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Fifteen members of the Guam Air National Guard departed Friday morning for a two-month deployment to New Mexico in support of Operation Jump Start.

The operation involves thousands of National Guard troops deployed along the Mexican border to curb illegal immigration.

The Guam airmen, members of the 254th Security Forces Squadron, are to report to Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque for three days of training in the use of wide surveillance thermal imagers, a night vision enhancement device.

“We won’t get our actual mission tasking until our boots are on the ground over there,” said Capt. Tony San Nicolas, officer in charge of the deployment. “We’re prepared to go wherever we’re needed.”

The group will be assigned to the New Mexico National Guard’s 150th Fighter Wing, according to a release from the Guam National Guard.

With the arrival of the latest group, 121 Guam Guardsmen will be taking part in Jump Start. Thirty-four members of the Air Guard’s 254th Civil Engineering Squadron are in Arizona, supporting Task Force Diamondback, the engineering support mission of Jump Start.

Seventy-two members of the Guam Army Guard left Guam for Arizona on Sept. 3 and 4. They are supporting Task Force Diamondback and Task Force Gila, the Entry Identification Team mission, according to the National Guard release.

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