OTAY MESA, Calif. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection held a large-scale operational readiness exercise at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry Wednesday evening.
The exercise, which involved hundreds of CBP officers and military personnel, lasted roughly 15 minutes and caused minimal delays. Flash bangs could be heard and smoke could be seen as all car and pedestrian traffic came to a halt at the port for the duration of the drill, which started at 6 p.m.
Similar drills have taken place a handful of times since fall of 2018, when a large caravan of Central American migrants caused the White House to send troops along the Southwest border to beef up security .
The San Ysidro Port of Entry experienced an exercise on Thanksgiving Day, less than a week after a contentious moment at the border where agents fired tear gas at migrants attempting to cross illegally.
A month later, CBP conducted an exercise at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, where officers practiced with fake tear gas.
In December, there was a readiness exercise at the Tecate Port of Entry and the second week of January, yet another was held at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
CBP says the drills are in place to assess the capabilities of their facilities, ensuring safe trade and travel along our border.