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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