(Host) The National Guard will call up 78 Vermont Army National Guardsmen and women to assist in security at the Vermont-Canadian border. Vermont Adjutant General Martha Rainville announced the call-up today at Camp Johnson in Colchester.
She says that the Guardsmen will be under the command and control of the U.S. Army for the duration of their 179-day tours.
(Rainville) "What we’re actually doing is, I believe perhaps for the first time in our history, is putting federal troops along the border. Because although these are Guard members today, they will be federal troops the day they come on active duty ordersÂ¿. I think it shows the change that we’ve had to face in realizing the threat to the United States through terrorism."
(Host) The Guardsmen are being called up in response to requests by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Border Patrol and by the U.S. Customs service.
They will be detailed to these federal agencies, and will assist in border patrols, cargo inspections and processing. The Guard will also be conducting aerial patrols along the border.
Rainville said that the federal tours of duty are expected to begin March 4. She said that 11 other northern states will be sending National Guard troops to assist in border security.