Detecting and responding to low-flying aircraft used by transnational criminal organizations to transport illicit drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border is critical to the accomplishment of the U.S. Border Patrol, Tucson Sector’s homeland security mission.
During a recently completed training mission conducted in southern Arizona by Battery E, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Missile Defense Regiment, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, the U.S. Border Patrol’s efforts to curtail the illegal activity was greatly enhanced with the support of the unit’s Sentinel radar and Avenger air defense systems.
The Military Support to Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies’ mission, based on a request for the Department of Defense assistance submitted by the U.S. Border Patrol, was coordinated by Joint Task Force North. As an element of U.S. Northern Command, JTF North solicits volunteer active-duty and reserve component units and personnel from all four DoD branches to perform military support operations requested by the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security agencies.
“During the mission, 4-5 AMD Soldiers employed their Sentinel radars, along with the visual surveillance capabilities of their Avenger air defense systems, nested with U.S. Border Patrol surveillance systems, the Western Air Defense System and Air Marine Operation Center, to identify and report the suspected illegal border crossings of low-flying aircraft to agents patrolling the Arizona – Sonora, Mexico border area,” Lt. Col. John Stahl, chief of JTF North’s Southwest Regional Support Team, said.
Source: Armando Carrasco for Fort Hood Sentinel.