HOUSTON, TX – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and numerous other local and state agencies in south Texas continue to work together to protect the lives and safety of the victims impacted by Hurricane, and now Tropical Storm, Harvey.
The record-breaking storm has poured more than 45 inches of rain on south Texas and more is expected over the course of the next few days. Coordination between several agencies, including AMO, continues to be a lifeline to helping those victims in need of assistance.
To date, AMO has deployed 19 fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft to aid with search and rescue, transport capability, communications relay, and air traffic coordination.
Yesterday, AMO’s UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews conducted search and rescue missions resulting in the recovery of 197 people affected by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey. While our UH-60 Black Hawk crews conducted hoist rescues, an AMO Bell UH-1N Huey aircrew conducted emergency flights to assist people endangered by the storm, including the transport of a critical blood shipment to the American Red Cross.
“Right now, AMO crews are dedicated to working around-the-clock to provide immediate air rescue assistance to victims of Harvey,” said Steven Abalos, Supervisory Air Interdiction Agent. “We are performing everything from hoisting trapped residents out of harm’s way, to delivering lifesaving blood and other critical supplies to those in need.”
Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) swift water rescue swimmers and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) are onboard most of AMO’s air assets to assist with swift water removal and immediate emergency medical concerns.
AMO’s advanced capabilities and skill sets in the air and maritime environments fall within our core competencies: interdiction, investigation, domain awareness, and contingency operations and national tasking missions. AMO performs a wide range of incident-based missions in response to state and federal emergencies, such as disaster relief, continuity of operations, humanitarian operations, search and rescue, tactical team insertions and logistics, and National Special Security Events. Imagery of AMO storm relief efforts can be located on this DVIDS.
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.