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Military to bolster presence on border

More troops, equipment expected in mid-February

  • Border Patrol agents observe an Arizona National Guard soldier training along the Arizona-Mexico border on Aug. 25, 2010.
    jim.greenhill/FlickrBorder Patrol agents observe an Arizona National Guard soldier training along the Arizona-Mexico border on Aug. 25, 2010.

The military's presence along the Mexican border will be bolstered this month when more troops and equipment are deployed to Southern Arizona, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said Thursday.

Joint Task Force-North, which oversees military operations along the U.S.-Mexico border, will send additional troops, vehicles and equipment to Arizona and New Mexico in mid-February, the Border Patrol said.

The announcement comes after an expected drawdown of ground troops and increased air surveillance announced in December.

The Defense Department said at that time it would be sending more helicopter and planes to patrol the border early this year.

The military's role along the border has been to support Border Patrol and ICE by helping with infrastructure and surveillance while giving Guardsman training, the Defense Department said.

About 1,200 Guardsman have been stationed on the border since 2010, including 560 in Arizona.

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