of New York, the Met acquired land on the east side of Central Park, where it built its permanent home, a red-brick Gothic Revival stone "mausoleum" designed by American architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mold. As of 2006, the Met measures almost a quarter mile long and occupies more than two million square feet, more than 20 times the size of the original 1880 building.

In 2007, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was ranked #17 on the AIA 150 America’s Favorite Architecture list.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1967. The interior was designated in 1977.

National Historic Register #86003556

Nice Mold Heating Machine China photos

Nice Mold Heating Machine China photos

Check out these mold heating machine china images:

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” panorama
mold heating machine china
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed P-38J-10-LO Lightning :

In the P-38 Lockheed engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and his team of designers created one of the most successful twin-engine fighters ever flown by any nation. From 1942 to 1945, U. S. Army Air Forces pilots flew P-38s over Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific, and from the frozen Aleutian Islands to the sun-baked deserts of North Africa. Lightning pilots in the Pacific theater downed more Japanese aircraft than pilots flying any other Allied warplane.

Maj. Richard I. Bong, America’s leading fighter ace, flew this P-38J-10-LO on April 16, 1945, at Wright Field, Ohio, to evaluate an experimental method of interconnecting the movement of the throttle and propeller control levers. However, his right engine exploded in flight before he could conduct the experiment.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Company

Date:
1943

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 390 x 1170cm, 6345kg, 1580cm (12ft 9 9/16in. x 38ft 4 5/8in., 13988.2lb., 51ft 10 1/16in.)

Materials:
All-metal

Physical Description:
Twin-tail boom and twin-engine fighter; tricycle landing gear.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay":

Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments. Although designed to fight in the European theater, the B-29 found its niche on the other side of the globe. In the Pacific, B-29s delivered a variety of aerial weapons: conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, mines, and two nuclear weapons.

On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, Bockscar (on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio) dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Enola Gay flew as the advance weather reconnaissance aircraft that day. A third B-29, The Great Artiste, flew as an observation aircraft on both missions.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Boeing Aircraft Co.
Martin Co., Omaha, Nebr.

Date:
1945

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 900 x 3020cm, 32580kg, 4300cm (29ft 6 5/16in. x 99ft 1in., 71825.9lb., 141ft 15/16in.)

Materials:
Polished overall aluminum finish

Physical Description:
Four-engine heavy bomber with semi-monoqoque fuselage and high-aspect ratio wings. Polished aluminum finish overall, standard late-World War II Army Air Forces insignia on wings and aft fuselage and serial number on vertical fin; 509th Composite Group markings painted in black; "Enola Gay" in black, block letters on lower left nose.

Nice Injection Mould Made In China photos

Nice Injection Mould Made In China photos

Some cool injection mould made in china images:

“Sensible A/C Outlet position” #nerds #opinions / SML.20130110.IP3.SQ.AC.PowerOutlet.Opinions
injection mould made in china
Image by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML
“Sensible A/C Outlet position” #nerds #opinions

I bought the 500W 110 to 220 voltage converter (1) to power the Denon DN-X800 digital/analog mixer (pictured) and the Denon DN-2600F DJ CD player (not shown)—two pieces of 110V electronics which I bought in the US. The cords of the Denon units are not very long so I put the converter on the shelves (2).

Turns out that this is the best position for all electronics so even though I don’t need to convert the voltage for 100-240V electronics e.g. the iPad / iPhone, I now also plug the charger into the converter because it saves me time scrambling on the floor looking for outlet.

I think that I am going to make a rack mount unit and just create rows of outlet on desk level as that makes the most sense to me.

# Notes
1. I bought mine at Sham Shui Po (SSP 深水埗) for HK0 (US).
2. Doron Lachisch’s Cubitec Shelving (2008) combines the exceptional strength and stability of injection-molded polypropylene with simple, modular design. Available at Design Within Reach dwr.com — highly recommended. I bought mine in 2009. Looks new til this day because it is easily cleanable.

/ SML.20130110.IP3.SQ.AC.PowerOutlet.Opinions
/ #smlopinions #ccby #smlmusic #smluniverse #smlchaos #smlprojects
/ #AC #voltage #converter #electronics #outlet #opinions #nerds #geeks #Denon #X800 #Cubitec #shelving #organization #DoronLachisch #design
/ #馬鞍山 #MaOnShan #香港 #HongKong #中國 #中国 #China
/ #smlrec 攝影 摄影 photography IP3 SQ 2013 201301 20130110 power iPad iPhone charger

Nice China Molds Make Maker photos

Nice China Molds Make Maker photos

Check out these china molds make maker images:

Vintage Milk Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers with Flower Power 70s Silkscreen
china molds make maker
Image by GranniesKitchen
This set of vintage milk glass salt and pepper shakers are decorated with a green and orange flower power silkscreen.

The glass maker’s mark on the bottom indicate they were made by the Dominion Glass Company at their Wallaceburg factory in either January of February of 1977. The mould model number is 1632.

Nice Plastic Tooling Design China photos

Nice Plastic Tooling Design China photos

A few nice plastic tooling design china images I found:

The Portable Atelier, Nyc.
plastic tooling design china
Image by atelier-ying
This is my camera bag that follows me everywhere, even inside my own home. I also toss it into the baby stroller.

Let’s take a tour starting clockwise from the upper left, shall we?

1. Turano iPad bag with 4 compartments and some dividers. I wish they made this in red or army green or clear smoky plastic.
2. metal drafting triangle, I did forget to include my elliptical and circle templates which I use.
I have a miniature engineer’s scale but there’s no real reason to use it for what I’m doing, my cameras designs stand without toppling over and there’s no standardized dimension of camera building materials to concern myself over. Actually, glue, tape, and architectural modeling supplies are my materials for the most part.
3. the Ricoh GRD3 is tuned for taking only baby photos. I treat it like a film camera; I don’t use the LCD at all, it’s got two settings for color or b&w, and I toss the used chips into a small plastic box. I will have to spend a week on the computer downloading and editing, maybe when my kids turn two years of age.
4. old-fashioned fan. I really use this. it feels so good in the hand, very practical. And good for fanning a restless baby in the stroller. I’d like to get a sandalwood one from HK.
5. Moleskine notebooks. The largest one fits in the Turano, amazingly. I have many sizes of these black notebooks. Actually, I have a red suitcase from my childhood full of nothing but notebooks.
6. Name seals and red ink paste.
7. Office date stamp
8. Muji measuring tape, in millimeters, you never know when you need to measure camera dimensions and distances.
9. Yellow tape, pencil sharpener (sandpaper works best, I find)
10. Coromega (the best Omega supplement and this brand causes no heartburn)
11. my quasi-conductor’s watch made from a complimentary Michael Kors sample attached to a 70’s key strap.
12. iphone and cover and 5mm kaweco lead holder, both in white and brass, my favorite color combo. I want a white and brass kit. Drawing with the Kaweco is a real pleasure. I upload all my drawings with the iphone, from anywhere.
13. Swiss Villiger Cigar box filled with clay scratchboard papers for drawings. I’d like to store an old-world gambling dice game, or a golf game in here too. Like the old Howzat game. I’m working on it.
14. Davidoff Primeros, the best small cigars I have ever had. There is a relic of St. Therese de Lisieux on top of the box. It’s a piece of her habit. It blesses all my efforts.
15. Micron Pen set (.005, .01, .08 sizes)
16. Muji ink refill in gel blue, wonderful scriber’s tool.
17. Namiki Fountain Pen with red ink cartridges. I wish they’d make a vermillion red ink. I can do all my drawings in red, I love the impact and color.
18. Delta La Dolce Vita Fountain pen with Fine nib. The opposite of the ink refill pen in size and feel.
19. HB lead holder
20. Promecha Super Pencil. A work of art in itself.
21. Macanudo Portofino tube with sandpaper for sharpening leads
22. Derwent Electric Eraser, one of my favorite tools, I cannot live without this when I am drawing.
23. Baby’s Rattle. This is one of the best baby pacifiers I know of. Always handy to quiet the little ones.

