For the third consecutive year, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Predator B unmanned aircraft system UAS has returned to San Angelo to conduct border security missions.
AMO’s first-ever UAS deployment from a civilian airfield was at San Angelo Regional Airport, also known as Mathis Field, on a 4-week feasibility test run in 2016. During that deployment, Air and Marine agents successfully arrested seven suspects and seized over 3,000 pounds of marijuana and 11 vehicles. These arrests and seizures were a direct result of the contributions of AMO’s UAS operators to the border security mission in southern Texas.
In 2017, AMO’s UAS crews returned to San Angelo for the city’s location near the border with Mexico, its favorable weather conditions for flight, and the opportunity for co-location with AMO’s San Angelo Air Unit at San Angelo Regional Airport. As with its first deployment, the second run of UAS operations proved successful with 17 suspects arrested and seizures of 7,000 pounds of marijuana and 11 vehicles.