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Border Patrol agents spend day training in Coronado National Forest

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TUCSON - Some Border Patrol agents spent Thursday training for lost hiker scenarios in parts of the Coronado National Forest on the road to Mt. Lemmon.

The Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue Team, or BORSTAR, joined the Pima County Sheriff's Department for the training scenarios.

"As partners with Pima County, we often assist them in searching for lost hikers, U.S. Citizens in these very scenarios, on these trails, in these canyons in the Catalina Mountain area," BORSTAR supervisor Richard Tena said.  

The K9 team and the communications team were working together in a rustic setting.

"In Border Patrol, we consider our radio to be our lifeline," agent Nicole Miller said.

Agents say their K-9s are so vital during training like these because the dogs have capabilities their partners do not share.

"Some places don't allow us as agents to see footprints in the ground freely whereas the dogs, they don't need to see it, they can smell it," BORSTAR K9 handler Jonathan Elledge said. "When we can't see it and they can smell it, it increases our ability to find missing people."

Eric Fink

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