Nice Two Shot Plastic Parts China photos

Nice Two Shot Plastic Parts China photos

A few nice two shot plastic parts china images I found:

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: South hangar panorama, including Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher seaplane, B-29 Enola Gay, among others
two shot plastic parts china
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher:

The Kingfisher was the U.S. Navy’s primary ship-based, scout and observation aircraft during World War II. Revolutionary spot welding techniques gave it a smooth, non-buckling fuselage structure. Deflector plate flaps that hung from the wing’s trailing edge and spoiler-augmented ailerons functioned like extra flaps to allow slower landing speeds. Most OS2Us operated in the Pacific, where they rescued many downed airmen, including World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker and the crew of his B-17 Flying Fortress.

In March 1942, this airplane was assigned to the battleship USS Indiana. It later underwent a six-month overhaul in California, returned to Pearl Harbor, and rejoined the Indiana in March 1944. Lt. j.g. Rollin M. Batten Jr. was awarded the Navy Cross for making a daring rescue in this airplane under heavy enemy fire on July 4, 1944.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division

Date:
1937

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 9 1/2in., 4122.6lb., 36ft 1 1/16in. (460 x 1030cm, 1870kg, 1100cm)

Materials:
Wings covered with fabric aft of the main spar

Physical Description:
Two-seat monoplane, deflector plate flaps hung from the trailing edge of the wing, ailerons drooped at low airspeeds to function like extra flaps, spoilers.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: P-40 Warhawk & F-4 Corsair hanging over the SR-71 Blackbird, among others
two shot plastic parts china
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Kittyhawk IA):

Whether known as the Warhawk, Tomahawk, or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 proved to be a successful, versatile fighter during the first half of World War II. The shark-mouthed Tomahawks that Gen. Claire Chennault’s "Flying Tigers" flew in China against the Japanese remain among the most popular airplanes of the war. P-40E pilot Lt. Boyd D. Wagner became the first American ace of World War II when he shot down six Japanese aircraft in the Philippines in mid-December 1941.

Curtiss-Wright built this airplane as Model 87-A3 and delivered it to Canada as a Kittyhawk I in 1941. It served until 1946 in No. 111 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. U.S. Air Force personnel at Andrews Air Force Base restored it in 1975 to represent an aircraft of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.

Donated by the Exchange Club in Memory of Kellis Forbes.

Manufacturer:
Curtiss Aircraft Company

Date:
1939

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 330 x 970cm, 2686kg, 1140cm (10ft 9 15/16in. x 31ft 9 7/8in., 5921.6lb., 37ft 4 13/16in.)

Materials:
All-metal, semi-monocoque

Physical Description:
Single engine, single seat, fighter aircraft.

• • • • •

See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird’s performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 3,418 kilometers (2,124 miles) per hour. At the flight’s conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Designer:
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson

Date:
1964

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 55ft 7in. x 107ft 5in., 169998.5lb. (5.638m x 16.942m x 32.741m, 77110.8kg)
Other: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 107ft 5in. x 55ft 7in. (5.638m x 32.741m x 16.942m)

Materials:
Titanium

Physical Description:
Twin-engine, two-seat, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft; airframe constructed largley of titanium and its alloys; vertical tail fins are constructed of a composite (laminated plastic-type material) to reduce radar cross-section; Pratt and Whitney J58 (JT11D-20B) turbojet engines feature large inlet shock cones.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Vought F4U-1D Corsair :

By V-J Day, September 2, 1945, Corsair pilots had amassed an 11:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft. The aircraft’s distinctive inverted gull-wing design allowed ground clearance for the huge, three-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller, which spanned more than 4 meters (13 feet). The Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial engine and Hydromatic propeller was the largest and one of the most powerful engine-propeller combinations ever flown on a fighter aircraft.

Charles Lindbergh flew bombing missions in a Corsair with Marine Air Group 31 against Japanese strongholds in the Pacific in 1944. This airplane is painted in the colors and markings of the Corsair Sun Setter, a Marine close-support fighter assigned to the USS Essex in July 1944.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Vought Aircraft Company

Date:
1940

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 460 x 1020cm, 4037kg, 1250cm (15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 5 9/16in., 8900lb., 41ft 1/8in.)

Materials:
All metal with fabric-covered wings behind the main spar.

Physical Description:
R-2800 radial air-cooled engine with 1,850 horsepower, turned a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with solid aluminum blades spanning 13 feet 1 inch; wing bent gull-shaped on both sides of the fuselage.

ARIZONA BORDERS AND CITIZEN SAFETY…
two shot plastic parts china
Image by roberthuffstutter
The United States Border Patrol is a federal law enforcement agency within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Its 20,200 Agents[1] are primarily responsible for immigration and border law enforcement as codified in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Their duty is to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States and to deter, detect, and apprehend illegal aliens and individuals involved in the illegal drug trade who enter the United States other than through designated ports of entry.

Additionally, the CBP enforces federal controlled substances laws (as codified in the Controlled Substances Act) when violations occur or are found during the enforcement of federal immigration laws, via delegated authority from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Note that there are two personnel segments of U.S. Customs and Border Protection that people often confuse with each other, the CBP Officer [1], who wears a blue uniform and the Border Patrol Agent [2] who wears a green uniform.

