Each year, thousands of people try to gain entry into the United States illegally.
Border Patrol have a wide variety of resources they use to combat this issue – ranging from the most cutting edge technology to the most tried and true methods.
“We are the Border Patrol’s eyes from the sky.”
“We’re able to go pretty much anywhere.”
The helicopter belongs to Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine operators.
The horses – Clyde, Pete and Sonny – belong to Border Patrol. But really, those men on horseback – Kevin, Jake and Ben – are the ones responsible for them.
“He’s one of the older horses that we have.”
They all had to try out to be a part of this mounted unit. Something that enticed them all?
“The freedom of it.”
If the hopeful horsemen are selected, they go through more training. It’s not necessarily about the skills they may or may not already have. It’s more about…
The “teachability” mentality also goes for their trusty steeds. You horse folks may be saying, “Ol’ Big Red in the middle doesn’t look like your typical quarter horse.” And you’re right! That’s Pete, a mustang from Arizona.
“Border Patrol has been getting quite a few mustangs from the BLM program.”
Pete’s partner, Jake, says it’s just one way to help with not only wildlife conservation, but the taxpayers’ bill as well.
“He was actually sent to Huntsville, east Texas, where prisoners actually broke him to begin with.”
Now, back to the metal bird in the sky. It’s the agents’ eye from above.
“Agent transportation, track the group out, follow foot sign.”
Pilot Keith Bradford tells KIDY some missions can last minutes – some can last days. And they’ve got a lot of factors to keep in mind.
“Weather is a big concern of ours. The possibility of someone taking a shot at us.”
No matter what the weather conditions are – and despite the dangers they face – these agents are dedicated to doing their jobs no matter what.