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Puerto Rico General Information
Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen is located at Rafael Hernandez Airport on the Northwest tip of Puerto Rico. The closest city is Aguadilla, just 10 minutes to the South. The Air Station moved to this location from San Juan in the fall of 1971, at which time the Coast Guard took possession of an outstanding hangar with adjacent support facilities.
The responsibility for the station complex, formerly part of Ramey Air Force Base and later Naval Station Roosevelt Roads West Annex, was assumed by the Coast Guard on 1 July 1976. Included in the boundaries of the base are the housing area, clinic and dispensary, station library, community center, swimming pool, exchange, mini-mart, package store, gymnasium and other fitness facilities, chapel, and theater.
The primary mission of Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen is search and rescue. Secondary missions include: law enforcement, aerial support for ATON, and logistic support. To accomplish these missions, the Air Station has four HH-65 helicopters. The Air Station is under the operational control of Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Juan (old GANTSEC), located in Old San Juan. The Sector San Juan area of responsability extends approximately 1.3 million square miles. Other Coast Guard units in Sector San Juan are: Aids to Navigation Team Puerto Rico, Base San Juan, LEDET One, MSD St. Thomas, MSO San Juan, Reserve Unit San Juan, RIO St. Croix, and multiple response units
Air Station History:
United States Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen is the direct descendant of Coast Guard Air Station San Juan, which was located on the Isla Grande Naval Air Station. In November 1971, the Air Station relocated to its present location at what was then Ramey Air Force Base in Aguadilla, and became known as Coast Guard Air Station Puerto Rico. Two years later the Air Force discontinued its operation at Ramey, turning the facilities over to theCommon Wealth of Puerto Rico and the United States Navy. The Coast Guard assumed the host role in July 1976, when the Navy vacated the station. It was then that the unit was designated Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen. The Air Station originally utilized three HU-16E Albatross seaplanes and two HH-52A Sea Guard helicopters to effect its search and rescue missions. In March of 1973, three HH-3F Pelican helicopters replaced these aircraft. The need for increased range for law enforcement and search and rescue resulted in the addition of four HU-25A Falcon Jets to the Air Station's inventory in late 1983 and early 1984. In 1985, four new HH-65A Dolphin short-range rescue helicopters replaced the three HH-3F Pelicans, giving the Air Station a shipboard deployment capability. The HU-25A Falcons were replaced in 1987 by three HC-130 Hercules aircraft that provided long range search and surveillance capability until their departure in June 1996. Due to the increased tempo of operations in theCaribbean, the Air Station again added four HU-25A Falcons to the inventory from July 1999 until September 2001. The Air Station currently operates with HH-65 Dolphin helicopters while also supporting a variety of forward deployed aircraft.