WASHINGTON, D.C.—National uard troops assigned to the Southwest border as part of Operation Phalanx have assisted U.S. Customs and Border Protection with the seizure of more than 14,000 pounds of drugs and supported numerous disruptions of illicit border activity since their deployment began on July 1, 2010.
"The National Guard has served a critical role in supporting our officers and agents along the Southwest border," said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin. "Like our own officers and agents, the soldiers' dedication to the mission and strong work ethic is unparalleled."
National Guard troops have been providing direct support to federal law enforcement officers and agents working in high-risk areas to disrupt criminal organizations seeking to move people and goods illegally across the southwest border.
A recent example of the assistance that the National Guard is providing can be seen in Arizona, where troops assigned to operate a remote video surveillance system observed several individuals just south of the border fence preparing a catapult to launch narcotics into the United States. National Guard soldiers immediately notified the U.S. Border Patrol, who alerted Mexican authorities to the situation. As a result of this collaboration, the catapult and 45 pounds of marijuana was seized by Mexican authorities.
In May 2010, President Obama authorized the deployment of up to an additional 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border to provide support for intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, and counter-narcotics enforcement. As a result, on July 1, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security, CBP and the National Guard Bureau implemented Operation Phalanx, a joint agency operation along the southern border of the U.S.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.