Skip to comments.Minutemen heading to back up National Guard
Posted on 01/05/2007 6:12:23 PM PST by Flavius
olunteers with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps are headed for the Arizona-Mexico border Friday to provide backup for National Guard troops in response to an incident near Sasabe in which the approach of armed men forced soldiers to retreat. About 11 p.m. Wednesday, soldiers with a National Guard Entry Identification Team - which provides additional eyes and ears for the U.S. Border Patrol and notifies them of suspicious activity - saw a group of armed individuals approaching them in the desert, said Mario Martinez, spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Border Patrol Office.
The individuals came within 100 yards of the National Guard post, so the troops moved to a safer location and notified Border Patrol agents, Martinez said. When agents responded minutes later, the armed individuals were gone but the agents tracked their footprints to the U.S.-Mexico border, Martinez said. The incident occurred in the west desert corridor between Nogales and Lukeville near Sasabe, which has been a busy area for marijuana seizures since last year. Still, the Border Patrol does not know who the individuals were; why they were armed; or why they were in the United States, Martinez said. There was no verbal or physical confrontation between them and the guard troops, he said. Chris Simcox, the founder and president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, said the incident shows the federal government is ineffective when it comes to protecting the border. "The fact that National Guardsmen were forced to retreat from an armed incursion," Simcox said. "It's just absurd." The volunteer border watch organization wants to send the message that National Guard troops aren't making U.S. citizens any safer. "The National Guard needs to be unhandcuffed and they need to be able to deal with these aggressive international incidents," Simcox said. The troops need to be able to apprehend and detain illegal immigrants when they encounter them, he said. The volunteers will be armed so they can defend themselves and they won't retreat if confronted by dangerous border crossers, he said. Major Paul Aguirre, a spokesman for the Arizona National Guard, said troops are armed and will defend themselves if their lives are in danger, but their role is to provide support for the Border Patrol. Martinez said the National Guard has been effective in its role. The troops provide vehicle maintenance and carry out administrative duties that previously kept agents away from their work on the border. The troops also spot illegal immigrants that otherwise would go unnoticed, Martinez said. The Border Patrol appreciates citizen involvement, but "the border is a dangerous place," Martinez said. "And we have Border Patrol agents trained specifically for that mission." Robin Hoover, the founder of Humane Borders and pastor of First Christian Church, said sending armed U.S. citizens to the border is "idiotic." "It's insane for non-trained personnel to go to the border," he said. "You're just begging for an international incident to happen." He also called into question how effective the National Guard troops were in their mission because they were unable to identify the armed individuals. He pointed out that both U.S. and Mexican military personnel inadvertently cross the border without realizing it and that could have happened in this situation. Martinez said it's important for people not to overreact to the recent incident and that the National Guard troops did exactly what they were expected to do. "We need to make sure that people know what happened out there is serious," Martinez said. "But we don't exaggerate it." Contact reporter Dale Quinn at 629-9412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 6 Comments on this story
pathetic.... our troops should run from no one.
Another article I read indicated they were unarmed.
Call me if you need me...
I'm sure an order is forthcoming for the Guards to ask the minutemen to stay away.
A note to Pastor Hoover - the international incident has already occurred. Many times over.
It's time to tell the professionals that they are failing to do the job.
Sounds like an armed invasion to me (albeit small). When do we start treating this as the invasion it is?
I feel bad for the Guardsmen who are apparently under orders to avoid guarding the nation.
What kind of weapons are our National Guard troops armed with down there? Just curious. And I agree with you - they should not have to run from anyone especially on their own soil!! Geez!! This is our border and who knows what kind of element is trying to come across. Our soldiers' hands are tied in Iraq as it is, and now they have to retreat here at home and call someone else while the scum gets away! Pathetic is right!
God bless you, sir, and thank you for your service to our country!
Rules of engagement matter - a lot.
Bull-Murtha is what they'd think!!
This unit was unarmed as I read about the incident elsewhere.
That's what I read, too.
100% Bush's fault, and an absolute disgrace!
If they're not rotating in their graves at 100 RPMs, they're probably cursing at the elites.
In October, my son was the National Guardsman who shot that guy in New Orleans. There was an artice about it here and I read then that the National Guard on the border was not armed.
As Ross Perot might have said "Let's hear it for them volunteers!"
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.