Ronald Colburn has served in critical operational and leadership positions in the field and at the headquarters of the U.S. Border Patrol, and now as a consultant, for more than 34 years. At the time of retirement in 2009, he was the National Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). While at CBP, Chief Colburn helped lead a workforce of over 20,000 individuals. He helped oversee the effort to double the size of the U.S. Border Patrol and was critical to the operational deployment of billions of dollars worth of technology and tactical infrastructure designed to bolster U.S. law enforcement efforts. Immediately prior to being named Deputy Chief, Chief Colburn served briefly as Acting Deputy Executive Director of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI).
Chief Colburn previously served as Chief Patrol Agent of the Yuma Sector area of responsibility (AOR) making significant improvements in ‘operational control.’ Prior to leading Yuma Sector, Mr. Colburn was the Senior Associate Chief of Operations at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters.
From 2002 to 2003, Chief Colburn served a special tour of duty at the White House, serving as the Director of Law Enforcement at the Homeland Security Council (HSC). In this capacity, Chief Colburn was responsible for developing policy and crafting the implementation of Homeland Security and national law enforcement initiatives.
Chief Colburn is a founding member of the U.S. Border Patrol’s national special weapons and tactics unit known as ‘BORTAC,’ having completed the first-ever basic tactical operations training course in May 1984. He later served as a Team Leader on numerous missions. In the late 1980s, Colburn led a team to South America where they conducted jungle patrols targeting cocaine production labs, airstrips and aircraft. Under Chief Colburn’s supervision, they trained national police units in counternarcotics operations, manned checkpoints and interdicted drugs and drug manufacturing precursor materials. He also served in Central America in the early ’90s establishing a national police training academy in support of a truce agreement between leftist guerrillas and the standing El Salvadoran government.
Chief Colburn has extensive experience training local city, county, and state SWAT units, as well as other federal and U.S. military entities in tactical operations. Ron represents the third of four generations of Colburns serving the border security mission since the early 1900s.