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Strategy
2.1 1986: Employer sanctions and interior enforcement
2.2 Inspection stations
2.2.1 El Paso Sector’s Operation Hold the Line
2.2.2 San Diego Sector’s Operation Gatekeeper
2.2.3 Tucson Sector’s Operation Safeguard
2.3 Northern border
2.4 Border Patrol moves away from interior enforcement
2.5 The new strategy
3 Capabilities
4 Expansion
5 Special Operations Group
5.1 Other specialized programs
6 Border Patrol organization
6.1 Border Patrol Sectors
7 Training
7.1 Uniforms
7.2 Border Patrol (OBP) Ranks and Insignia
7.2.1 Border Patrol Shoulder Ornaments
8 Awards
8.1 Newton-Azrak Award for Heroism
9 Border Patrol Uniform Devices
10 Equipment
10.1 Weapons
10.2 Transportation
11 Line of duty deaths
12 Armed incursions
13 Ramos and Compean
14 Criticisms
14.1 Ineffective
14.2 Allegations of abuse
14.3 Corruption
15 National Border Patrol Council
16 National Border Patrol Museum
17 In popular culture
17.1 Books
17.2 Film
17.2.1 Documentaries
18 See also
19 References
20 External links
21 External Video
21.1 GAO and OIG Reports

[edit] History

Immigration inspectors, circa 1924Mounted watchmen of the United States Immigration Service patrolled the border in an effort to prevent illegal crossings as early as 1904, but their efforts were irregular and undertaken only when resources permitted. The inspectors, usually called "mounted guards", operated out of El Paso, Texas. Though they never totaled more than 75, they patrolled as far west as California trying to restrict the flow of illegal Chinese immigration.

In March 1915, Congress authorized a separate group of mounted guards, often referred to as "mounted inspectors". Most rode on horseback, but a few operated automobiles, motorcycles and boats. Although these inspectors had broader arrest authority, they still largely pursued Chinese immigrants trying to avoid the National Origins Act and Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. These patrolmen were Immigrant Inspectors, assigned to inspection stations, and could not watch the border at all times. U.S. Army troops along the southwest border performed intermittent border patrolling, but this was secondary to "the more serious work of military training." Non-nationals encountered illegally in the U.S. by the army were directed to the immigration inspection stations. Texas Rangers were also sporadically assigned to patrol duties by the state, and their efforts were noted as "singularly effective".

The Border Patrol was founded on May 28, 1924 as an agency of the United States Department of Labor to prevent illegal entries along the Mexico–United States border and the United States-Canada border. The first two border patrol stations were in El Paso, Texas and Detroit, Michigan.[2] Additional operations were established along the Gulf Coast in 1927 to perform crewman control to insure that non-American crewmen departed on the same ship on which they arrived. Additional stations were temporarily added along the Gulf Coast, Florida and the Eastern Seaboard during the sixties when in Cuba triumphed the Cuban Revolution and emerged the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Prior to 2003, the Border Patrol was part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), an agency that was within the U.S. Department of Justice. INS was disbanded in March 2003 when its operations were divided between CBP, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The priority mission of the Border Patrol, as a result of the 9/11 attacks and its merging into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States of America. However, the Border Patrol’s traditional mission remains as the deterrence, detection and apprehension of illegal immigrants and individuals involved in the illegal drug trade who generally enter the United States other than through designated ports of entry. The Border Patrol also operates 33 permanent interior checkpoints along the southern border of the United States.

Currently, the U.S. Border Patrol employs over 20,200 agents (as of the end of fiscal year 2009),[3] who are specifically responsible for patrolling the 6,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian international land borders and 2,000 miles of coastal waters surrounding the Florida Peninsula and the island of Puerto Rico. Agents are assigned primarily to the Mexico–United States border, where they are assigned to control drug trafficking and illegal immigration.[4] Patrols on horseback have made a comeback since smugglers have been pushed into the more remote mountainous regions, which are hard to cover with modern tracking strategies.[5]

[edit] Strategy
[edit] 1986: Employer sanctions and interior enforcement

Border Patrol Agents with a Hummer and Astar patrol for illegal entry into U.S.The Border Patrol’s priorities have changed over the years. In 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act placed renewed emphasis on controlling illegal immigration by going after the employers that hire illegal immigrants. The belief was that jobs were the magnet that attracted most illegal immigrants to come to the United States. The Border Patrol increased interior enforcement and Form I-9 audits of businesses through an inspection program known as "employer sanctions". Several agents were assigned to interior stations, such as within the Livermore Sector in Northern California.

Employer sanctions never became the effective tool it was expected to be by Congress. Illegal immigration continued to swell after the 1986 amnesty despite employer sanctions. By 1993, Californians passed Proposition 187, denying benefits to illegal immigrants and criminalizing illegal immigrants in possession of forged green cards, I.D. cards and Social Security Numbers. It also authorized police officers to question non-nationals as to their immigration status and required police and sheriff departments to cooperate and report illegal immigrants to the INS. Proposition 187 drew nationwide attention to illegal immigration.

[edit] Inspection stations
United States Border Patrol Interior Checkpoints are inspection stations operated by the USBP within 100 miles of a national border (with Mexico or Canada) or in the Florida Keys. As federal inspection stations are also operated by the Mexican government within 50 km of its borders where they are officially known as a "Garita de Revisión." or Garitas, they are known also by that name to Latinos.

[edit] El Paso Sector’s Operation Hold the Line
El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent (and future U.S. congressman) Silvestre Reyes started a program called "Operation Hold the Line". In this program, Border Patrol agents would no longer react to illegal entries resulting in apprehensions, but would instead be forward deployed to the border, immediately detecting any attempted entries or deterring crossing at a more remote location. The idea was that it would be easier to capture illegal entrants in the wide open deserts than through the urban alleyways. Chief Reyes deployed his agents along the Rio Grande River, within eyesight of other agents. The program significantly reduced illegal entries in the urban part of El Paso, however, the operation merely shifted the illegal entries to other areas.

[edit] San Diego Sector’s Operation Gatekeeper

A Border Patrol Jeep stands watch over the U.S.-Mexico border at San Ysidro, California.San Diego Sector tried Silvestre Reyes’ approach of forward deploying agents to deter illegal entries into the country. Congress authorized the hiring of thousands of new agents, and many were sent to San Diego Sector.[citation needed] In addition, Congressman Duncan Hunter obtained surplus military landing mats to use as a border fence.[citation needed] Stadium lighting, ground sensors and infra-red cameras were also placed in the area.[citation needed] Apprehensions decreased dramatically in that area as people crossed in different regions.

[edit] Tucson Sector’s Operation Safeguard
California was no longer the hotbed of illegal entry and the traffic shifted to Arizona, primarily in Nogales and Douglas.[citation needed] The Border Patrol instituted the same deterrent strategy it used in San Diego to Arizona.

