by George Zamora
SOCORRO, N.M., May 4, 1999 -- The U.S. Department of State's Rural Border Patrol Operations Course has begun this month for a delegation of law enforcement officials from Egypt at training facilities located at New Mexico Tech.
This marks the first installment of a new course which is being made available for foreign law enforcement officials through funding provided by the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATAP).
The four-week course will provide participants with the necessary skills to plan, organize, and conduct mounted and dismounted border patrol operations in rural terrain.
Program officials relate that the high desert terrain surrounding Socorro is ideal for the type of training provided by the course, which will be conducted entirely within the boundaries of New Mexico Tech property.
Tentative dates have been developed for future border patrol courses at New Mexico Tech, but coordination with the countries which will receive the specialized training has not yet been completed.
The training site and logistical support for the Rural Border Patrol Operations Course is being provided by New Mexico Tech, through its affiliation with Louisiana State University (LSU). LSU has been associated with ATAP since 1993 and has provided antiterrorism training for the program in its related facilities in Baton Rouge, La.
The State Department has provided training under ATAP in hopes of enhancing the skills of foreign law enforcement officials, promoting human rights approaches in their law enforcement operations, and improving our country's bilateral ties with friendly nations.