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Air and Marine Operations Missions

AMO’s assigned mission areas are established in legislation, departmental and agency strategy and doctrine, and executive orders. AMO has unique and specific authorities within each of these mission areas, and draws on specific functions in carrying them out.

AMO is one of the lead federal organizations in aviation and maritime law enforcement, and participates in joint operations with U.S. Border Patrol (USBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO), other DHS components, and other law enforcement agencies. AMO seeks to predict, detect, identify, classify, track, deter, and interdict threats to the continuity of border security of the United States and to safeguard our homeland through the coordinated application of aviation and maritime law enforcement resources within the air, sea, and land. This includes detecting and deterring illicit border crossings; interdicting targets; conducting investigative activities; collecting intelligence; performing patrols and surveillance; and preventing the import/export of illegal merchandise and contraband.

AMO requires air and maritime domain awareness, to achieve air and maritime security. This refers to the ability to continuously detect, monitor, and track all potential airborne or maritime threats operating within or approaching U.S. borders in diverse environments varying in weather, terrain, and lighting conditions. Domain awareness for land surveillance includes situational awareness coordination with USBP to enable the detection, identification, classification, and tracking of land threats using a variety of capabilities. Situational awareness is a more comprehensive understanding of a domain; it fuses domain awareness with information and intelligence that provides a detailed overview of the operating environment. Both domain and situational awareness are critical elements in AMO’s ability to successfully execute the surveillance continuum of predicting, detecting, tracking, identifying, classifying, responding, and resolving threats.

AMO provides aviation and maritime expertise, observation, and protection, and other related air and marine capabilities as part of a whole-of-government approach to major and large-scale incidents. For contingency operations, such as disaster response, AMO coordinates domestically and internationally as necessary with CBP components, such as USBP and OFO, as well as international, federal, state, and local law enforcement and other government agencies. Contingency and national security operations include, but are not limited to search and rescue operations, federal disaster relief, humanitarian relief, designated National Special Security Event, terror threat response, active shooter incidents, and partnering with non-law enforcement foreign operations for training and exercises.

AMO’s extended border and foreign operations include U.S. and foreign government partners. This mission area involves detecting, identifying, classifying, tracking, and interdicting targets and exploiting signals in the Source and Transit Zones while conducting combined and joint operations, such as missions conducted in the Western and Southern hemispheres. These operations foster partnerships with foreign governments and collaboration with foreign law enforcement operations. Examples include extraditing prisoners, performing counter-illicit trafficking operations with foreign government host nation riders, and coordinating with foreign government air and surface assets.

Last Modified: June 30, 2020