[edit] Northern border
In 2001, the Border Patrol had approximately 340 agents assigned along the Canada – United States border border. Northern border staffing had been increased to 1,128 agents to 1,470 agents by the end of fiscal year 2008, and is projected to expand to 1,845 by the end of fiscal year 2009, a sixfold increase. Resources that support Border Patrol agents include the use of new technology and a more focused application of air and marine assets.

The northern border sectors are Blaine (Washington), Buffalo (New York), Detroit (Selfridge ANGB, Michigan), Grand Forks (North Dakota), Havre (Montana), Houlton (Maine), Spokane (Washington), and Swanton (Vermont).

[edit] Border Patrol moves away from interior enforcement
In the 1990s, Congress mandated that the Border Patrol shift agents away from the interior and focus them on the borders.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security created two immigration enforcement agencies out of the defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). ICE was tasked with investigations, detention and removal of illegal immigrants, and interior enforcement. CBP was tasked with inspections at U.S. ports of entry and with preventing illegal entries between the port of entry, transportation check, and entries on U.S. coastal borders. DHS management decided to align the Border Patrol with CBP. CBP itself is solely responsible for the nation’s ports of entry, while Border Patrol maintains jurisdiction over all locations between ports of entry, giving Border Patrol agents federal authority absolutely[dubious – discuss] nationwide[dubious – discuss].

In July 2004, the Livermore Sector of the United States Border Patrol was closed. Livermore Sector served Northern California and included stations at Dublin (Parks Reserve Forces Training Area), Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield. The Border Patrol also closed other stations in the interior of the United States including Roseburg, Oregon and Little Rock, Arkansas. The Border Patrol functions in these areas consisted largely of local jail and transportation terminal checks for illegal immigrants. These functions were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

[edit] The new strategy

Cameras add "Smart Border" surveillance.In November 2005, the U.S. Border Patrol published an updated national strategy.[6] The goal of this updated strategy is operational control of the United States border. The strategy has five main objectives:

Apprehend terrorists and terrorist weapons illegally entering the United States;
Deter illegal entries through improved enforcement;
Detect, apprehend, and deter smugglers of humans, drugs, and other contraband;
Use "smart border" technology; and
Reduce crime in border communities, improving quality of life.
[edit] Capabilities
The border is a barely discernible line in uninhabited deserts, canyons, or mountains. The Border Patrol utilizes a variety of equipment and methods, such as electronic sensors placed at strategic locations along the border, to detect people or vehicles entering the country illegally. Video monitors and night vision scopes are also used to detect illegal entries. Agents patrol the border in vehicles, boats, aircraft, and afoot. In some areas, the Border Patrol employs horses, all-terrain motorcycles, bicycles, and snowmobiles. Air surveillance capabilities are provided by unmanned aerial vehicles.[3]

The primary activity of a Border Patrol Agent is "Line Watch". Line Watch involves the detection, prevention, and apprehension of terrorists, undocumented aliens and smugglers of aliens at or near the land border by maintaining surveillance from a covert position; following up on leads; responding to electronic sensor television systems and aircraft sightings; and interpreting and following tracks, marks, and other physical evidence. Major activities include traffic check, traffic observation, city patrol, transportation check, administrative, intelligence, and anti-smuggling activities.[4]

Traffic checks are conducted on major highways leading away from the border to detect and apprehend illegal aliens attempting to travel further into the interior of the United States after evading detection at the border, and to detect illegal narcotics.[3]

Transportation checks are inspections of interior-bound conveyances, which include buses, commercial aircraft, passenger and freight trains, and marine craft.[3]

Marine Patrols are conducted along the coastal waterways of the United States, primarily along the Pacific coast, the Caribbean, the tip of Florida, and Puerto Rico and interior waterways common to the United States and Canada. Border Patrol conducts border control activities from 130 marine craft of various sizes. The Border Patrol maintains watercraft ranging from blue-water craft to inflatable-hull craft, in 16 sectors, in addition to headquarters special operations components.[3]

Horse and bike patrols are used to augment regular vehicle and foot patrols. Horse units patrol remote areas along the international boundary that are inaccessible to standard all-terrain vehicles. Bike patrol aids city patrol and is used over rough terrain to support linewatch.[3] Snowmobiles are used to patrol remote areas along the northern border in the winter.

[edit] Expansion
Attrition in the Border Patrol was normally at 5%. From 1995-2001 attrition spiked to above 10%, which was a period when the Border Patrol was undergoing massive hiring. In 2002 the attrition rate climbed to 18%. The 18% attrition was largely attributed to agents transferring to the Federal Air Marshals after 9/11. Since that time the attrition problem has decreased significantly and Congress has increased journeyman Border Patrol Agent pay from GS-9 to GS-11 in 2002. The Border Patrol Marine Position was created in 2009 (BPA-M). This position will be updated to a GS-12 position sometime in 2010 or 2011. Border Patrol Field Training Officers may possibly be updated in 2010 to a temporary GS-12 pay rate. In 2005, Border Patrol attrition dropped to 4% and remains in the area of 4% to 6% as of 2009.[7]

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (signed by President Bush on December 17, 2004) authorized hiring an additional 10,000 agents, "subject to appropriation". This authorization, if fully implemented, would nearly double the Border Patrol manpower from 11,000 to 21,000 agents by 2010.

In July 2005, Congress signed the Emergency Supplemental Spending Act for military operations in Iraq/Afghanistan and other operations. The act also appropriated funding to increase Border Patrol manpower by 500 Agents. In October 2005, President Bush also signed the DHS FY06 Appropriation bill, funding an additional 1,000 Agents.

In November 2005, President George W. Bush made a trip to southern Arizona to discuss more options that would decrease illegal crossings at the U.S. and Mexican border. In his proposed fiscal year 2007 budget he has requested an additional 1,500 Border Patrol agents.

The Secure Fence Act, signed by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2006, has met with much opposition. In October 2007, environmental groups and concerned citizens filed a restraining order hoping to halt the construction of the fence, set to be built between the United States and Mexico. The act mandates that the fence be built by December 2008. Ultimately, the United States seeks to put fencing around the 1,945-mile (3,130 km) border, but the act requires only 700 miles (1,100 km) of fencing. DHS secretary Michael Chertoff has bypassed environmental and other oppositions with a waiver that was granted to him by Congress in Section 102 of the act, which allows DHS to avoid any conflicts that would prevent a speedy assembly of the fence.[8][9]

This action has led many environment groups and landowners to speak out against the impending construction of the fence.[10] Environment and wildlife groups fear that the plans to clear brush, construct fences, install bright lights, motion sensors, and cameras will scare wildlife and endanger the indigenous species of the area.[11] Environmentalists claim that the ecosystem could be affected due to the fact that a border fence would restrict movement of all animal species, which in turn would keep them from water and food sources on one side or another. Desert plants would also feel the impact, as they would be uprooted in many areas where the fence is set to occupy.[12]

Property owners in these areas fear a loss of land. Landowners would have to give some of their land over to the government for the fence. Citizens also fear that communities will be split. Many students travel over the border every day to attend classes at the University of Texas at Brownsville. Brownsville mayor Pat Ahumada favors alternative options to a border fence. He suggests that the Rio Grande River be widened and deepened to provide for a natural barrier to hinder illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.[13]

The United States Border Patrol Academy is located in Artesia, New Mexico.

