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Mandie
Mandie
Posts: 4


4/15/2017
Mandie
Mandie
Posts: 4
Hi everyone! I usually lurk all your wonderful posts but am breaking my silence to ask a question. I was heading out from Vallecito on the S-2 on Thursday evening and saw a big plume of dust go up across from Bow Willow. I grabbed my binoculars and saw one of the big helicopters that Border Patrol uses taking off. As I drove closer I found another was still on the ground and Border Patrol seemed all atwitter. In fact, they seemed atwitter all day; they arrested 4 people when I arrived in the morning at the Ocotillo checkpoint and they were parked everywhere I looked all the way up to Blair Valley. Does anyone know what that was all about? Google defies me so I thought I'd ask here. BP always gives me the rigmarole so I like to know when I should try to avoid them.
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railexplorer
railexplorer
Posts: 46


4/20/2017
railexplorer
railexplorer
Posts: 46
Hi Mandie,
That helicopter looks to be a Navy one, although it is missing a Navy insignia. I have never seen the BP fly a helicopter in that color.

As for what was going on..... good question? I have some ideas about it but it would be pure speculation on my part and not worth posting.

As for avoiding the BP, I would say the best thing to do is approach them and ask them if you need to avoid them. Anytime I'm near or on the border I will approach the first BP agent I find and tell them where I'm heading and if there's anything going on in that sector I should be concerned about. The agents in the field have always been friendly, professional and full of information. The only time I've ever had an BP agent be less than friendly was at a checkpoint. They're not big into answering questions at checkpoints, especially if there's traffic.

You have to remember the border can be a pretty rough place.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2066


4/20/2017
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2066
I remember reading somewhere awhile back that BP either partners with the navy or they use some of their helicopters, maybe retired ones or such and you will see them flying over key areas of the desert all the time, Carrizo Gorge, Canebrake/Inner Pasture are well known areas for activity. As Ranger Steve (RIP) would always say, "they have non permitted sensors" all over those areas and you will most likely set them off while hiking.

If you encounter BP out the field just talk to them, they have lots of good info about the area and they have always been friendly to me, they have told me where to find rock art and Bighorn Sheep. I have never had any problems with them, even at the checkpoints. They are real people just doing their job.

--
http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
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railexplorer
railexplorer
Posts: 46


4/20/2017
railexplorer
railexplorer
Posts: 46
I ran into some BP agents today, in San Diego, and I asked them whether they knew if the BP out east had Navy grey helicopters in their inventory. They said they hadn't heard of any, but did say that on rare occasions they have worked with the military. Its possible that its a Navy helicopter that had to set down due to an inflight emergency and the BP came to assist the crew, before any one from NAS El Centro made it to their location. As we all know its always good to have friendlies around when you're out in the desert.

One thing about the desert, if you spend enough time out in it you will see the military fly over at some point. I've seen Apache gunships in Carrizo Gorge, been flat hatted (low pass overhead) by F18's on the North side of the Salton Sea and buzzed in a couple of other places.
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