Editor’s Note: Many of our readers will remember Heath Hansen. He’s posted several pieces for us in the past during some of his deployments with the 82nd Airborne Division. This is another piece by Heath from when he deployed in the U.S. along the southern border.

Thanks again to Heath, much appreciated. — SB

“I sent the grids; we’ll be heading out by noon on Thursday,” Tim Foley informs me over the phone before I hit the road. Foley is a grizzled former paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division and leader of the volunteer group Arizona Border Recon (AZBR). For over a decade, AZBR volunteers have assisted Border Patrol by sharing intelligence concerning the movement or location of illegal immigrants crossing the international border. In the weeks before, I coordinated calls and emails between Foley and his men to ensure the proper paperwork and background checks were complete. Now, I can partake in their training regimen executed in the mountains of Southern Arizona.

Years ago, I learned of AZBR while watching a documentary about drug cartels south of the border. Now, I jump on the opportunity to get in the field and see how Foley and his men operate. Staying true to their motto: “One Hill At A Time,” these guys will be training in the same hills they patrol during operations.