TUCSON, Ariz. — A U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations (AMO) air crew rescued a 15-year-old Guatemalan teen trapped within a Southern Arizona mountain range last Friday.
Arizona Air Coordination Center received a 911 call from the Guatemalan male, which led the Tucson Air Branch to dispatch a UH-60 Black Hawk aircrew to locate the caller.
While the Black Hawk was being deployed, a Tucson Sector (Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue) BORSTAR team member was able to hike to the migrant in distress.
Once on scene, the crew assessed the situation and elected to hoist the migrant as well as the BORSTAR team member. Once the caller was triaged, the air crew packaged the teen in an Air Rescue Vest and a successful hoist extraction was conducted. The patient was flown to the San Miguel Forward Operating Base, where he was taken by Sells EMS to Sells Indian Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
A short time later, Arizona Air Coordination Center received a 911 call from a 37-year-old Guatemalan male who was in distress in the 3-Points Station area of responsibility. The same UH-60 Black Hawk aircrew responded and was able to rescue the man without any further incident. As in the first incident, the patient was flown to the San Miguel Forward Operating Base, where he was taken by Sells EMS to Sells Indian Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
“Our mission is to provide unwavering commitment to the preservation of life no matter the scenario,” said Tucson Air Branch Deputy Director Jose Muriente. “Our personnel work closely with our partners in the U.S. Border Patrol. Together, we are outfitted with the latest equipment and technology to provide humanitarian assistance to people experiencing unforgiving terrain often resulting in injuries and even loss of life.” Muriente concluded, “Today, we were able to successfully rescue two migrants before they became victims to the Sonoran Desert.”
Air and Marine Agents frequently conduct life-saving efforts, while carrying out their respective missions. Agents have rescued 159 individuals in Fiscal Year 2023 to date.
AMO safeguards our nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. 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 serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement.
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.