USICE / Office of  Air and Marine Operations (AMO)
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United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)


Office of  Air and Marine Operations (AMO)

Brief History:

After smuggling via privat aircraft to the USA increased, the air programm was established in 1969 and became operational in 1971 with some confiscated aircraft under the Department of Treasury. Customs Marine Program was established in 1973 with the acquisition of a small fleet of vessels. The Aviation and Marine Programs merged, creating the Air and Marine Interdiction Division (AMID) in 1999. AMID transitions to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under ICE in 2003 and is renamed the Office of Air and Marine Operations (AMO). ICE is the investigative arm of the Border and Transportation Security Directorate (BTS), the operational directorate within the DHS tasked with securing the nationís borders and safeguarding its transportation infrastructure. Today there are eleven Air Branches and some Air Units throughout the USA and Puerto Rico with some 80 aircraft and 40 helicopters of various types.

National Markings:

The service title U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE  is displayed on the fuselage sides.

Main Headquarters:

Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC

Aircraft Inventory:

Current service types-
Type Quantity Origin
Cessna 550 Citation II 26 local
Lockheed P-3AEW Dome 12 local
Lockheed P-3B Slick 4 local
Beech King Air 200 / C-12C 10/9 local
Cessna 210 8 local
Cessna U-26A 1 local
Piper PA-31 Chieftan 5 local
Piper PA-31 Navajo 1 local
Piper PA-42 Cheyenne 4 local
GAF N-22 Nomad 5 Australia
Sikorsky UH-60A/L Black Hawk 18 local
Bell B-206 2 local
Eurocopter AS-350B 21 France
Hughes 500 3 local


Order of Battle

Office of Air and Marine Operations                                Washington, DC

Customs National Aviation Center (CNAC)                           Oklahoma City,OK

Air and Marine Operations Center (AMOC)                           Riverside/March ARB, CA

Drug Interdiction Operations Center                                     San Juan, PR


Base Location Type
Tucson Air Branch Davis Monthan AFB, AZ

2x Citation II, 1x PA-31 Chieftan,

1x Cessna 210, 3x UH-60A

Phoenix Aviation Unit Phoenix, AZ 1x King Air 200, 1x UH-60A
San Diego Air & Marine Branch NAS North Island, CA

2x Citation II, 3x King Air 200,

1x Cessna 210, 2x AS-350B

Riverside Aviation Unit March ARB, CA 1x PA-31 Chieftain, 1x UH-60A
Jacksonville Air & Marine Branch NAS Jacksonville, FL

4x P-3AEW, 4x P-3B, 1x PA-42 Cheyenne, 1x C-12C, 1x Cessna 210,

1x UH-60A

Miami Air & Marine Branch Homestead ARB, FL

2x P-3B, 2x Citation II, 1x King Air 200,

1x Nomad, 1x C-12C, 2x UH-60A

Tampa Aviation Branch Clearwater, FL 1x Nomad
Pensacola Aviation Branch Milton, FL n/a
New Orleans Air & Marine Branch

Hammond MAP, LA

3x Citation II, 3x King Air 200, 3x Cessna 210, 1x PA-31 Chieftan, 1x C-12C,

1x Nomad, 2x UH-60A

Albuquerque Air Branch Albuquerqe, NM 1x PA-31 Chieftan, 1x UH-60A
New York Aviation Unit Ronkonkoma, NY 1x PA-31 Navajo
Customs NatAv Center Oklahoma City / Will Rogers AP, OK 2x C-12C
Caribbean Air & Marine Branch Aquadilla/Ramey AFB, PR

3x PA-42 Cheyenne, 1x Nomad,

1x C-12M, 2x UH-60A, 2x AS-350

El Paso Aviation Branch El Paso IAP, TX 1x Citation II, 1x King Air 200
Houston Air Branch Houston/Hull AP, TX

1x Citation II, 2x Cessna 210,

2x UH-60A, 1x B-206

San Angelo Air & Marine Branch San Angelo, TX

1x PA-31 Chieftan, 1x C-12C, 2x UH-60A

San Antonio Aviation Unit San Antonio, TX 1x Citation II, 1x King Air 200
Surveillance Support Branch NAS Corpus Christi, TX 8x P-3AEW, 1x C-12C, 1x Nomad


  • Aerial Drug Wars : the Story of U.S. Customs Aviation (Henry Holden)

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First Created: 9 May 2002 - Last Revised: 24 March 2004
Copyright © 2002 Erich Klaus.     e-mail: