Firepower - - FEATURES -

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.”

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