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Ky. National Guard To Send Troops To Southwest Border

More than 30 members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Civil Engineer Squadron set up hospital beds and clinical space at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., April 11, 2020.
Dale Greer
More than 30 members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Civil Engineer Squadron set up hospital beds and clinical space at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., April 11, 2020.

The Kentucky National Guard plans to send troops to the Southwest border later this year at the request of the federal government. 

The announcement comes amid a historic surge in migrants seeking asylum and looking to cross into the United States. 

Approximately 220 National Guard members from Kentucky will join about 3,000 other guard members at the border to provide operational and logistical support. The deployment is part of a federal border security mission that includes 23 states.

The governors of Arizona and Texas sent a letter to fellow governors this month asking for help to secure the border, claiming the federal government wasn’t up to the task.  The order from the federal government to send Kentucky troops is unrelated to that request. 

Gov. Andy Beshear said the request came directly from the Department of Defense and Homeland Security. 

“This is not a request made by several governors out there without the backing of the federal government,” Beshear said at a press conference Thursday. “What it means is we will have a clear chain of command, we will have clear missions that come down through the military.”

The Kentucky National Guard mission will operate under federal control and funding and is scheduled to begin around October.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.