At the request of the Trump administration, Governor Kay Ivey and Alabama Adjutant General, Major General Sheryl Gordon, have approved the dispatch of Alabama National Guard troops to the nation’s Southwest border with Mexico.
President Donald Trump sent a memo in April, authorizing the use of National Guard troops at the border, saying “the lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people,” adding that his administration had “no choice but to act.”
The Yellowhammer State has approved the deployment of one helicopter and five personnel members on Friday. The soldiers will be supporting the Texas National Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“Alabama is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our nation. We have the greatest group of service men and women in the country,” Ivey said. “The Alabama National Guard stands ready to answer the call and we are proud to assist in the Southwest border mission.”
The UH-72A Lakota helicopter will be dispatched from Birmingham on Tuesday. Joining the helicopter will be a flight crew and aircraft maintainers from the A Company, 1-114th Aviation Battalion, also out of Birmingham.
“The Alabama National Guard is always ready to assist our friends and partners on the border and continue the ongoing mission for homeland security,” Gordon said. “We’re proud our soldiers are mentally and physically equipped to handle the challenges of the task.”
The soldiers mission will operate be to provide additional support for observation and tracking of illegal activity around the U.S. border with Mexico. The soldiers will not be conducting law enforcement operations, but will be directed by the Texas National Guard.
Alabama is the latest state to send equipment and soldiers to assist Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The last time the Alabama Guard sent Lakotas and crew members to the border was in 2016.