Securing the Most Expansive Border in the World

Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Canadian Border is the largest international land border in the entire world, stretching 5,524 miles.

More than 300,000 people cross the border every day, and the amount of trade going back and forth daily has an estimated value of $1.6 billion.

But a recent report stated that only 32 miles of the border is fully secure and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano believes the U.S.-Canada boundary poses a more significant terrorist threat than the southern border because of the expanse and limited law enforcement coverage.

Tackling the issue at IDGA’s Border Management North summit later this month is Wolf Tombe, the Chief Technology Officer of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In his keynote speech, "Condensing the Most Expansive International Border in the World," Mr. Tombe will discuss cooperation on national security and transnational criminal investigations, including the areas of expanding jurisdiction and international law enforcement teams.


He will also detail the technological advancements in border security technologies, such as the establishment of inter-operable radio capability for law enforcement agencies and the capability to respond rapidly to threats and disasters through effective communication dissemination techniques.

Mr. Tombe is the liaison for CBP with industry and other government agencies on technology issues and matters.

He chairs both the SOA and Application Working Group and the Technology Review Committee where he provides leadership on technology planning, architecture, standards and adoption of industry best practices for technology management.

Mr. Tombe joined CBP in 2003 andcame to the job with more than 25 years of IT management experience in the Federal Government Sector, serving in various agencies on both the West and East Coast.

In December 2008 he founded the first U.S. Government "Federal CTO Forum," focusing on the need and benefits to be gained by sharing technology best practices and innovations between federal agencies. The forum now has regular participation from 26 federal civilian and defense agencies.

IDGA’s Border Management North event runs from March 25-28, 2013, in Detroit, Michigan. For more details, go to

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