AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) inaugurated today its new aircraft hangar and support facilities at the Rafael Hernandez International Airport.
The new 30,000 square foot facility is part of the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB), the only federal law enforcement organization in the Caribbean Basin with integrated air and marine interdiction capabilities.
“CBP responds to an evolving array of threats and challenges in the border environment. It is the vigilance and dedication of our frontline workforce that ensures our ability to execute our critical border security responsibilities,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “Our success in reducing illicit activity in the Caribbean is possible through collaborative operations and partnerships with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. This new facility continues provides additional support to our ongoing mission.”
CAMB is charged with detection and interdiction of airborne and maritime smuggling throughout the archipelago of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the West Indies, using organic radar facilities to detect and intercept air smuggling attempts and airborne radar tracking aircraft to detect maritime smugglers.
“These new facilities serve to enhance AMO’s operational capacity to serve the areas of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands which are at the forefront of the transnational threat consisting primarily of illegal alien and narcotics smuggling via marine vessels,” stated Randolph D. "Tex" Alles, executive assistant commissioner for AMO.
The Honorable Carlos Mendez, Mayor of the City of Aguadilla was part of the guests to cut the ribbon of this $10 million facility.
The new building hangar has offices for the Air Interdiction Agents, a training room and other amenities. The construction of the new LEED Silver Certified facility was executed via a design-build contract managed by the General Services Administration (GSA) Special Programs Division (SPD) and CBP Office of Administration (OA) Facilities Management and Engineering (FM&E) Air and Marine Facilities (AMF) Program Management Office (PMO) in compliance with the CBP Air & Marine Design Guide, local building codes, International Building Code 2006, and CBP Security Management Division Handbook. The Puerto Rico Port Authority (PRPA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and CBP AMO approved the design of the new state of the art facility.
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities. AMO's specialized law enforcement capabilities allow AMO to make significant contributions to Department of Homeland Security efforts, as well as to federal, state, local and tribal agencies. AMO conducts its mission between ports of entry, in the maritime environment and within the nation’s interior.