/ Modified apr 12, 2018 10:39 a.m.

Arizona National Guard To Start Ground Missions At Border Friday

Details have been unveiled about the guard's support role in Operation Guardian Shield.

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Michael McGuire unsized VIEW LARGER Maj. Gen Michael McGuire, adjutant general and director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, speaks to reporters during a new conference. (PHOTO: Matthew Casey, Fronteras Desk)

The head of the Arizona National Guard unveiled details Wednesday on how soldiers will provide support to federal agents at the border.

About two thirds of the 338 Arizona National Guard soldiers taking part in Operation Guardian Shield will support the Border Patrol’s ground operations. They’ll have duties related to engineering, transportation, vehicle maintenance, communication, clerical work and electronic surveillance.

The Arizona National Guard will also provide air support at the border. Troops assigned to aviation will do aircraft maintenance, serve as pilots and flight crews.

“The first troops that will be on assignment with (Customs and Border Protection) for ground-based missions will be Friday,” said Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, adjutant general and director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.

McGuire added that one of the biggest challenges in getting all 338 soldiers working on the border is finding places for them to stay.

“As we look out at Douglas and Bisbee and Lukeville and Yuma, we have to have opportunities to house, feed and sustain the soldiers that are out there,” he said.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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