Nat'l Guard troops undergoing intensive scenario-based training in Tucson

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TUCSON, Ariz. – National Guard troops are undergoing hands-on training as they prepare to help protect the United States-Mexico border.

Eventually all 532 troops will undergo the intensive training that takes place in Tucson, Arizona before heading to the border.

Officials say it is much different than preparing for combat overseas. Although duty does not include any physical contact, they say that does not mean they will not stop both people and drugs from coming into the United States illegally.

Lt. Valentine Castillo, with the Arizona National Guard, explains, “It’s very important. Especially the scenario-based training so we can recognize the different groups of individuals who may approach us and how we properly handle that situation.” He adds, “It acts like a deterrent. We’re out there in the open. They see us observing the border and it may discourage suspicious activity.”

The National Guard says the rest of the troops should arrive at the border by October 1.