TUCSON, Ariz. –The US Border Patrol’s Search, Trauma and Rescue Team recently completed joint training with the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Ranger Air Unit.
Both teams have extensive search and rescue experience in southern Arizona and have worked together for years. AZDPS provides BORSTAR an insertion and extraction capability via helicopter, which greatly increases the safety and overall success of their missions. Each AZDPS flight has at least one paramedic on board in case a higher level of care is needed.
Border Patrol agents routinely patrol in remote areas on dangerous terrain to protect the border. When anyone, whether they are agents, US citizens or suspected illegal aliens, is in need of assistance in these areas, BORSTAR responds. Oftentimes, these rescues are in mountainous areas or locations where access by ground is not safe or time is of the essence. In these cases, BORSTAR has the option of working with AZDPS and their Ranger Helicopter Unit to provide assistance.
The Ranger Air Unit has the ability to get agents and medics in and out of these dangerous areas using a variety of options. Close-quarter hovers, or using rope insertion/extraction techniques, are options but ultimately the decision depends on each individual mission and what the crew determines is the safest option.
Due to the dangerous nature of these operations, joint training is essential. Both BORSTAR and AZDPS Rangers value each other’s commitment to providing an effective and safe response in southern Arizona.
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.