TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents use multiple aircraft to locate and rescued an injured migrant in distress from a remote location in the Baboquivari Mountains on Friday.
On February 11, a National Guard helicopter on patrol in support of border security efforts located a person, three miles north of the border in the Baboquivari Mountains, lying on the ground and waving at them who appeared to be in distress and relayed the person’s position to the Arizona Air Coordination Center (A2C2). At approximately 7:45 p.m. the A2C2 requested an AMO UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the and aircrew Tucson Air Branch respond to rescue the migrant. Also, on patrol that night was an AMO Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft with an onboard FLIR (forward looking infrared) system. The MEA was able to find the person in the austere mountainous terrain and conduct reconnaissance for the responding helicopter.
At approximately 8:00 p.m., the AMO Black Hawk crew arrived in the area and determined that due to the terrain and nighttime conditions that a landing wasn’t possible. The Black Hawk aircrew performed a hazardous nighttime 80-foot hoist to insert an agent to assess the migrant injuries. Once the migrant was ready for extraction the agent and the migrant were hoisted back up to the helicopter, and the migrant and agent were secured back in the aircraft. The migrant was transported to the Border Patrol facility near San Miguel, Arizona to determine if further medical attention was necessary.
“Even while our Tucson aircrews were patrolling the skies over Los Angeles in support of Super Bowl XVI, the work continues here in Southern Arizona” said Director of Air Operations, Tucson Air Branch, Michael Montgomery. “Every day is game day for CBP agents and officers on the defensive line keeping America safe. From inspecting goods and people, to intercepting drugs and criminals; protecting America, the mission never ends.”
AMO safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With federal agents and mission support personnel, aircraft, and marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation's interior.
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