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  1. #1
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    S.C. National Guard troops wanted for U.S.-Mexico border pat

    http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/ne ... 923291.htm










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    Posted on Wed, Jun. 28, 2006



    S.C. National Guard troops wanted for U.S.-Mexico border patrol

    SUSANNE M. SCHAFER
    Associated Press

    COLUMBIA, S.C. - State Adjutant General Stan Spears said Wednesday he has asked the federal government to delay until after hurricane season a request that 150 South Carolina National Guard troops work along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The South Carolina troops are needed for President Bush's plan to have up to 6,000 National Guard members support the U.S. Border Patrol, so they can focus on illegal immigration enforcement.

    Spears, speaking at a small GOP rally for candidates on the November ballot, said he's ready to send the troops if others can't be found, but he hopes he doesn't have to.

    "Right now we are prepared for the border patrol," Spears said. "They said, 'General, we need 150 out of your state.' I said, 'Whoa.'"

    Spears said he told officials that he would prefer to "wait on what's going to happen this summer. They were wanting two very vital units of mine."

    Spears did not specify which units were requested, but most states have been asked to send either military police or engineering units.

    "Keep your fingers crossed that I won't have to send those units to the border. But if they prevail over me, then we're going to send them," Spears said. "They'll do a tremendous job."

    Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told National Guard leaders last week that hurricane-prone states wouldn't be asked to send troops to the border mission while storms threaten.

    Blum's comments apparently hadn't reached the Guard bureaucracy.

    Spear's request for a delay is expected to be approved given Blum's comments, said Guard spokesman Col. Pete Brooks.

    "We've asked the National Guard Bureau to reconsider the tasking, based on previous guidance," Brooks said in a telephone interview from Washington.

    South Carolina has fewer than 600 Guard troops - out of nearly 10,000 - deployed outside the state at this time, but should a Category 5 hurricane hit the state, every single Guard member could expect to be called up, Brooks said.

    "South Carolina's hurricane plan requires 1,600 troops to work along the coast during an evacuation and we double that number" to be extra-careful, Brooks said. "If we have a storm like Katrina hit, we'd have every Guard member who's not in Iraq somewhere out on the street."

    Some National Guard forces have already been dispatched to the border.

    Two weeks of border duty for 55 Utah National Guard members ended last week. The troops extended a fence, improved a road and installed lighting.

    Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano said Friday that the four states along the Mexico border will have 2,500 National Guard troops on duty by the end of the month.

    Bush also called for hiring and training an additional 6,000 Border Patrol agents by 2008, which would increase the force's size to more than 18,000.

    The Guard is expected to assist Border Patrol agents in the field by monitoring video surveillance of borders and providing helicopters to find illegal immigrants. Bilingual troops could act as translators.

    Although Guard troops will not apprehend illegal immigrants or perform law enforcement duties, some of them will carry weapons, depending on the location and nature of their missions, said Emanuel Pacheco, a spokesman at National Guard headquarters in Washington.

    ---

    Associated Press Writer Jim Davenport contributed to this report.






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    2006 AP Wire and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
    http://www.thestate.com
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  2. #2
    Senior Member LegalUSCitizen's Avatar
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    General Spears, we all have great respect for hurricanes, but excuse me, Sir, .......have you ever heard of an airplane ?

    They can get people home in no time.

    P.S. Remember, President Bush will be happy to send you some........Mexican troops too.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    MW
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    Personally, I don't think we'll ever see 6,000 NG troops on the border. Just another empty promise.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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