Friday May 6th
Homeland Security Air Wing
The Great Falls Police Department has a partnership with the newly established Homeland Security Air Wing which is based out of Great Falls. It is one of only five northern tier border security networks that has security capabilities with air and marine law enforcement, surveillance and airspace security authorities. The speed and accessibility provided by aircraft will ensure a routine presence in locations rarely patrolled by conventional ground transportation and also enhance support capabilities for Montana and in particular, Great Falls law enforcement during critical incidents.
At full capacity, the Great Falls Air Branch consists of 52 federal law enforcement officers, pilots, aircrew and mission support personnel from the Office of Air and Marine, a division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Branch assets include two apprehension aircraft (UH-60 Blackhawk), two interdiction aircraft (Cessna 550, Citation II), and one surveillance support aircraft (Pilatus PC-12). The Great Falls Air Branch conducts regular mission patrols and is equipped for rapid incident response.
The Great Falls Air Branch adds another layer to Montana’s border. With more than 35 years experience in air and marine law enforcement and interdiction, CBP employs many of the same enforcement and interdiction capabilities that have been employed for decades along the border, coordinating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Canadian authorities, and U.S. state and local law enforcement.
Members of the Air Branch and the Great Falls Police Department have already worked cooperatively on a variety of criminal cases and have shared resources in training and intelligence gathering. We welcome their continued presence and applaud their commitment to not only our national security but their assistance to our local community.
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