[edit] Special Operations Group

A Border Patrol Special Response Team searches room-by-room a hotel in New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina.
CBP BORSTAR canine team conducting rappeling trainingIn 2007, the Border Patrol created the Special Operations Group (SOG) headquartered in El Paso, TX to coordinate the specialized units of the agency.[14]

Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC)
National Special Response Team (NSRT)
Border Patrol, Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR)
Air Mobile Unit (AMU)
[edit] Other specialized programs
The Border Patrol has a number of other specialized programs and details.

Air and Marine Operations
K9 Units
Mounted Patrol
Bike patrol
Sign-cutting (tracking)
Snowmobile unit
Infrared scope unit
Intelligence
Anti-smuggling investigations
Border Criminal Alien Program
Multi-agency Anti-Gang Task Forces (regional & local units)
Honor Guard
Pipes and Drums
Chaplain
Peer Support
[edit] Border Patrol organization

David V. Aguilar, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border ProtectionThe current Acting Chief of the Border Patrol is Michael J. Fisher who succeeded in 2010 David V. Aguilar, who is now the Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.

[edit] Border Patrol Sectors
There are 20 Border Patrol sectors, each headed by a Sector Chief Patrol Agent.

Northern Border (West to East):

Blaine Sector (Western Washington State, Idaho, and Western Montana.) – stations; Bellingham, Blaine, Port Angeles, Sumas.
Spokane Sector (Eastern Washington State)
Havre Sector (Montana)
Grand Forks Sector (North Dakota)
Detroit Sector (Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan) – stations; Downtown Detroit, Marysville, Gibralter, Sault Sainte Marie, Sandusky Bay.
Buffalo Sector (New York) – stations; Buffalo, Erie, Niagura Falls, Oswego, Rochester, Wellesley Island.
Swanton Sector (Vermont)
Houlton Sector (Maine)
Southern Border (West to East):

San Diego Sector (San Diego, California)
El Centro Sector (Imperial County, California)
Yuma Sector (Western Arizona)- stations; Wellton, Yuma, Blythe
Tucson Sector (Eastern Arizona)
El Paso Sector (El Paso, Texas and New Mexico) – stations; Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Deming, El Paso, Fabens, Fort Hancock, Las Cruces, Lordsburg, Santa Teresa, Truth or Consequences, Ysleta
Marfa Sector (Big Bend Area of West Texas) – stations; Alpine, Amarillo, Big Bend, Fort Stockton, Lubbock, Marfa, Midland, Pecos, Presidio, Sanderson, Sierra Blanca, Van Horn
Del Rio Sector (Del Rio, Texas) – stations; Abilene, Brackettville, Carrizo Springs, Comstock, Del Rio, Eagle Pass North, Eagle Pass South, Rocksprings, San Angelo, Uvalde
Rio Grande Valley Sector (South Texas) – stations; Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Falfurrias, Fort Brown, Harlingen, Kingsville, McAllen, Rio Grande City, Weslaco
Laredo Sector (South Texas) – stations; Cotulla, Dallas, Freer, Hebbronville, Laredo North, Laredo South, Laredo West, San Antonio, Zapata
New Orleans Sector (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and West Florida)
Miami Sector (Florida East and South)
Caribbean

Ramey Sector (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico) and the Virgin Islands, it is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States
[edit] Training
All Border Patrol Agents spend 15 weeks in training at the Border Patrol Academy (if they are fluent in Spanish) in Artesia, New Mexico, which is a component of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).Those who are not fluent in Spanish spend an additional eight weeks at the Academy. Recruits are instructed in Border Patrol and federal law enforcement subjects.

Border Patrol courses include: Immigration and Nationality Law, Criminal Law and Statutory Authority, Spanish, Border Patrol Operations, Care and Use of Firearms, Physical Training, Driver Training, and Anti-Terrorism.

FLETC courses include: Communications, Ethics and Conduct, Report Writing, Introduction to Computers, Fingerprinting, and Constitutional Law.[15]

The physical aspects of the Border Patrol Training Program are extremely demanding. At the end of 55 days, trainees must be able to complete a one and a half mile run in 13 minutes or less, a confidence course in two and a half minutes or less, and a 220 yard dash in 46 seconds or less. This final test is much easier than the day to day physical training during the program.[15]

[edit] Uniforms
The Border Patrol currently wears the following types of uniforms:

CBP officers at a ceremony in 2007Dress uniform – The dress uniform consists of olive-green trousers with a blue stripe, and an olive-green shirt, which may or may not have blue shoulder straps. The campaign hat is worn with uniform.
Ceremonial uniform – When required, the following items are added to the dress uniform to complete the ceremonial uniform: olive-green Ike jacket or tunic with blue accents (shoulder straps and cuffs, blue tie, brass tie tack, white gloves, and olive-green felt campaign hat with leather hat band. The campaign hat is worn with uniform.
Rough duty uniform – The rough duty uniform consists of green cargo trousers and work shirt (in short or long sleeves). Usually worn with green baseball cap or tan stetson.
Accessories, footwear, and outerwear – Additional items are worn in matching blue or black colors as appropriate.
Organization patches – The Border Patrol wears two:
The CBP patch is worn on the right sleeves of the uniform. It contains the DHS seal against a black background with a "keystone" shape. A "keystone" is the central, wedge-shaped stone in an arch, which holds all the other stones in place.
Border Patrol agents retain the circular legacy Border Patrol patch, which is worn on the left sleeve.
The Border Patrol uniform is getting its first makeover since the 1950s to appear more like military fatigues and less like a police officer’s duty garb.[16] Leather belts with brass buckles are being replaced by nylon belts with quick-release plastic buckles, slacks are being replaced by lightweight cargo pants, and shiny badges and nameplates are being replaced by cloth patches.

