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National Guard troops will begin deploying along California’s border with Mexico some time in the next couple of weeks, according to National Guard spokesman Major Jon Siepmann.

Operational activities probably won’t start until at least mid-July, Siepmann said, as the National Guard troops are trained for their new mission.

We wanted to hitch a ride along with the Guard on one of their deployments, but Siepmann said we’re going to have to join the queue. He’s had more than 170 requests for such media ride-alongs, he said, and he wants to wait until at least early August before letting the media hacks loose on the troops.

National Guard troops have already been deployed along the Arizona border, according to a report in Sunday’s New York Times. The Guard call up is part of an effort by President Bush to help the border patrol while it seeks to hire 6,000 new agents, the Timesreported.

If they let us tag along with the California-bound troops, we’ll let you know.

WILL CARLESS

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