U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) took delivery of the 29th and final Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) in the Maritime and Air Interdiction configuration March 9 in Hagerstown, Maryland in support of AMO’s strategic goal to standardize and modernize the aviation fleet. The next configuration, built for land interdiction, is currently in the design phase.
Since AMO incorporated MEAs into its fleet in 2011, MEA aircrews have worked with law enforcement partners to contribute to the apprehension of 13,003 people and the following seizures:
- 146,605 pounds of cocaine
- 195 pounds of fentanyl
- 131 pounds of heroin
- 583,977 pounds of marijuana
- 6,640 pounds of methamphetamine
- $5.48 million USD
- 169 vehicles
- 283 vessels
- 109 weapons
“Receipt of the 29th MEA, the final maritime and air intercept variant, for the AMO fleet is the culmination of dedicated work by a vast team of mission support, operations, and contract personnel,” said Jonathan Miller, Executive Director of AMO Operations. “The capabilities these aircraft bring to operations greatly enhance our capabilities in Homeland Security operations.”
The MEA is a medium-range, fixed-wing, twin turboprop aircraft used by AMO to conduct aerial patrol and surveillance over land and water, and for enforcement relocation of personnel and equipment. Employing a crew of four, consisting of two pilots and two sensor operators, the MEA fleet has already replaced Piper PA-42 aircraft and will eventually replace King Air C-12C and B-200 aircraft currently in inventory. Standardizing aircraft models in inventory will further streamline AMO crew interoperability and maintenance programming.
The MEA is equipped with state-of-the-art sensor equipment for detection, tracking and surveillance operations that require standoff capability to avoid counter detection. In addition, the MEA enhances law enforcement and emergency efforts with a reconfigurable cabin that can rapidly adapt to carry cargo and personnel.
Learn more about AMO’s work toward achieving the strategic goal to standardize equipment, training, and technology to meet mission and operating environment needs:
- AMO Vision And Strategy 2030
- AMO Accepts Delivery of Final 41’ Coastal Interceptor Vessel
- AMO Continues to Standardize and Modernize Its Aviation Fleet
AMO safeguards our nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement.
In Fiscal Year 2022, AMO enforcement actions resulted in 967 arrests and 134,981 apprehensions of undocumented individuals, as well as the seizure or disruption of 250,616 pounds of cocaine, 1,475 pounds of fentanyl, 25,625 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,342 weapons, and $21.7 million.