Arizona National Guard official discusses decision to send troops to the border
April 10, 2018
Major General Michael McGuire with the Arizona National Guard shares how many guardsmen will be deployed to the state, what their broad duties will include and how long they are contracted to stay here.
To meet this mission requirement, McGuire says there has been authorization of funding to bring 338 guardsmen to the state. The first 225 arrived on Monday with an addition 113 following on Tuesday. It will take about a week to get them physically cleared, conduct background checks and give them their assignments.
“We are integrating them and beginning the process to bring them in both here at Papago Park in Phoenix as well as down in Tucson at the 162nd Fighter Wing,” McGuire says. “We’ll provide aviation support for customs and border patrol and other federal amenities.”
The soldiers will be spread out among the 11 border patrol stations within Arizona. Nogales will be the first area to receive help. It won’t be long until they’re all stationed from Douglas to Yuma.
The National Guard is providing aid in three major ways – aviation, reconnaissance and operational. Aviation and operational are one in the same. The aviation side includes flying helicopters for a variety of reasons like helping with search and rescue. They’ll also help in the moving of law enforcement agents around. The operational side will support any needs in transportation or engineering for the border and infrastructure.
“Reconnaissance support typically means intelligence analysts,” McGuire says. “We have a number of military trained intelligence analysts who will be deployed to do camera observations and remote observations that have day, night and infrared capability so they can surveil.”
Authorization is given within a fiscal year. The authorization for the 338 guardsmen is good until Sept. 30 of this month unless they receive notice to stay.