Seeks to provide damage assessment, trade re-establishment Seeks to provide damage assessment, trade re-establishment
Shortly before Hurricane Harvey stormed through the Texas Gulf Coast, air crews from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operation began flying assets to San Angelo, Texas in preparation for their response and recovery operations.
“During these types of incidents, we have three mission sets we are working on,” said Director of Air Operations Hunter Davis. “We are conducting damage assessment flights, search and rescue efforts and we are looking to estimate when the agency can re-establish trade facilitation.”
While every mission set is important, AMO does have a video downlink available and if requested we are able to provide Federal Emergency Management Agency with valuable information regarding the damage sustained to the affected areas, Davis said.
To immediately accomplish these missions, more than 20 AMO employees deployed to Texas and are embedded with the employees already at AMO’s San Angelo Air Unit, State of Texas Emergency Operations Center and CBP’s Lead Field Coordination command center.
In addition to the employees, AMO has six rotary-wing aircraft and one fixed-wing aircraft staged at San Angelo Air Unit ready to take flight as soon as weather permits. These assets have the capability to perform search and rescue, water rescues, hoist operations, as well as the ability land off airport environments.
“The air assets are vital to our life-saving and live sustaining activities which remain one of our highest priorities during an emergency,” said CBP Lead Field Coordinator Judson W. Murdock II. “We also recognize how emergency situations impact trade facilitation and we encourage, the trade community to visit our cargo systems messaging service for up-to-date information on port activity.”
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.