USA — National Guard to Deploy Troops to Mexican Border

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2010 — The Nation­al Guard is send­ing 1,200 troops to the South­west bor­der states to pro­vide tem­po­rary sup­port for the U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion agency, offi­cials announced today.

The cit­i­zen-sol­diers and ‑air­men will serve along­side fed­er­al agents for one year as an aug­men­ta­tion force. The troops will work to pre­vent ille­gal immi­gra­tion and drug traf­fick­ing north of the bor­der, as well as to counter weapons and cash smug­gling going south, Alan Bersin, CBP com­mis­sion­er, said today at a Pen­ta­gon news con­fer­ence.

The deploy­ment will give CBP and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty the time to hire and train 1,000 more bor­der patrol agents and CBP offi­cers, Bersin said.

The deploy­ment and mea­sures to increase bor­der patrol per­son­nel, he said, are part of ongo­ing efforts to strength­en the bor­der, he said. More than 340,000 ille­gal aliens and smug­glers have been appre­hend­ed along the bor­der since Octo­ber, he added.

“What we have to do is con­tin­ue … to be able to deal with the transna­tion­al crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions …,” Bersin said. “To this extent, the Guard has been a tried and test­ed sup­port to law enforce­ment on the bor­der, and I’m con­fi­dent [it] will prove again this instance.”

Troops are expect­ed to begin deploy­ing to Texas, New Mex­i­co, Ari­zona and Cal­i­for­nia by Aug. 1. All 1,200 troops should be on the ground by Sep­tem­ber, Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKin­ley, Nation­al Guard Bureau chief, said at the news con­fer­ence.

“We’re very pleased to be in sup­port of our inter­a­gency part­ners,” McKin­ley said. “Our ramp-up will be over time, and we’ll make sure that all our sol­diers and air­men are well qual­i­fied, well inte­grat­ed and well briefed on the mis­sion at hand.”

Some troops will work as crim­i­nal and intel­li­gence ana­lysts. Oth­ers will sup­port CBP entry iden­ti­fi­ca­tion teams. Troops oper­at­ing in those capac­i­ties are under­go­ing train­ing now, McKin­ley not­ed. Also, about 300 guards­men are already on the ground work­ing on coun­ternar­cotics teams, he added.

“Those are specif­i­cal­ly the jobs that we’ve been asked to do,” McKin­ley said, not­ing those spe­cial­ties are well with­in the “job jar” of the Nation­al Guard.

“These are efforts that I think will bring syn­er­gy and bring real team­work togeth­er,” he said. “I know our young men and women will do a great job.”

Troops will be armed dur­ing the deploy­ment. How­ev­er, their weapons are for self-defense pur­pos­es, the gen­er­al explained. The CBP and bor­der patrol agents “have the lead” and deter­mine the amount of force nec­es­sary for cer­tain sit­u­a­tions, he added.

“Self pro­tec­tion means just that, that if under some kind of dan­ger, they are able to pro­tect them­selves, to extri­cate them­selves from the sit­u­a­tion,” McKin­ley said. “[Guards­men] will be tak­ing the lead from the law-enforce­ment per­son­nel who they will be assist­ing.”

The troops will only be deployed on the Unit­ed States side of the bor­der and will fol­low the rules of engage­ment set by the agen­cies in each state, the gen­er­al said. He added that the troops will fall under the com­mand and con­trol of the state gov­er­nors.

“We have done this before,” he said. “It is com­mon prac­tice for our sol­diers and air­men to fol­low the leads, to only take that action which is nec­es­sary to extri­cate them­selves from the sit­u­a­tion and not be provoca­tive.”

The bor­der deploy­ment does not hin­der the Guard’s mis­sion over­seas, McKin­ley said. Although states are pro­vid­ing guards­men for oper­a­tions in Iraq and Afghanistan, a “size­able” num­ber of troops remain avail­able for duty, he said.

“Right now I can­not see a case where we would be overex­tend­ing the Nation­al Guard in this effort,” he said.

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

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →