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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fewer guardsmen to assist along border

Thanks to bdf3 for the email, with a link to the ArmyTimes article. (The writer is an AP writer, so please take this with a large grain of salt until it can be verified from another source, but it is worth mentioning and keeping our eye on.)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Things are starting to wind down for National Guard troops deployed across the U.S. and Mexican border.

Next month, the number of National Guard troops along the border will be cut in half from 6,000 to 3,000 nationally.

In Arizona, troop reductions will fall from 2,400 to 1,200, said National Guard Capt. Kristine Munn.

The pullout started July 1 and is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 1.

Since the troops took up their positions along the border, they have helped agents get back to patrolling the border.

During their time at the border, Guard members have manned radios, repaired vehicles and helped build roads and fences.

National Guard troops have also served as an extra set of eyes and ears at border observation posts.

Cutting the ranks of National Guard troops will be detrimental to the Border Patrols efforts to slow illegal immigration, said agency officials, the local union and a former agency supervisor.

We will be updating as more comes out.