Lone Soldier From N.H. Among National Guard Troops Ordered To Withdraw from New Mexico

Feb 7, 2019

U.S Soldiers with 541st Engineer Company, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 7, position concertina wire on a practice barricade at Naval Air Facility El Centro in California.
Credit U.S. Northern Command/Sgt. Asia J. Sorenson

Earlier this week, the newly elected governor of New Mexico ordered the majority of National Guard troops stationed at the southern border in her state to withdraw. Among those soldiers is a single guardsman from New Hampshire.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the withdrawal on Tuesday, and criticized President Trump’s decision to send active duty troops to the region.

“We will support our neighbors where the need for assistance is great, and we will offer a helping hand when we can to those vulnerable people who arrive at our border, but New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” wrote Lujan Grisham in a statement.

The withdrawal includes approximately 120 National Guard soldiers from other states, who will pull out within the next 45-60 days, according to her office. That includes a single soldier from New Hampshire, who volunteered for the mission and arrived in New Mexico two weeks ago.

A spokesperson for the New Hampshire National Guard says the soldier is a radio communications specialist who is working in an operations center. He has had no contact with any immigrants or detainees, according to the spokesperson.

It isn’t clear if the soldier from New Hampshire will return home, or deploy to a different region along the southern border.

N.H. Governor Chris Sununu criticized Trump’s deployment of troops to the border last fall, saying that he “will not send our New Hampshire troops to the southern border to separate families.”

The National Guard says Sununu was notified of this soldier’s volunteer request for placement on the border.