Arizona National Guard UH-60 helicopter aircrews came to the assistance of Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents searching a mountainous area for migrants who crossed the border illegally.
The guardsmen, operating under Operation Guardian Support, teamed up with the Tucson Sector’s Mobile Response Team and a K-9 agent and provided transportation to the scene where a group of suspected illegal immigrants were reported to be marching through a remote mountainous area. The aircrew dropped off the ground search team and the K-9 quickly picked up the trail, according to Tucson Sector officials.
The K-9 agent tracked the scent of the group and led agents to an area where four individuals wearing camouflage were found attempting to hide. The agents arrested the four illegal immigrants and arranged for transportation to the station where they would undergo a biometric background investigation.
Agents determined the four people came to the U.S. from Mexico. They are being processed for criminal charges related to immigration violations.
The National Guard aircrew is assigned to assist Border Patrol agents under Operation Guardian Support authorized earlier this year by President Donald Trump. The National Guard deployment came as a response to a massive surge in illegal border crossing — particularly crossings involving Unaccompanied Alien Children and Family Unit Aliens.
Arizona guardsmen have been providing support by utilizing UH-72 Lakota helicopters. The aircraft are equipped with advanced surveillance capabilities. UH-60 Blackhawks are utilized to transport larger groups of Border Patrol agents like those used in this search operation. By inserting the agents into these mountainous regions by air, Border Patrol agents can quickly find the illegal immigrants wandering in the desert and save lives.