published Thursday, August 14th, 2014

First National Guard troops at Texas-Mexico border

Gov. Rick Perry salutes National Guard troops at Camp Swift in Bastrop, Texas, on Aug. 13, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry salutes National Guard troops at Camp Swift in Bastrop, Texas, on Aug. 13, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

HIDALGO, Texas — The first wave of National Guard troops has taken up observation posts along the Texas-Mexico border.

Texas National Guard Master Sgt. Ken Walker of the Joint Counterdrug Task Force says "several dozen" soldiers deployed in the Rio Grande Valley are part of the up to 1,000 troops called up by Gov. Rick Perry last month.

Several Guardsmen were seen Thursday afternoon manning an observation tower along the busy road leading to the Hidalgo International Bridge.

Walker says this first batch has been specifically trained to man observation towers in the area belonging to local law enforcement agencies and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They will serve as extra eyes on the border and report suspicious activity to authorities.

State officials have estimated the deployment will cost $12 million per month.

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