US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol redeploys aerostat in Peñitas

Release Date: 
May 27, 2015

PEÑITAS, Texas  ̶̶  The Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol redeployed an aerostat Tuesday that had unexpectedly broken free from its mooring platform Saturday and drifted for several minutes before landing in a field in nearby La Joya.

Aerostat re-launch in Peñitas

Aerostat re-launch in Peñitas

When the incident occurred, Border Patrol agents from the McAllen Station immediately responded to the landing site and secured the scene. With the assistance of La Joya police officers and personnel from local fire departments, the aerostat was recovered. The aerostat has a rapid deflation device that gradually releases helium so it falls slowly, thereby minimizing damage to sensitive equipment.

A press event was held Tuesday to announce the aerostats redeployment. Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz addressed the media and discussed the aerostat’s effectiveness at helping agents apprehend illegal immigrants and seize narcotics. Additionally, aerostats help agents rapidly locate and rescue individuals in distress. DCPA Ortiz added that the expedited redeployment of this technology reaffirms RGV Sector’s commitment to the surrounding communities and in maintaining a safe border region.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017