SAN DIEGO - A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) UH-60 Black Hawk crew from the San Diego Air and Marine Branch successfully completed Fast Rope proficiency training on Nov. 2nd, near the international border in Otay Mesa. This was accomplished with members of the United States Border Patrol, San Diego Sector Special Operations Detachments that included their Border Search Trauma and Rescue unit (BORSTAR) and Border Tactical (BORTAC) members.
The intent of the exercise was to practice precision Fast Rope Insertions and Fast Rope Emergency Extractions that could be required for future border security missions or rescue missions from confined areas in rugged terrain.
"This kind of training demonstrates the capabilities that CBP can rapidly bring to bear either in a traditional enforcement action or in times of disaster relief,” said John Priddy, Director of San Diego AMO. “Regardless of the role CBP's agents, Border Patrol, Air and Marine or Field Operations, they are trained and ready to protect the Homeland."
Fast Rope Emergency Extraction could be used for quick removal of a lost or injured person or Border Patrol agent particularly where there are no roads or easy access to their remote location.
Fast Rope Insertions can quickly deliver a number of agents to an area where more manpower is required to enhance border security such as to apprehend a large group of migrants particularly those being led by embedded smuggling guides. Apprehending a group guide provides a disruption to a Transnational Criminal Organization’s (TCO) capabilities. Furthermore, Fast Rope Insertions can be used to help clear areas of illegal growth such as marijuana fields in mountainous areas.
“Besides law enforcement benefits, this training could help bring fire-fighting personnel to difficult terrain areas,” said Director Priddy.
AMO, BORSTAR, and BORTAC train together in these exercises quarterly. Video download of the exercise is available here: http://dvidshub.net/r/glcrqp
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.