MISSION, Texas ?? The United States Border Patrol unveiled its new Horse Patrol Unit facility during a news conference held in Mission Wednesday morning.

Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents will now be able to use a newly built horse patrol facility which is the result of an ongoing partnership between U.S. Border Patrolís Rio Grande Valley Sector and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Horses have been a part of the U.S. Border Patrol since the agency was founded in the 1920ís to secure the United States borders against liquor smugglers and unlawful immigrants.

The Rio Grande Valley Sector Horse Patrol Unit has increased the unit to 30 horses in recent years. Due to its rapid growth, the unit was in need of a larger staging area in order to house and maintain the horses. Rio Grande Valley Sector reached out to the Fish and Wildlife Service and requested the use of its existing infrastructure located south of Mission. Todayís ceremony is a culmination of that inter-agency partnership.

The Rio Grande Valley Sector is part of the South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity, call the sectorís toll-free telephone number at 800-863-9382.

Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection.