Initial Deployment of California National Guard Troops Arrives at U.S.-Mexico Border

National Guard members stand along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro during a visit by then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Aug. 18, 2010. (Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images)

National Guard members stand along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro during a visit by then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Aug. 18, 2010. (Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images)

The initial deployment of California National Guard troops has arrived at the international border and will soon begin backing up federal law enforcement agents.

Standing before 51 troops during a Monday morning news conference, Gloria Chavez — the new Border Patrol chief in the El Centro sector — said the unarmed Operation Guardian Support soldiers would serve in support roles and won’t be asked to arrest any suspected gun runners, drug mules or immigrants crossing the border illegally.

“They’ll be assisting from behind the scenes so that our agents are able to get to the front lines and do the border security,” she said.

Chavez said that California National Guard headquarters in Sacramento is expected to send an additional 22 airmen and soldiers to her sector before the deployment wraps up at the end of September. The initial wave of troops is undergoing training that will reorient them to operations along the international border.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.