TUCSON, Ariz.— A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Tucson Air Branch UH-60 crew worked with U.S. Border Patrol agents to perform a hoist rescue of an injured migrant in the Baboquivari Mountains.
Wednesday evening, a Tucson Air Branch UH-60 aircrew received notification from the Arizona Air Coordination Center regarding a 911 caller who needed to be evacuated due to his deteriorating medical condition. The aircrew inserted a Border Patrol Search, Trauma, & Rescue (BORSTAR) agent as well as an Aviation Enforcement Agent via a 25-foot fast-rope to triage the migrant for his injuries. All three were hoisted from the mountain and transferred to additional BORSTAR agents staged at the base of the mountain where the patient received further medical evaluation and treatment. The aircrew resumed the patrol and returned to base without incident.
“The terrain in the Baboquivari Mountains is as dangerous as it comes,” stated Jose Muriente, Deputy Director of Tucson Air Branch. “An individual can put their life in danger when they try to navigate this terrain.”
AMO aircrews train regularly to meet the demands of search and rescue operations in environments that are remote and challenging to navigate by ground. AMO crews utilize UH-60 aircraft and hoist equipment, as well as uniquely-trained personnel such as Air and Marine Emergency Medical Services (AMEMS)- certified agents and Rescue Specialists to enable dynamic response to unpredictable situations.
In Fiscal Year 2022, AMO enforcement actions resulted in 967 arrests and 134,981 apprehensions of undocumented individuals, as well as the seizure or disruption of 250,616 pounds of cocaine, 1,475 pounds of fentanyl, 25,625 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,342 weapons, and $21.7 million.