CPB Orion operations

Rarely information is given about the operations of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) National Air Security Operations Center (NASOC) P-3A/B and P-3AEW&C fleet.

On 20 January 2021, a radome equipped P-3B worked with federal and international partners to disrupt a smuggling attempt in the Caribbean. Following that joint operation, the Dominican Republic (DOMREP) authorities successfully recovered more than a quarter ton of cocaine denying narcotics traffickers nearly USD 8,8 million USD in illicit proceeds.

The NASOC P-3 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) crew tracked a suspicious 25-foot go fast vessel (GFV) with three individuals on board. US Air Force aircraft assumed surveillance of the suspect vessel from the P-3 crew and coordinated with Joint Interagency Task Force - South (JIATF-S) and DOMREP law enforcement interceptor vessels for interdiction. Host nation authorities detained three individuals and seized 511 pounds of cocaine.

This interdiction was conducted under Campaign Martillo, a counter-narcotics operation to disrupt transnational criminal organizations that threaten global security and prosperity. Campaign Martillo is supported by SOUTHCOM, and led by JIATF-S.

AMO has two P-3 NASOCs, located in Jacksonville (FL) and Corpus Christi (TX). These P-3 aircraft operate throughout North, Central and South America in defense of the borders of the USA and to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband.

The Scramble database identifies the following Orion within the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO):

ex BuNo Type c/n CPB registration
150514 P-3A 185-5040 N18314
151390 P-3A 185-5103 N15390
151395 P-3A 185-5108 N16295
152170 P-3A 185-5140 N16370
152722 P-3AEW&C 185-5162 N147CS
153423 P-3B 185-5220 N423SK
153431 P-3B 185-5228 N431SK
153446 P-3AEW&C 185-5242 N144CS
153447 P-3AEW&C 185-5243 N143CS
153452 P-3AEW&C 185-5248 N142CS
154575 P-3AEW&C 185-5256 N148CS
154581 P-3AEW&C 185-5262 N149CS  
154603 P-3B 185-5284 N403SK
154605 P-3AEW&C 185-5286 N146CS

Scramble loves to learn and collect from you the status, recent sightings and photos of these rare Orions.

AMO safeguards the USA by anticipating and confronting security threats through  aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise. The AMO operates with some 240 (!) aircraft throughout the USA, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands.

Photo by CPB

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