U.S. Pulls National Guard From Mexican Border, Boosts Aircraft Use


Sophisticated surveillance aircraft will be deployed along the Southwest border in coming months to peer miles into Mexico and spot smugglers, drug traffickers and undocumented immigrants, reports the Houston Chronicle. The plan to operate high-tech aircraft with so-called “over the horizon” technology came to light as the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security announced the end of the 18-month-old deployment of 1,200 National Guard ground troops who have been helping the U.S. Border Patrol.

About 300 Guardsmen will be used to oversee the aerial operations. By using unmanned drones and aircraft operated by the so-called “citizen soldiers” of the National Guard, the Obama administration avoids diplomatic strains that might arise with Mexico if U.S. military surveillance aircraft flown by active duty armed forces’ pilots were used along the common border.

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