Guard troops to go to Arizona-Mexico border.

About 30 Army National Guard soldiers were scheduled to arrive…

About 30 Army National Guard soldiers were scheduled to arrive at the Arizona-Mexico border this week in the first wave of reinforcements sent by the Obama administration to bolster security.

More soldiers will be sent each Monday until 532 have joined the mission, said 1st Lt. Valentine Castillo, a National Guard spokesman in Phoenix.

“Everything is right on track to be fully operational by the beginning of October,” Castillo said.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said Guard members will begin providing border security in his state Wednesday. No date has been given for deployments in Texas and New Mexico.

The soldiers got two to three weeks of training in surveillance techniques and first aid. They will be armed for self-defense, Castillo said, but will not have law enforcement authority. Instead, they will serve as “extra eyes and ears” for the U.S. Border Patrol.

Some will be assigned to teams in concealed locations to watch for smugglers and illegal immigrants entering the U.S. When the soldiers spot them, they’ll call in agents to grab the suspects, Castillo said. Others will monitor computers and work with electronic detection systems.

“We’re here to support Customs and Border Protection,” he said.

Source: Dennis Wagner for Army Times via USA Today.

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