INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Army News Service, Oct. 26, 2006) - Forty four Indiana National Guard soldiers climbed aboard a plane headed for Arizona yesterday morning, joining up to 6,000 National Guard members from across the nation in support of the border patrol mission, Operation Jump Start.

This first significant deployment of Indiana troops to the border is just part of the job for Guard members, according to Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, Indiana's adjutant general.

"Answering the call and supporting our state and nation - whether overseas, on hurricane duty in the South, the Southwest border, or our own back yard - is a responsibility our Soldiers and Airmen train for every day," he said.

National Guard units supporting Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas are assisting the Border Patrol by executing missions such as logistical and administrative support, operating detection systems, providing mobile communications, augmenting border-related intelligence-analysis efforts, building and installing border security infrastructure, and providing transportation and training. National Guard units are not involved in any direct law enforcement activities such as apprehensions.

The Indiana Soldiers will spend 21 days supporting the Arizona National Guard, Border Patrol and U.S. Customs as entry identification teams.