He said following conversations with the National Guard Bureau in Washington, “We’ll be sending approximately 220 Kentucky National Guard soldiers to support the southwest border mission in late 2021.”
Beshear noted that Kentuckians in uniform have always stepped up to serve and secure the nation, and this mission is no different with the soldiers deployed on federal temp status to provide operational and logistical support.
“What that means is it’s a direct request from the federal government, from the Department of Defense and from Homeland Security. This is not a request made by several governors who are out there without the backing of the federal government,” he stated. “What it means is that we will have a clear chain of command, we will have clear missions that come down through the military, and our guardsmen and women will have the authority that is necessary and also the legal protection that the request by several governors would not have.”
Gov. Beshear said the Kentucky troops will join an estimated 3,000 guard personnel requested by other states to support the mission.
“Let’s be thankful for the hard work and sacrifice of these soldiers, and I know every day their actions are working to build a better Kentucky and a better America,” he said. “We want to thank them for their service and their continued service. It’s likely their mission will begin around October in the next federal fiscal year.”
Beshear said at this time he couldn’t identify or disclose either the types of units or which units will be deployed to the southwest border, as the notice they have received is subject to change, adding, “Our expectation is that they will be providing support to others on the border, as we have in the past several years.”
The Kentucky National Guard consists of around 8,000 soldiers and airmen.