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Governor Sends-Off Volunteer Guard Members to Mexico Border

Thursday, June 29, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Governor Sends-Off Volunteer Guard Members to Mexico Border

150 Georgia National Guard Volunteers to Help Secure U.S. Border

ELLENWOOD, Ga. – Governor Sonny Perdue and Major General David Poythress announced today the Georgia National Guard is preparing to deploy its first contingent of soldiers to the Southwest United States to participate in a mission to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

Approximately 150 volunteer guard members are scheduled to arrive in New Mexico on Friday, June 30 where they will begin a tour projected to last between four months to one year. The Georgia National Guard was contacted by the National Guard Bureau requesting assistance at the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday, June 27.

“The Georgia Guard has always responded to requests for help,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “From their heroic efforts following Hurricane Katrina, to their ongoing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan supporting of the global war on terror, Georgia’s citizen soldiers have always been willing to answer the call of duty.”

This mission of Georgia’s citizen-soldiers is to support the New Mexico National Guard, participating in activities including transportation, communications, surveillance, intelligence and engineering support.

The volunteer soldiers, who began preparing for departure this morning, will receive the same pay and compensation as their full-time active duty counterparts. No guardsmen or National Guard units are being called to active duty involuntarily. Additional volunteer soldiers may deploy later in the year and some units may conduct their normal two-week annual training along the border, but no such missions are currently scheduled.

“This border security mission will not affect the Guard’s ability to respond to hurricanes or other emergencies in Georgia,” said Major General David Poythress. “The Georgia Guard has enough structure to be ready to respond to domestic emergencies, and to support the global war on terrorism.”

The Georgia National Guard includes approximately 12,000 Army and Air National Guard members, approximately 1,000 of which are deployed to the Middle East.

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