TASK FORCE OTAY
It covers 16,885 acres and reaches 3,556 feet into the sky. It is Otay Mountain, and it is the site of the most intense illegal traffic.
At hangar 51 of the San Diego Border Patrol sector, members of Task Force Otay assemble to localize and address smuggling threats and perform reconnaissance of the terrain and activity.
Commander Matthew Dreyer spearheads operations and emphasizes that “mountain work is the most rigorous.”
While on the mountain, the commander suffered several injuries that impeded his physical mobility but never put him out of duty.
“It’s easy to blow out your knee and break a limb on the type of terrain Otay Mountain offers,” said Dreyer.
While touring Otay, we experienced the environmental factors that affect Border Patrol agents and illegal crossers. The topography of the mountain, the ridgelines covered with tough shrubs and hefty, edged rocks all make it perilous terrain.
One of the environmental risks is dehydration.
“Every now and then, you see a dead body. The majority of the time, it's dehydration that wears illegal crossers down. One time, I had to apprehend a mother and her newborn child.”