An Illinois congressman has been deployed with his Air National Guard unit to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, of the 16th Congressional District serves as a reconnaissance pilot and holds the rank of lieutenant colonel, his office said.
U.S. active-duty troops from dozens of units around the country are flowing to the southern border, as part of the latest plan to send 3,750 new forces to beef up surveillance and install more wire barriers, the Associated Press reported. Wednesday.
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As of this week, the military had installed about 105 miles of wire barriers along the border, and plans to put in another 140 miles of concertina wire. The bulk of that will be in California and Arizona, in locations between ports of entry that are identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as vulnerable.
Many of the troops who have been serving on the border mission are going home. As of Monday, there were a bit more than 2,000 active-duty forces there. That number is expected to go up to more than 4,300.
Kinzinger’s office said he was “humbled” to serve the 16th District both as a congressman and as a pilot in the Air National Guard.
“In both of these roles, Congressman Kinzinger fights to make our national security stronger, our border more secure, and our communities safer,” his communications director, Maura Gillespie, said in a statement.
The congressman’s D.C. and Illinois offices will stay open in his absence, Gillespie said.