Officials, family and friends gathered at the MDU Resources Community Bowl in Bismarck on Friday to send off 125 North Dakota National Guard soldiers who will spend a year helping secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
The soldiers are with the Bismarck-based 957th Engineer Company. They'll support U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the southern border, which has seen surges of migrants this year. The U.S. Army, via the National Guard Bureau, requested the Guard's mobilization.
Gov. Doug Burgum and Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, adjutant general of the state guard, were among the speakers Friday. U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, who traveled to the border in March, joined the event virtually, saying the deployment will enable border agents "to more efficiently and effectively carry out their law enforcement mission."
"Border security is national security, and I’ve seen the crisis at the southern border firsthand," said Hoeven, R-N.D.