Dec 19, 2006

Governor is Pleased with Border Patrol Mission

Governor Joe Manchin has returned to West Virginia after a two-day visit with West Virginia National Guard troops in southern New Mexico.

Approximately 111 members of the West Virginia National Guard are in New Mexico for Operation Jump Start.

Their mission is to help curb the amount of illegal immigrants entering the United States.

NBC-6's Velden Linn traveled with the official party.

Once in New Mexico, the party traveled by Blackhawk helicopter to the border station to observe the conditions.

The Governor was able to witness West Virginia National Guard troops conducting their duties which include surveillance of border crossing sites, contruction of border fences and medical support.

Specialist Roger Weekly says, "It's pretty difficult. We basically scan until we see something out of the ordinary...then we put more concentration into that. The biggest challenge of this terrain is that a lot of gauleys...little valleys that they like to hide in."

Governor Manchin adds, "My evaluation would be this is a mission we can accomplish. It's a war we can win as you see the numbers. They have the forces they need to do the job. They're able to protect our borders much better and keep terrorists that want to harm us out and stop illegal drug trade and the criminal activity that move through here."

Velden Linn will have full reports on his visit with the Governor to New Mexico. That's coming up Thursday and Friday on NBC-6 at 6.