[edit] Border Patrol (OBP) Ranks and Insignia
Location Title Collar insignia Shoulder ornament Pay grade
Border Patrol Headquarters Chief of the Border Patrol Gold-plated Senior Executive Service (SES)
Deputy Chief of the Border Patrol Gold-plated SES
Division Chief Gold-plated SES
Deputy Division Chief Gold-plated GS-15, General Schedule
Associate Chief Gold-plated GS-15
Assistant Chief Silver-plated GS-14
Operations Officer Oxidized GS-13

Border Patrol Sectors Chief Patrol Agent (CPA) Gold-plated SES or GS-15
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent (DCPA) Gold-plated SES/GS-15 or GS-14
Division Chief Gold-plated GS-15
Assistant Chief Patrol Agent (ACPA) Silver-plated GS-15 or GS-14
Patrol Agent in Charge (PAIC) Silver-plated GS-14 or GS-13
Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge (APAIC) Oxidized GS-13
Special Operations Supervisor (SOS) Oxidized GS-13
Field Operations Supervisor (FOS) Oxidized GS-13
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent (SBPA) Oxidized GS-12
Senior Patrol Agent (SPA) (Note: Being phased out through attrition) No insignia Currently GS-11 (Will be upgraded to full performance level GS-12 sometime during the 1st quarter of 2011)
Border Patrol Agent (BPA) No insignia GS-5, 7, 9, 11 (Upgrade to GS-12 pending)

Border Patrol Academy Chief Patrol Agent (CPA) Gold-plated GS-15
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent (DCPA) Gold-plated GS-15
Assistant Chief Patrol Agent (ACPA) Silver-plated GS-14
Training Operations Supervisor (TOS) Oxidized GS-14
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent (Senior Instructor) Oxidized GS-13
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent (Instructor) Oxidized GS-13

[edit] Border Patrol Shoulder Ornaments

[edit] Awards
Newton-Azrak Award for Heroism Commissioners Distinguished Career Service Award Commissioners Exceptional Service Medal Commissioners Meritorious Service Award Commissioners Special Commendation Award Chiefs Commendation Medal
No Image Available No Image Available No Image Available

Commissioners Excellence in Group Achievement Award Purple Cross Wound Medal Academy Honor Award Winner Border Patrol Long Service Medal 75th Anniversary of the Border Patrol Commemorative Medal
No Image Available No Image Available

[edit] Newton-Azrak Award for Heroism
The Border Patrol’s highest honor is the Newton-Azrak Award for Heroism. This Award is bestowed to Border Patrol Agents for extraordinary actions, service; accomplishments reflecting unusual courage or bravery in the line of duty; or an extraordinarily heroic or humane act committed during times of extreme stress or in an emergency.

This award is named for Border Patrol Inspectors Theodore Newton[17] and George Azrak,[18] who were murdered by two drug smugglers in San Diego County in 1967.

[edit] Border Patrol Uniform Devices
Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue Unit (BORSTAR) Special Response Team (NSRT) Honor Guard Border Patrol Pipes and Drums Cap Badge
No Image Available
K-9 Handler Chaplain Field Training Officer Peer Support

[edit] Equipment
[edit] Weapons

A Border Patrol Agent carrying an M14 rifle.Border Patrol Agents are issued the H&K P2000 double action pistol in .40 S&W. It can contain as many as 13 rounds of ammunition (12 in the magazine and one in the chamber).

Like other law enforcement agencies, the Remington 870 is the standard shotgun.

Border Patrol Agents also commonly carry the M4 Carbine and the H&K UMP 40 caliber submachine gun. The M14 rifle is used for mostly ceremonial purposes.

As a less than lethal option, the Border Patrol also uses the FN303.

[edit] Transportation
Unlike in many other law enforcement agencies in the United States, the Border Patrol operates several thousand SUVs and pickup trucks, which are known for their capabilities to move around in any sort of terrain. This vehicles may have individual revolving lights (strobes or LEDs) and/or light bars and sirens. An extensive modernization drive has ensured that these vehicles are equipped with wireless sets in communication with a central control room. Border Patrol vehicles may also have equipment such as speed radar, breathalyzers, and emergency first aid kits. Some sectors make use of sedans like the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor or the Dodge Charger as patrol cars or high speed "interceptors" on highways. The Border Patrol also operates ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and small boats in the riverine environment. In 2005, all Border Patrol and ICE aircraft operations were combined under CBP’s Office of Air and Marine. All CBP vessel operation in Customs Waters are conducted by Office of Air and Marine.

Color schemes of Border Patrol vehicles are either a long green stripe running the length of the vehicle or a broad green diagonal stripe on the door. Most Border Patrol vehicles are painted predominantly white.

The Border Patrol also extensively uses horses for remote area patrols. The U.S. Border Patrol has 205 horses As of 2005[update]. Most are employed along the Mexico–United States border. In Arizona, these animals are fed special processed feed pellets so that their wastes do not spread non-native plants in the national parks and wildlife areas they patrol.[19]

[edit] Line of duty deaths
Total line of duty deaths (since 1904): 105[20]

Aircraft accident: 14
Assault: 2
Automobile accident: 28
Drowned: 4
Fall: 4
Gunfire: 30
Gunfire (Accidental): 3
Heart attack: 6
Heat exhaustion: 1
Motorcycle accident: 2
Stabbed: 2
Struck by train: 3
Struck by vehicle: 3
Vehicle pursuit: 2
Vehicular assault: 3
[edit] Armed incursions
On August 7, 2008, Mexican troops crossed the border into Arizona and held a U.S. Border Patrol Agent at gunpoint. Agents stationed at Ajo, Arizona said that the Mexican soldiers crossed the border into an isolated area southwest of Tucson and pointed rifles at the agent, who has not been identified. The Mexicans withdrew after other American agents arrived on the scene.[21]

[edit] Ramos and Compean
In February 2005, Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were involved in an incident while pursuing a van in Fabens, Texas. The driver, later identified as Aldrete Davila, was shot by Agent Ramos during a scuffle. Davila escaped back into Mexico, and the agents discovered that the van contained a million dollars worth of marijuana (about 750 pounds). None of the agents at the scene orally reported the shooting, including two supervisors. The Department of Homeland Security opened up an internal affairs investigation into the incident.[22] See also [23][24][25]

[edit] Criticisms
[edit] Ineffective
In 2006, a documentary called The Illegal Immigration Invasion[26] linked the scale of illegal immigration into the United States chiefly to the ineffectiveness of the Border Patrol. The film claimed that this is due to the lack of judicial powers of the Border Patrol and the effective hamstringing of the agency by the federal government. The film interviews people that deal with illegal immigration on a daily basis, as well as local citizens living in the border areas.

