Alabama Governor Kay Ivey ordered the deployment of one of the state’s National Guard helicopters to Texas in support of Operation Guardian Support. The helicopter and five guardsmen will assist U.S. Border Patrol agents.
“Alabama is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our nation” and “we are proud to assist in the Southwest border mission,” Governor Ivey said while announcing the mission. “The Alabama National Guard stands ready to answer the call and we are proud to assist in the Southwest border mission.”
Alabama Adjutant General, Major General Sheryl Gordon recommended the deployment of guardsmen from A Company, 1-114th Aviation Battalion to the governor.
“The Alabama National Guard is always ready to assist our friends and partners on the border and continue the ongoing mission for homeland security,” General Gordon stated. “We’re proud our soldiers are mentally and physically equipped to handle the challenges of the task.”
Alabama Public Radio reported the Alabama National Guard is sending a HU-72A Lakota helicopter, a flight crew, and a maintenance crew to assist.
The deployment is scheduled to begin on May 30.
The Alabama guardsmen will be joining hundreds of members of the Texas National Guard who Governor Greg Abbott ordered to the border following President Donald Trump’s request that the National Guard begin supplementing U.S. Border Patrol efforts to secure the southwestern border with Mexico.
They will also be joining Lakota crews from the South Carolina Guard. Governor Henry McMaster ordered the deployment of two helicopters, along with their air and ground crews, to join the Texas guardsmen along the border earlier this month, Breitbart Texas reported.
“The highly trained men and women of the South Carolina National Guard are ready and able to support President Trump’s mission to secure our country’s border, and our entire state is grateful for their service and sacrifice,” Gov. McMaster said.
South Carolina’s Adjutant General, Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr., said his soldiers have performed this mission before.
“Our soldiers are well-trained and experienced with this mission, as they have conducted border security support previously in 2012 and 2016 as well as with Operation Jump Start in 2007,” the general explained.
The Lakota helicopters are equipped with infrared search systems and a night spotlight to assist ground crews during nighttime operations. They will be authorized to support law enforcement pursuits, search and rescue operations, and the evacuation of casualties, officials stated.