Sunday, August 13, 2006

Minnesota Air National Guard Soldiers To Help Border Security

Thirty-nine Minnesota Air National Guard soldiers have volunteered to help stop illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border, the National Guard announced Friday. The Minnesota National Guard said two dozen airmen will serve in Arizona, seven in Texas and four in New Mexico. Another four will go to the Operation Jump Start headquarters in Maryland. All of them volunteered individually for deployments ranging from two weeks to a year. Their main charge is to stop illegal entry into the country and they're also helping build a fence along Arizona's border with Mexico.They will join 6,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen working on border security. The 39 airmen and women comprise a smaller Minnesota contingent than the 200 envisioned when Operation Jump Start, code name for the border patrols, was launched in July. A flood of volunteers from other states meant that few Minnesotans were needed, the New Mexico National Guard said three weeks ago. Gov. Tim Pawlenty can recall the airmen if they're needed elsewhere.