Washington — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine today announced it will take delivery of its last American Eurocopter AS-350 Light Enforcement Helicopter under the current contract. This delivery makes 84 such helicopters in OAM’s fleet and provides the agency with improved capabilities as it retires the MD-500, MD-600 and OH-6 helicopters.
“The AS-350 is the workhorse aircraft and fulfills a unique role for CBP by combining the small size and flexibility of a light enforcement helicopter with the mission capability of a larger aircraft,” said Assistant Commissioner Randolph D. Alles. “The integrated day-night camera, mapping, and lighting systems allow OAM agents to more effectively monitor targets and perform support missions for federal, state, and local partners. The addition of these aircraft into the OAM fleet equips our agents with the most mission-effective, state-of-the-art, light enforcement helicopters available today.”
Since December 2008, CBP has received 38 AS-350 Light Enforcement Helicopters – almost doubling the number of AS-350 helicopters in the OAM fleet. The aircraft blends power, performance, specialized cameras, and video downlink capabilities to make the AS-350 one of the most flexible and capable air assets supporting CBP and OAM missions. With the delivery of the final aircraft in the 5-year contract, OAM completes the largest single procurement of assets to date and continues to advance its law enforcement capabilities through the successful acquisition of new, cutting edge aircraft to fulfill its border security and support mission.
The Office of Air and Marine provides direct air and maritime support to multiple agencies and to ensure the success of border protection and law enforcement operations between ports of entry, within the maritime operating areas and within the nation’s interior.
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.