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Air and Marine Operations, Homeland Security Maritime Partners Make Dream Come True for South Florida Boy Battling Cancer

Release Date: 
October 16, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) teamed up with the U.S. Coast Guard and a network of local law enforcement and community partners in South Florida to make a dream come true for a 5-year-old boy battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.Air and Marine Operations joined community partners protecting our coastal borders to make a dream come true.

Giovanni wanted to spend a day on the water with the highly-trained professionals protecting our coastal borders. Air and Marine Operations West Palm Beach Marine Unit joined the U.S. Coast Guard and teams of local law enforcement personnel from across Palm Beach County to make the wish become a reality on Oct. 9

“We are a part of communities across the state of Florida and it is a privilege and an honor that Air and Marine Operations had an opportunity to participate alongside Homeland Security partners,” said Hector Rojas, Deputy Director, Marine Operations at the Miami Air and Marine Branch. “Boosting the spirits of this young boy with dozens of community partners is just another reminder that Air and Marine Operations is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people.”

Palm Beach County-based local, state and federal law enforcement teams cheered Giovanni on as the young boy climbed aboard for a joint patrol next to more than half a dozen vessels along the Intracoastal Waterway.Marine units cheered as the young boy climbed aboard a vessel for a joint patrol.

“The extraordinary courage and strength displayed by this boy facing brain cancer is something for us all to admire,” said Martin Wade, Director of the Miami Air and Marine Branch. “The spirit of service and the outpouring of support is a testament to the teams of teams that work together safeguarding the homeland every day.”

CBP Air and Marine Operations in Florida has also worked extensively with federal partners in recent weeks supporting wide-ranging Hurricane Dorian response efforts in the Bahamas.

CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrews deployed to impacted areas in the Bahamas airlifting over 150 Bahamian and U.S. citizens to hospitals or local shelters in Nassau, Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. Crews transported vital supplies during humanitarian flights and actively supported relief operations and assessments.

With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation's interior.

AMO interdicts unlawful people and cargo approaching U.S. borders, investigates criminal networks and provides domain awareness in the air and maritime environments, and responds to contingencies and national taskings.

In Fiscal Year 2018, AMO enforcement actions resulted in the approximate seizure or disruption of 283,503 pounds of cocaine; 301,553 pounds of marijuana; 180,444 pounds of methamphetamine; 872 weapons and $34.2 million; 2,373 arrests and 47,744 apprehensions of illegal aliens.

Learn more about CBP Air and Marine Operations. Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Florida at @CBPFlorida on Twitter. File footage is available through U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs via the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS).

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021