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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    I-Team: Nevada National Guard Discusses Border Patrol

    Mark Sayre, Investigative Reporter
    I-Team: Nevada National Guard Discusses Border Patrol

    Aug 10, 2007 06:16 PM PDT

    Right now, more than 200 members of the Nevada National Guard are working on securing the international border with Mexico. Thursday, the Eyewitness News I-Team was first to bring you the story of Governor Jim Gibbons' visit with the Nevada troops.

    The Nevada guard members are working as part of what's called Task Force Vista. It is part of a broad effort announced by President Bush last year to use National Guard troops from across the country to back up the U.S. Border Patrol.

    About 30 miles east of San Diego, the U.S./Mexican border is porous. In the areas where there is a fence, it is relatively short -- only about 10 feet. In many areas, there is no barrier at all.

    You can easily walk between the two countries. That's where Nevada Guardsmen like Patrick Pathamavanu of Las Vegas come into play.

    "My job in the unit is actually a land surveyor. What I do is I check elevations, grades of roads and so on to make sure that we are actually on the right track," he said.

    Pathamavanu works in security at a local casino. He and his team from the 152nd Civil Engineering Squadron are working on improving the roads and drainage systems along the border.

    "The maintenance out here makes it easier for border patrol agents to be able do their daily routine and so on. Without this kind of construction, their vehicles tear apart a lot quicker and so on -- and it is just making it an easier road for them," said Pathamavanu.

    When Governor Jim Gibbons toured the border on Thursday, his first stop was at a work site where UNLV student -- and Nevada guardsman -- Al Chavez was working.

    "Well, we are helping out the Army because they are ones in charge. And we are digging the ditch right now and filling it up with some more rock so that the roads continue to be useful for the border patrol," said Chavez.

    During a briefing before the tour, the governor was shown passports that are either fake, or were legitimate but not being used by the rightful owner.

    Border patrol officials say as those trying to sneak into America get more sophisticated, they have to work harder to catch them. And that's why the border patrol is thankful for the National Guard effort.

    "It allows our people to get back onto the border and do their job," said David Sitchler of the U.S. Border Patrol. "Instead of working on fences and working on cars, like we have had to do in the past, we have the ability now to have the National Guard assist us to do these type of jobs and our agents go back to the duties that they have been assigned to do."

    Governor Gibbons says he supports the president's effort to use the National Guard to back up the border patrol. In response to a question from the I-Team, the governor says he would be willing to send more Nevada Guard personnel to the border if requested to do so.

    And the I-Team wants to be clear that the Nevada National Guard provided them with free transportation from Las Vegas to the border -- as part of the governor's official delegation.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member grandmasmad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Henderson, NV.. formally of So Calif
    Nevada is actually doing something for us....I am shocked
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