Federal law enforcement borrowed advanced cargo screening technology from the US southern border for the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Jan. 20, 2021.
The U.S. Capitol siege on Jan. 6 created an urgent need for elevated security in Washington, D.C. surrounding the event. This involved quickly relocating forces and equipment to help derail the threat of violence from concealed explosives, weapons, and insurrectionists.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Secret Service oversaw event security and relocated two VACIS M6500 units and two VACIS XPL mobile units from the US southern border.
All four scanners used for the occasion are manufactured by Leidos, who also provided technical support and helped relocate the equipment.
Since 2014, CBP has deployed 89 VACIS M6500 units at airports and seaports from coast to coast, where they’ve scanned hundreds of thousands of cargo containers entering the country. Since 2019, CBP has deployed 10 VACIS XPL units at high-volume border checkpoints, where they’ve intercepted millions of dollars of illegal narcotics and thousands of illegal weapons concealed in passenger cars.
“These are flexible, high-throughput mobile inspection systems that scan entire passenger cars, delivery vans, buses, and trucks towing full-size cargo containers,” said Colin Quint with the Leidos Ports and Borders Division. “They use low-dose x-rays, allowing inspectors to view the contents of these conveyances quickly without having to open them.”
The Presidential Inauguration represented a peaceful transition of power in the US, something that was in question following the U.S. Capitol siege on Jan. 6 just two weeks prior.