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Operation Guardian Support Aircrew Rescues Two Men From Harsh Arizona Desert

Release Date: 
June 5, 2018

TUCSON, Ariz. – An Operation Guardian Support joint aircrew rescued two men in distress early Sunday following a 9-1-1 call from the desert southwest of Tucson.

The National Guard and U.S. Border Patrol aircrew conducted an intensive search and spotted the pair under some brush. The UH-72 Lakota helicopter touched down to allow the U.S. Border Patrol paramedic on-board to assess and treat the two men found.

Both men, age 22, from Mexico, walked across the Sonoran Desert for five days. Despite being out of water and food, they were found to be in good health before being escorted to a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle and taken into custody. The two men were transported to the Tucson Station for processing and prosecuted for immigration violations.

Their call to 9-1-1 saved their lives.

Individuals are discouraged from crossing America’s international boundaries illegally. The Arizona desert is a harsh terrain that poses serious life-threatening risks to those who make this criminal decision. Travelers wishing to enter the United States are directed to enter via official U.S. ports of entry. For more information on how to enter the U.S. legally, visit

Operation Guardian Support is a partnership between the National Guard and Department of Homeland Security. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a decades-long relationship working with the Department of Defense. The National Guard significantly assists CBP through support such as aerial detection, repairing border infrastructure, and logistical support while CBP focuses on enforcing our immigration laws.

Last modified: 
June 6, 2018