SC Army National Guard troops prep to head to the U.S. Mexico bo - FOX Carolina 21

SC Army National Guard troops prep to head to the U.S. Mexico border

Posted: Updated:
(FOX Carolina)/May 14, 2018 (FOX Carolina)/May 14, 2018

South Carolina Army National Guard troops are heading to Texas, as part of President Trump’s "Operation Guardian Support" to secure the border.  And preparations are underway to make sure the mission is successful. 

Last Friday, Governor Henry McMaster announced that the South Carolina Army National Guard would send troops to the border.

The plan is for nine personnel and a Lakota helicopter to head to the Texas border for the next four months.  Their mission will be to help Border Patrol agents and the Department of Homeland Security to find those crossing into the U.S. illegally from Mexico.

Preparations are underway before the crew leaves later this week. They need to make sure their equipment is in order and all the necessary training is done.

Instructor pilot Chief Steve Salinas is one of the troops going.  He will be flying the Lakota helicopter, and using the mounted camera to help Border Patrol track those crossing illegally.

He said, "I think it's a very good mission as far as supporting our partners in Homeland Security."

He added, it's a mission they expected, and one that they've done several times before from 2012 to 2016.

Chief Salinas says as troops, they've seen it all along the border.

"The border is a constant cat and mouse game between the U.S. and anyone trying to enter the border illegally trying to carry stuff into the country illegally.  It's non-stop."

Salinas says they'll be part of the mission for at least four months, and because of that, there are things you have to prep for back at home too before you leave, to make sure your family is taken care of.

The South Carolina Army National Guard also says an additional Lakota helicopter and crew is supposed to come as support to Texas next month.

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