WASHINGTON, DC. - National Guard troops have been assigned to beef up border security for about three months now.
Tuesday, Members of Congress heard reports on what the Guardsmen have added to the mission.
Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally chairs the Homeland Security Committee's Border and Maritime Security subcommittee.
It heard from Rodolfo Karisch, the Border Patrol's chief for the Tucson sector and National Guard Commanders for Arizona and Texas.
McSally asked whether Guardsmen are being used as effectively as possible.
“So can you share any perspective on that and any barriers you might be able to remove so that we can fully free up the border patrol agents to be at the border?”
Chief Karisch replied, “The Guard right now is assisting us on various fronts. On the aviation side, operations, logistics and administrative support they're giving us. Critical to the job they're doing for us right now is operating cameras. They're acting as our eyes and ears giving us greater situational awareness of that border so we can see what's coming."
Because the military is not supposed to handle civilian law enforcement, National Guardsmen have been involved in work like vehicle maintenance.