Texas National Guard Master Sgt. Ken Walker of the Joint Counterdrug Task Force said several dozen soldiers deployed in the Rio Grande Valley are part of the up to 1,000 troops called up by Gov. Rick Perry.
Several guardsmen were seen Thursday afternoon manning an observation tower along the busy road leading to the Hidalgo International Bridge.
Walker said this first batch of soldiers was specifically trained to man such 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, which they've called a "deter and refer" mission will cost $12 million per month.
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