Tenn. National Guard To Send More Soldiers To US Border

Chattanooga (AP) -- More Tennessee National Guard members will head to the US-Mexico border to help patrol for illegal immigrants.

This will be the third deployment of Tennessee Guard members to the border. Up to 250 members of the 117th Military Police Battalion will begin two-week staggered deployments from mid-February to March.

The unit is based in Athens and has detachments in Murfreesboro, Cleveland, Lenoir City and Bristol.

Under President Bush's Operation Jump Start plan, 550 Tennessee guardsmen went to Arizona last summer to help reinforce US Border Patrol agents.

Governor Bredesen sent another 27 soldiers and a small fleet of reconnaissance helicopters to the US border in Texas last fall for 30 days.

About 180 Tennessee Guard soldiers are now stationed at the border after volunteering to stay there for between six months and a year.

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