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Operation Guardian Support Conducts First Aviation Flight in Southern Arizona

Release Date: 
May 23, 2018

PHOENIX, Ariz. – A joint U.S. Customs and Border Protection - National Guard UH-72 helicopter aircrew conducted the first Operation Guardian Support aviation mission, this past Thursday (May17) over the Tucson Sector area of operations.

Three Missouri Guard aviators and one Border Patrol agent conducted aerial reconnaissance in support of Border Patrol agents on the ground.

During their first operational flight, agents requested aerial support from the National Guard aviation unit. Agents on patrol attempted to conduct a vehicle stop after observing five subjects enter a sedan from the desert. The driver of the vehicle did not stop and led agents on a pursuit east of Ajo, Arizona.

Border Patrol agents stopped the vehicle and a foot chase ensued. The joint aircrew tracked and located the fleeing suspects from the air and guided ground units to their location.

Agents are returning to law enforcement activities along the border as soldiers and airmen fill support and administration roles sending agents back to the border.

Additional aviation assets are expected to arrive soon from states around the country, increasing the aviation schedule and overflight coverage for agents on the ground, and providing real-world experience for National Guard aviators and their crews.

 Media queries can be directed to Arizona National Guard Public Affairs Officer, Capt. Macario Mora at or at (602) 489-1001; or the Tucson Sector Public Affairs Office, at, (520) 748-3210.

 For B-Roll of the National Guard UH-72 helicopter deployment go to the below links.

Last modified: 
May 24, 2018