Aviation Operations

AviationSpecially-trained Counterdrug Aviation Operations (CDAOPS) pilots use OH-58 KIOWA helicopters to perform aerial reconnaissance and observation of suspected illegal drug activity in support of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). This capability offers the on-board law enforcement officer an aerial vantage point and communication platform to support ground operations during illegal drug investigations. During FY12, CDAOPS supported numerous LEAs with search warrant service, buy/bust aerial observation, and aerial photography reconnaissance missions. These missions resulted in 15 heroin and marijuana-related arrests and more than $14,000 in heroin seizures throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. CDAOPS support is also extremely useful in identifying the location of illegal marijuana growing operations. During FY12, 6,333 plants with a street value of $12,666,000 were located, harvested, and destroyed. CDAOPS personnel also independently provided aerial observation training to 82 law enforcement officers throughout the Commonwealth.