Entries in National Guard (3)


Sen. Boxer Proposes Using National Guard Troops in Schools

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., proposed using National Guard troops to help make schools across the nation safer and avoid another shooting like last week at Sandy Hook.
“Three hundred million weapons are out there, nothing I know is going to change that. And in the meantime we better -- we darn better -- keep our kids safe,” Sen. Boxer said at a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “And if we avoid looking at that question I think we are failing.”
The Save Our Schools Act (SOS) would allow the federal government to reimburse Governors who want to use National Guard troops in schools and is modeled after the National Guard program that allows governors to use the Guard to assist with law enforcement efforts related to drug interdiction activities.
“So we take a successful program and we say we’re going to add a new purpose,” Boxer said. "National guard troops could be used to help support local law enforcement agencies in protecting our children at schools.”
Under the new program, Guard troops could work with law enforcement agencies to ensure schools are safe. This could take the form of additional guards at school, strengthening the perimeter security of the school or relieving local law enforcement officials who have desk jobs.
“I feel very strongly that this is an appropriate use of our national guard,” Boxer said Wednesday. “The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary is a reminder that we have failed our children.”
Governors already have the power to use the Guard on their own currently, but they’d have to pay for it under already-squeezed state budgets.  Under Boxer’s legislation governors could apply and have 100 percent of their plan paid though by federal funds already set up by the drug interdiction program.
Boxer said she has not had a conversation with any other senators about this proposal but will be working to get support before the next session of Congress.  She plans to speak with Vice President Biden, who will lead the charge on this issue, about her proposal soon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Weigh Keeping Troops on US, Mexico Border

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will raise the issue of immigration reform to the fore this week with a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, where he faces a looming decision on whether to keep 1,200 National Guardsmen deployed.

Nearly one year ago, under pressure from congressional Republicans and border state governors to do more to curtail illegal immigration, Obama authorized the use of troops to assist the Border Patrol with immigration enforcement operations in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Funding for the border security mission approved by Congress expires in June.

In a letter to Obama last month, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer urged the administration to extend the Guard deployment, saying she believes it has had a significant impact on reducing smuggling activity and border violence.

Brewer said the guard has been involved in approximately 19,000 surveillance operations, 10,000 apprehensions of illegal migrants and 235 seizures of drug shipments, including over 18 tons of marijuana.

While the guardsmen cannot directly engage in law enforcement on U.S. soil, they have served as criminal analysts and on so-called entry identification teams, which help spot illegal border crossers.

More than 524 troops have been active in Arizona, 250 in Texas, 224 in California and 72 in New Mexico, officials have said.  Over 100 additional troops from the border states serve in command and control positions.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said last week that the administration is considering extending the mission, but that costs of the deployment remain a concern.

Some Republicans, who have proposed cutting funding for border security in their budget proposals for 2012, also oppose spending millions of dollars more to keep the troops deployed.

Still, advocates on both sides of the immigration debate agree the National Guard mission has been success and should continue at least for the short term.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sen. Scott Brown Will Get National Guard Training in Afghanistan

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., revealed Monday that he will head to Afghanistan later this year for his annual National Guard training.

Brown, a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, said he requested the overseas assignment.

“Following in the tradition of other lawmakers who have completed their military service requirements overseas, this year I have requested to conduct my annual training in Afghanistan,” Brown said in a statement. “Doing so will help me to better understand our ongoing mission in that country, and provide me first-hand experience for my duties on the Senate Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs committees.”

The annual training is set to take place this summer in the war-torn country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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