(WTVM) - It’s a certainty that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, is here to stay.
Despite periodic protests and calls to abolish ICE, the agency is building up its local presence here.
Fort Benning will be the home of a custom-built, highly specialized facility where instructors can create various training scenarios using modular building products to mimic highly risky conditions faced by ICE agents.
The goal is safety, not just for agents but also for all the people ICE interacts with.
ICE will create hyper-realistic settings, complete with walls, dishes, furniture, and toys – the kind of setting that might tell agents if any children might be inside a home they intend to raid or how many occupants may live there.
ICE will do this with scenes that can be quickly assembled, then re-assembled, to give ICE agents a wide variety of training situations and, ultimately, better skills.
The more the agents can practice, the fewer mistakes they will make in the real world and that makes everyone safer.
ICE is no stranger to Fort Benning. It is already home to the Office of Firearms and Tactical Programs for ICE.
Some people may associate ICE simply with illegal immigrant arrests and deportations, but its mission is actually quite diversified.
ICE also works to prevent terrorism and stop crimes like narcotics and human trafficking, money-laundering and cybercrimes through its Homeland Security Investigations unit.
It’s good news that ICE is building up its presence here in Columbus because Fort Benning is one of the most important communities and financial assets we have.
The growth and health of Fort Benning, which was very much in doubt just a few years ago, is now secure thanks to a reinvestment in the military in general.
Now, with the ICE expansion, Fort Benning and the Columbus area will be getting even stronger.
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