In 2007, the Border Patrol created the Special Operations Group (SOG) headquartered in El Paso, TX to coordinate the special operations units of the agency.
The Border Patrol recognized the need for specialized teams capable of handling uncommon and dangerous situations that would be outside the normal scope of Border Patrol agent duties. The Border Patrol had a number of other specialized programs and details but identified a need greater national coordination and specialized support under the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Strategic Plan to:
- Prevent terrorism
- Strengthen control of the U.S. Borders
- Protect America and its citizens
The Special Operations Group accomplishes these goals through planning, training, and deployment to domestic and international anti-terrorism efforts, as well as disaster and humanitarian related special operations.
SOG provides the Department of Homeland Security, CBP and the Border Patrol with specially-trained and equipped teams capable of rapid response to emergent and uncommon law enforcement situations requiring special tactics and techniques, search and rescue, and medical response capabilities. As a highly mobile, rapid-response tool, SOG significantly increases the ability of DHS to respond operationally to specific terrorist threats and incidents, as well as supporting traditional Border Patrol operations.
SOG is comprised of these unique, specially-trained units:
- Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC)
- Border Patrol, Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR)
- Air Mobile Unit (SDC/SOG/AMU)
- Mobile Response Team (MRT)
Each component possesses its own history and specialized field of expertize and were strategically combined on a national level under the Border Patrol’s Special Operations Division in 2007.