Joint Task Force North (JTF North), formerly Joint Task Force Six (JTF-6), is a multi-service operation by the United States Department of Defense for counterdrug and anti-terrorist operations. JTF-North is headquartered at Biggs Army Airfield, Fort Bliss, Texas. United States Northern Command is the controlling Unified Combatant Command.
The JTF was originally activated as Joint Task Force Six (JTF-6) in November 1989 with a purely counterdrug mission. In 2004 it was renamed JTF North and added counter-terrorism to its mission, due in part to the efforts of Major M.W. Robinson, who in his spare time wrote the threat assessments for the Gulf Coast ports and access points available to terror elements operating world wide but could not get senior military officials to adopt changes to the JTF-6 mission. He reasoned the prime threat to port security is the continued storage of foreign containers at port facilities that US Customs is unable to search and clear for numerous reasons, including manpower and Free Trade Zone restrictions. He reported to the Department of Defense that containers stored without controls were a continual threat from terrorist organizations who could store weapons of mass destruction for future use. His efforts sparked congressional debate over what the true mission of JTF-6 should be, border security from foreign terror organizations. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the government scrambled to get copies of his original manuscripts from his prior duty station as the JTF-6 Southwest Area Intelligence Chief in Houston, Texas. Famous former members of Joint Task Force 6 include: General Kevin P. Byrnes, US Army, Ret., JTF-6 Commanding General; Colonel Robert Love, USMC, Ret., and current Senior Executive Service (SES) member to the DoD's Business Transformation Agency; Special Forces LTC Eric Buckland, US Army, Ret., and Captain Kirk Harrington, owner of EFMC, LLC.
Detect, monitor, and support the interdiction of suspected transnational threats within and along the approaches to the continental United States (CONUS); fuse and disseminate intelligence, contribute to the common operating picture; coordinate support to primary federal agencies; and support security cooperation initiatives in order to secure the homeland and enhance regional security.
On 2 Jun 96, during JTF-6 Mission JT177-96, (a ground reconnaissance mission conducted in the Angeles National Forest, California) Lance Corporal Eric D. Davis of Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment (1/5) died as the result of a fall. .
On 20 May, 1997, during an operation in Redford, Texas near the United States–Mexico border, Corporal Clemente M. Banuelos, the leader of his squad, fatally shot 18 year old American citizen Esequiel Hernández Jr in the back on the American side of the border, as he was herding goats adjacent to his home. No charges were brought at the time or subsequently. More information on this incident can be found in the Coyne Report referenced below. The shooting inspired the 2005 movie The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada by Tommy Lee Jones. The 2007 documentary The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez explores the killing, analysing both sides of the issue by interviewing the Hernandez family and friends, the Marines involved and local officials.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_P._Byrnes www.nato.int/SFOR/coms-sfor/byrnes.htmwww.pentagon.gov/dbt/ebmmp.htmlwww.bta.mil/about/Newswire/AFRICOM_6_25_2008.html - 9kwww.soaw.org/newswire_detail.php?id=640 - 38kergonomic.industrysearch.com/cgi-bin/portal2/main.plx?file=12031.txt - 19kwww.bi-me.com/main.php?id=12043&t=1