WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) has executed contract action on two contracts, valued at $74 million dollars, to enhance and modernize its fleet of air assets.
AMO, an operational component of CBP, has approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. 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.
AMO issued a delivery order valued at roughly $47 million for the acquisition of two Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA). The order went to Sierra Nevada Corporation, Integrated Mission Systems of Hagerstown, Md. These two aircraft are the 24th and 25th ordered MEA, and are expected to be delivered early 2022. The MEA is a Beechcraft King Air 350ER equipped with AMO mission-specific system capabilities.
“These contracts help AMO improve mission effectiveness and safety as called for by AMO’s Vision and Strategy 2030,” said Director, Mission Support, Todd Muehlenbeck. “These aircraft and sensors provide our operators with a critical capability for combatting threats in the air and sea environment.”
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, the MEA contributed to the seizure of 23,536 pounds of narcotics, $1.3 million dollars in currency, 231 apprehensions, and 35 arrests.
AMO also funded the conversion of three HH-60 helicopters to UH-60 Lima Black Hawks in the amount of $27 million, through an interagency partnership with the US Army, Utility Helicopter Project Office (UHPO) located in Huntsville, AL. AMO has additional contract actions planned this year to continue sustainment of the Black Hawk fleet.
These UH-60 Black Hawk Conversions mark the seventh, eight, and ninth aircraft ordered through the UHPO and are expected to be delivered in 2022. Conversion efforts include the de-modification of military MEDEVAC equipment and the installation of AMO-specific law enforcement mission equipment systems. This program’s reuse of Department of Defense assets is an extremely cost efficient way to protect our homeland.
“Our UH-60 aircraft are not only used in a law enforcement capacity,” said Director, Air Operations, Kraig Kamp. “The UH-60’s are also vital assets used to carry out our humanitarian, natural disaster recovery and high profile national tasking missions. Our medium-lift helicopters provide us the ability to make significant contributions during hurricane relief efforts where they conduct life-saving rescue operations and distribute supplies to areas in need.”
In FY19, AMO rescued 377 individuals, many of them during natural disaster events like Hurricane Dorian. The UH-60 aircraft and its crews are responsible for 108 of those rescues.