Skip to main content

An official website of the United States government

May 22, 2018Boston, MA, United StatesOperational

ICE HSI Boston teams with state, federal partners in large-scale Maritime Active Shooter Exercise in Boston Harbor led by Massachusetts State Police

Teams from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Boston, the U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) partnered to engage in a large-scale, Maritime Active Shooter Exercise May 21, led by the Massachusetts State Police that took place  midstream on vessels sailing through Boston Harbor in Massachusetts.

The complex, multi-partner exercise was the culmination of a year-long series of maritime missions, training, and planning efforts that included specially-trained team members from HSI Boston’s Special Response Team (SRT), the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP’s SRT led by the Massachusetts State Police’s Special Tactical Operations (STOP) Team.

“This exercise demonstrates how critical coordination between federal and state law enforcement partners are to the security of all Americans”, said Peter C. Fitzhugh, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. “Close, coordinated preparedness training with our state and federal partners for life-threatening scenarios such as this ensures we can help protect Americans no matter where threats to their safety occur.”

The training exercise was designed to test the response and reactions of partners to a scenario involving a bomb-laden suspect carrying a firearm who threatened to detonate explosive devices on board a commercial cruise ship liner as it transited through Boston Harbor.

As the exercise progressed, expertly-trained members of HSI Boston’s SRT, and the Massachusetts STOP Team jointly boarded the Fort Independence “cruise ship” midstream from emergency response vessels alongside the ship in the harbor.

Taking control of the bridge of the vessel, closely-synched HSI Boston SRT members and Massachusetts STOP team members rapidly apprehended the identified suspect, securing him in custody, thus averting massive destruction and a potentially large-scale massacre of innocent civilians. With all passengers and crew safely secured, exercise team participants cleared the vessel and the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad defused all explosive devices discovered during the exercise.

The complex training exercise included active coordination, support and assistance from a wide range of federal and state law enforcement partners in the region including specialized teams from the U.S. Coast Guard; CBP’s SRT; the Massachusetts State Police Marine Unit; Massachusetts State Police Dive Team; the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing, among others.

Updated: 10/08/2020