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Kentucky National Guard to deploy to southwestern border

July 8, 2021 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky (AP) — Roughly 200 Kentucky National Guard members will deploy to the southwestern U.S. border in late 2021, as part of a federal government mission, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday.

The deployment is part of a federal border security mission that includes 23 states. The Kentucky troops will join 3,000 Guard personnel from other states and operate under federal control with funding from the Defense Department. The soldiers will provide operational and logistics support.

President Joe Biden ordered the mobilization.

“This is a direct request from the federal government. This is not a request made by several of the governors out there,” Beshear said, referencing separate state-level missions in Arizona and Texas, where both states’ governors have activated guard members to serve at the border.

During a virtual news conference, Beshear urged Kentuckians to be “be thankful for the hard work and sacrifice of the soldiers.”

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“Kentuckians in uniform have always stepped up to serve and secure our nation, and this mission is no different,” he added.

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Hudspeth Blackburn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.