USA – Guard Disputes ‚Missed Deadline‘ on Southwest Border

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 4, 2010 – Despite recent media reports, the National Guard has missed no deadlines in the deployment of up to 1,200 Guardsmen to the Southwest border, a Guard official said today.

„Aug. 1 was never intended to be a deadline,“ said Jack Harrison, director of communications for the National Guard Bureau. „This was intended to be an incremental deployment, which will be conducted over the next 60 to 90 days in support of a request from the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Guard is proceeding according to plan.“

The Guardsmen will augment U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California for up to a year performing duties as criminal investigative analysts and entry identification teams, he said.

„This latest support is part of a phased operation that provides a bridge to CBP and ICE so they can recruit, hire, train and then employ up to 1,000 new agents,“ Harrison said.

„The four states are identifying personnel for this new mission, who must be trained and become familiar with some unique equipment and protocols. As they are vetted and trained, they will begin working the missions sets DHS asked the Guard to provide.“

These missions are similar to roles that the National Guard filled in Operation Jump Start from 2006 to 2008.

„This new request for support is in addition to the more than 300 Guardsmen, who are currently assigned to our counterdrug mission, which has been ongoing in the region for some 20 years,“ Harrison said.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

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