[edit] Allegations of abuse
There are allegations of abuse by the United States Border Patrol such as the ones reported by Jesus A. Trevino, that concludes in an article published in the Houston Journal of International Law (2006) with a request to create an independent review commission to oversee the actions of the Border Patrol, and that creating such review board will make the American public aware of the "serious problem of abuse that exists at the border by making this review process public" and that "illegal immigrants deserve the same constitutionally-mandated humane treatment of citizens and legal residents".[27]
In 1998, Amnesty International investigated allegations of ill-treatment and brutality by officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and particularly the Border Patrol. Their report said they found indications of human rights violations during 1996, 1997 and early 1998.[28]
An article in Social Justice by Michael Huspek, Leticia Jimenez, Roberto Martinez (1998) cites that in December 1997, John Case, head of the INS Office of Internal Audit, announced at a press conference that public complaints to the INS had risen 29% from 1996, with the "vast majority" of complaints emanating from the southwest border region, but that of the 2,300 cases, the 243 cases of serious allegations of abuse were down in 1997. These serious cases are considered to be distinct from less serious complaints, such as "verbal abuse, discrimination, extended detention without cause."[29]
[edit] Corruption
Incidences of corruption in the U.S. Border Patrol include:

Pablo Sergio Barry, an agent charged with one count of harboring an illegal immigrant, three counts of false statements, and two counts of making a false document.[30] He plead guilty.[31]
Christopher E. Bernis, an agent indicted on a charge of harboring an illegal immigrant for nine months while employed as a U.S. Border Patrol agent.[32]
Jose De Jesus Ruiz, an agent whose girlfriend was an illegal immigrant, he was put on administrative leave pending an investigation.[32]
Oscar Antonio Ortiz, an illegal immigrant[33] who used a fake birth certificate to get into the Border Patrol admitted to smuggling more than 100 illegal immigrants into the U.S., some of them in his government truck,[34] and was helping to smuggle illegal immigrants and charged with conspiring with another agent to smuggle immigrants.
An unidentified patrol agent who was recorded on a wire tap stating that he helped to smuggle 30 to 50 immigrants at a time.[33]
[edit] National Border Patrol Council
National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) is the labor union which represents over 14,000 Border Patrol Agents and support staff. The NBPC was founded in 1968, and its parent organization is the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO. The NBPC’s executive committee is staffed by current and retired Border Patrol Agents and, along with its constituent locals, employs a staff of a dozen attorneys and field representatives. The NBPC is associated with the Peace Officer Research Association of California’s Legal Defense Fund.[35]

[edit] National Border Patrol Museum
The National Border Patrol Museum is located in El Paso, Texas. The museum exhibits uniforms, equipment, photographs, guns, vehicles, airplanes, boats, and documents which depict the historical and current sector operations throughout the United States.

[edit] In popular culture
[edit] Books
Border Patrol by Alvin Edward Moore
The Border Patrol by Deborah Wells Salter
EWI: Entry Without Inspection (Title 8 U.S.C. § 1325 Improper entry by alien) by Fortuna Testarona Valiente
Tracks in the Sand: A Tale of the Border Patrol by Kent E Lundgren,
On The Line: Inside the U.S. Border Patrol by Alex Pacheco and Erich Krauss
Patrolling Chaos: The U.S. Border Patrol in Deep South Texas by Robert Lee Maril
The U.S. Border Patrol: Guarding the Nation (Blazers) by Connie Collwell Miller
My Border Patrol Diary: Laredo, Texas by Dale Squint
Holding the Line: War Stories of the U.S. Border Patrol by Gerald Schumacher
The Border Patrol Ate My Dust by Alicia Alarcon, Ethriam Cash Brammer, and Ethriam Cash Brammer de Gonzales
The Border: Exploring the U.S.-Mexican Divide by David J. Danelo
Beat The Border: An Insider’s Guide To How The U.S. Border Works And How To Beat It by Ned Beaumont
West of the Moon: A Border Patrol Agent’s Tale by D. B. Prehoda
The Journey: U.S. Border Patrol & the Solution to the Illegal Alien Problem by Donald R. Coppock
Border patrol: With the U.S. Immigration Service on the Mexican boundary, 1910-54 by Clifford Alan Perkins
Border Patrol: How U.S. Agents Protect Our Borders from Illegal Entry by Carroll B. Colby
In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security by Tom Tancredo
[edit] Film
Border Patrolman, a 1936 film in which a Border Patrolman Bob Wallace, played by George O’Brien, resigns in protest after being humiliated by the spoiled granddaughter of a millionaire.
Border Patrol, a 1943 film starring William C. Boyd, Andy Clyde, George Reeves, and Robert Mitchum
Borderline, a 1950 film noir starring Fred MacMurray about drug smuggling across the U.S./Mexico border
Border Patrol, a 1959 syndicated television series, starring Richard Webb as the fictitious deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol
Borderline, a 1980 movie starring Charles Bronson about a Border Patrol Agent on the U.S./Mexico border
The Border, a 1982 film starring Jack Nicholson
El Norte, a 1983 film portraying Central American Indian peasants traveling to the United States.
Flashpoint, a 1984 film starring Kris Kristofferson
Last Man Standing, a 1996 film starring Bruce Willis and Ken Jenkins as Texas Ranger Captain Tom Pickett who is investing the killing of an unnamed Immigration Inspector (played by Larry Holt) across the border in Mexico.
Men in Black, a 1997 science fiction comedy action film starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Vincent D’Onofrio. The Border Patrol was portrayed as Immigration Inspectors
The Gatekeeper, a 2002 film by John Carlos Frey about the struggles of migrants at the Mexican/US border.
The Shepherd: Border Patrol, a 2007 film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Linewatch, a 2008 film starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., as a Border Patrol agent defending his family from a group of Los Angeles gang members involved in the illegal trade of importing narcotics into the United States.
[edit] Documentaries
Border Patrol: American’s Gatekeepers A&E with former United States Attorney General Janet Reno
Investigative Reports: Border Patrol: America’s Gatekeepers A&E Investigates
History the Enforcers : Border Patrol History Channel
[edit] See also
Border Protection Personnel
United States portal
Law enforcement/Law enforcement topics portal
List of United States federal law enforcement agencies
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Border control
Ignacio Ramos
Illegal immigration
H.R. 4437
Minuteman Project
MQ-9 Reaper
No More Deaths
Office of CBP Air
United States Mexico barrier
United States-Canadian Border
la migra
[edit] References
^ "Reinstatements to the northern border". CPB.gov. US Customs and Border Protection. 2008-05-19. www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/border_patrol/reinsta…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/border_patrol/border_…
^ a b c d e f "Boarder Patrol overview". CPB.gov. US Customs and Boarder Protection. 2008-08-22. www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/border_patrol/border_…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ a b "Who we are and what we do". CPB.gov. US Customs and Boarder Protection. 2008-09-03. www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/border_patrol/who_we_…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ Gaynor, Tim (2008-01-23). "U.S. turns to horses to secure borders". Reuters. www.reuters.com/article/inDepthNews/idUSN2323280820080124…. Retrieved 2008-01-24.
^ www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/border_security/border_patro…[dead link]
^ Nuñez-Neto, Blas (2006-010-25) (PDF). Border security: The role of the U.S. Border Patrol. Congressional Research Service. p. 35. digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs//data/2006/upl-meta-c…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ Coyle, Marcia (2008-03-03). "Waivers for border fence challenged: Environmental groups take their complaints to Supreme Court". The Recorder.
^ Archibold, Randal C. (2008-04-02). "Government issues waiver for fencing along border". New York Times. www.nytimes.com/2008/04/02/us/02fence.html. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
^ "Conservation groups call for an immediate halt to construction of border fence in San Pedro National Conservation Area". US Newswire. 2007-10-05.
^ Gordon, David George (May 2000). "A ‘grande’ dispute". National Geographic World: p. 4.
^ Cohn, Jeffrey P. (2007). "The environmental impacts of a border fence". BioScience 57 (1): 96. doi:10.1641/B570116. www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1641/B570116. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "Expansive border fence stirs fights over land". Tell Me More. NPR. 2008-03-03.
^ 2007 State of the Border Patrol video[dead link]
^ a b "FAQs: Working for the Border Patrol-basic training". CPB.gov. US Customs and Boarder Protection. 2008-05-29. www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/customs_careers/border_career…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ Spagat, Elliot (2007-08-16). "Border Patrol uniform gets first makeover since the 1950s". North County Times. www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/08/17/news/sandiego/18_64_3…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "Border Patrol Inspector Theodore L. Newton Jr.". The Officer Down Memorial Page. www.odmp.org/officer.php?oid=9933. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "Border Patrol Inspector George F. Azrak". The Officer Down Memorial Page. www.odmp.org/officer.php?oid=1368. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ Rostien, Arthur H. (2005-06-09). "Border Patrol horses get special feed that helps protect desert ecosystem". Environmental News Network. www.enn.com/top_stories/article/1731. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "United States Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection – Border Patrol". The Officer Down Memorial Page. www.odmp.org/agency/4830-united-states-department-of-home…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ Meyers, Jim (2008-08-06). "Mexican troops cross border, hold border agent". Newsmax.com. newsmax.com/insidecover/mexican_troops_border/2008/08/06/…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "Glenn Beck: Ramos & Compean – the whole story". The Glenn Beck Program. Premiere Radio Networks. 2008-07-29. www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/13098/. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". Ramos-Compean. ramos-compean.blogspot.com/. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "2 Border Patrol agents face 20 years in prison". WorldDailyNet. 2006-08-07. www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51417. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "Ramos and Campean – court appeal". www.scribd.com/doc/219384/Ramos-and-Campean-Court-Appeal. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ (Google video) The illegal immigration invasion. October Sun Films. 2006-04-06. video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1451035544403625746. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ Jesus A. Trevino (1998). "Border violence against illegal immigrants and the need to change the border patrol’s current complaint review process" (PDF). Houston Journal of International Law 21 (1): 85–114. ISSN 0194-1879. www.hjil.org/ArticleFiles/21_1_10.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ United States of America: Human rights concerns in the border region with Mexico. Amnesty International. 1998-05-19. web.amnesty.org/library/Index/engAMR510031998. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ Huspek, Michael; Roberto Martinez, and Leticia Jimenez (1998). "Violations of human and civil rights on the U.S.-Mexico border, 1995 to 1997: a report" (Reprint). Social Justice 25 (2). ISSN 1043-1578. findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3427/is_n2_v25/ai_n28711…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
The data compiled in this report suggest that law enforcement in the southwest region of the United States may be verging on lawlessness. This statement receives fuller support from announcements emanating from the INS. In December 1997, John Chase, head of the INS Office of Internal Audit, announced at a press conference that public complaints to the INS had risen 29% from 1996, with the "vast majority" of complaints emanating from the southwest border region. Over 2,300 complaints were filed in 1997 as opposed to the 1,813 complaints filed in 1996. Another 400 reports of "minor misconduct" were placed in a new category. Chase was quick to emphasize, however, that the 243 "serious" allegations of abuse and use of excessive force that could warrant criminal prosecution were down in 1997, as compared with the 328 in 1996. These "serious" cases are considered to be distinct from less serious complaints, such as "verbal abuse, discrimination, extended detention without cause.

^ June 23, 2005 "Border agent accused of hiding an illegal entrant". Arizona Daily Star. 2005-06-23. www.azstarnet.com/sn/border/81082.php June 23, 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "Border agent pleads guilty to harboring illegal entrant". Arizona Daily Star. 2005-09-22. www.azstarnet.com/sn/border/94491.php. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ a b "U.S. border agent indicted". Arizona Daily Star. 2005-03-11. www.azstarnet.com/sn/border/65117.php. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ a b "Boarder agent said to also be smuggler". SignOnSanDiego.com. Union-Tribune Publishing. 2005-08-05. www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/tijuana/20050805-9999-…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ Spagat, Elliot (2006-07-28). "Border agent gets 5 years for smuggling". The Washington Post. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/28/…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ "About NBPC". National Border Patrol Council. 2008-08-14. www.nbpc.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&a…. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
[edit] External links
Official US Border Patrol website
US Border Patrol history
National Border Patrol Strategy(PDF)
Border Patrol official recruiting page
Border Patrol Supervisor’s Association (BPSA)
Border Patrol agents killed in the line of duty
Large Border Patrol site
Border Patrol Museum official site
National Border Patrol Council official site
National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers
Friends of the Border Patrol
Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports regarding the U.S. Border Patrol
Civilian Border Patrol Organizations: An Overview and History of the Phenomenon by the Congressional Research Service.
Border Patrol hiring forums and information for potential agents
National Border Patrol Museum
Pictures of Border Patrol vehicles
Crossing Guards in Training LA Times report on Border Patrol training.
The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration
Border Patrol unofficial Auxiliary NOT a Government Agency and not affiliated with the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
[edit] External Video
Border Stories
[edit] GAO and OIG Reports
GAO Report: Border Patrol – Southwest Border Enforcement Affected by Mission Expansion and Budget August 1992
GAO Report: Border Control – Revised Strategy is Showing Some Positive Results December 1994
g96065.pdf GAO Report: Border Patrol – Staffing and Enforcement Activities March 1996
GAO Report: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – Southwest Border Strategy Results Inconclusive; More Evaluation Needed December 1997
USDOJ OIG Report: Operation Gatekeeper July 1998
GAO Report: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – Status of Southwest Border Strategy Implementation 1999
GAO Report: Border Patrol Hiring December 1999
GAO Report: Southwest Border Strategy – Resource and Impact Issues Remain After Seven Years August 2001
National Border Patrol Strategy March 2005
GAO Report: Effectiveness of Border Patrol Checkpoints July 2005
DHS OIG Report: An Assessment of the Proposal to Merge Customs and Border Protection with Immigration and Customs Enforcement November 2005
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