Border Operations Move from Ground to Air


U.S. President Barack Obama has decided to reduce the number of federally paid National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border amid controversy regarding the operation’s impact related to its cost.

The plan is to revamp the deployment of military personnel along the boundary, moving from boots-on-the-ground to a broader mission of aerial detection and additional border intelligence analysis.

The change in mission strategy is in response to a steep drop in apprehensions along the border. Changes are also expected to to affect National Guard troops on border-related active duty in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Nearly 1,200 National Guard troops in those areas will be moved to other areas of need.

Ground troops will be replaced by Army National Guard and Air National Guard personnel carrying out surveillance by aircraft, helicopters and unmanned drones. Department of Homeland Security officials say the troop reduction is not a sign of a reduced commitment to border security but rather a better plan of action for today’s border issues.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon has long sought to end the roughly $10 million-a-month National Guard ground operation, and given the attempts to cut the deficit, now is an opportune time.

There are approximately 18,200 U.S. Border Patrol agents along the Southwestern border, but border apprehensions have plummeted from 1.6 million in 2000 to 340,252 in the last fiscal year. Part of that decline is due in part to the recent economic downturn.

National Guardsmen have assisted in only 6 percent of the apprehensions of undocumented immigrants during the opening 11 months of the Operation Phalanx, a $160 million project attempting to curb illegal immigration.

Administration officials declined to specify the number of guardsmen who will remain on the border.


Photo thanks to Chris Devers under creative commons license on Flickr.

8 thoughts on “Border Operations Move from Ground to Air”

  1. I personally always thought that since we were already paying the guardsman monthly, that it was an excellent way of securing our borders. But than I guess we would have to cut back on the pay and benefits that we give to our politicians who don’t do anything.

  2. The government has taken over just about all facets of peoples lives today. I am happy that the veterans today are getting more recognition than the Vietnam veterans and also the Gulf war vets. I think there should be more done for the veterans coming home with post traumatic stress syndrom.

  3. The problem Mexico and USA are having with the Drug Cartells could be fixed with one the implementation of one action. Leaglize Marijuana and 90% of the drug trafficing would stop. Focus efforts on the reaming drugs such as Cocaine and Meth and everyone wins. Fact is you see reports on how much Marijuana is seized versus the rest of the Cartells money making activity.
    In addition the taxes and other revinue generated by the leagliztion of Marijuana would be a boost for all.

    Do the correct thing and take away 90% of the reason the Cartells exist. Hey Cartells, please don’t hunt me down and kil me for stating the obvious.

  4. I have thought this for a very long time. However, with a small difference. What about having the retired military that are receiving a monthy retirement check anyway. Have them armed and on the boarders. However first the country needs to be purged, Door to door if needed. Make the US the country it is suppose to be, the strongest in the World.

  5. It would be more cost procductive, but if they do nothing to apprehend and return the illegals why bother? If they plan to have strategically placed quick response teams to air lift in and apprehend these illegals then it makes sense and excellent use and spending of our tax dollars. If not, then why do anything? They are wanting to give amnesty/citizenship to illegals already here which I feel is a slap in the face to those who have immigrated in accordance with our laws and have studied or are studying to pass the citizenship exam.
    We are moving more toward a police state government everytime the national guard is utilized to do what civil law and cival authorities should be doing within the confines of their respective state and U.S.A. borders.

  6. Hope one of those drones doesn’t get shot down! Then the mexicans will have all that technology to sell to the drug cartels. Could you imagine thousands of drones filled with drugs flying into the USA? Sounds funny now but those characters are pretty innovative!

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