TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A National Guard helicopter aircrew participating in Operation Guardian Support, along with a Tucson Sector Border Patrol paramedic, responded to a distress call Tuesday morning south of Arivaca and rescued a severely injured Mexican man.
Tucson Station agents had earlier encountered a 30-year-old man who was unconscious, but breathing, a couple miles north of the U.S./Mexico border. The National Guard aircrew was unable to land in the immediate area but dropped off a Border Patrol paramedic nearby to assess the patient. Agents carried the patient a few hundred yards using a blanket until the blanket tore apart. Agents then took turns carrying the man until they reached an awaiting air ambulance.
The Mexican man was flown to a Tucson hospital for treatment and evaluation before being released into Border Patrol custody to be processed for immigration violations.
Operation Guardian Support guardsmen have been providing aerial support with UH-72 Lakota aircraft, equipped with surveillance capabilities, and UH-60 Blackhawks capable of inserting agents into remote rugged areas to conduct rescues and make arrests.