Arizona deploys 338 National Guardsmen to Trump’s border mission
iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — Arizona is deploying 338 National Guard troops to support President Donald Trump’s border security mission.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, was present to send 225 troops on Monday. Later in the day, the Arizona National Guard announced an additional 113 troops would deploy on Tuesday.
“Guardsmen will be sent to the border to provide mission-enhancing capabilities that will help U.S. Customs and Border Protection increase operational control of the region,” an Arizona National Guard press release said of the first group of 225 Guardsmen. “The Guard will provide air support, reconnaissance support, operational support, construction of border infrastructure and logistical support.”
The smaller group of 113 Guardsmen will “provide support to federal, state, county, tribal and local law enforcement agencies in stopping illicit activity including the flow of trafficked people, criminals, narcotics, weapons, and ammunition trafficked in the state,” a second press release said.
Last Friday, Ducey announced that as many as 150 Guardsmen could be deployed to the border this week, but that number has now been upped to 338.
Over the weekend, the Arizona National Guard activated a team of planners who will coordinate the arrival of new troops.
The Texas National Guard has also deployed 150 members for the border security mission announced by Trump earlier last week. They will be integrated with 100 Texas Guardsmen who had been working on a previous border support mission.
On Friday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed a memo that authorized the federal government to pay for the potential deployment of up to 4,000 National Guard troops for the border mission through September.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, has expressed support for National Guard troops supporting Border Patrol agents in her state, but not deployed them.
California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, is considering sending California National Guardsmen to the border, according to Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan, a A Guard spokesman.
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