FRANKFORT, Ky. — Dozens of members of the Kentucky National Guard are back home in Kentucky after nearly four years of service at the U.S.-Mexico border.

What You Need To Know

  • Since 2020, over 750 Kentucky National Guard soldiers have been deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border

  • Dozens of those soldiers returned home to Kentucky on Thursday, Oct. 26

  • Gov. Andy Beshear honored the seven units with the Governor’s Outstanding Unit Citation Award

  • Soldiers from Kentucky and other state National Guards assisted federal agents in security and aviation

Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Ky., honored the soldiers in the seven Kentucky National Guard units that have been deployed to help protect America’s southern border.

“This is the best National Guard in the country. You answer the call each and every time. Everywhere you show up you inspire confidence, and you bring a level of competence that lets us know that we will make it through whatever we are facing,” Beshear said.

Since 2020, over 750 Kentucky Guardsmen have been assisting the Department of Homeland Security and Customers and Border Protection agents in Texas and other border states.

Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Ky., honors members of seven Kentucky National Gaurd Units (Spectrum News 1/Austin Schick)

“Your work has made it easier for Customs and Border Patrol agents to carry out their law enforcement duties,” Beshear said.

Kentucky was one of many states sending guard members to assist in security and aviation for federal border agents. The Guard’s service helps make agents’ work of apprehending illegal immigrants and detecting drug smugglers more efficient.

“Border security is national security, and you all have been there to serve our nation in a mission where we needed you. For that, I am grateful. Your Commonwealth is grateful, but your country is also grateful,” Beshear said.

The seven Guard units deployed to the Southwest border each received the Governor’s Outstanding Unit Citation Award from Gov. Beshear.

“Our role within the entire Department of Defense, our role within the U.S. military, it’s much more significant than it was pre-9/11,” said Major General Hal Lamberton, Kentucky’s adjutant general for the state’s Army and Air National Guard.

One hundred and twenty-five Guardsmen continue the work at the southern border. Lamberton said many other Kentucky Guardsmen are deployed to Central America and the coast of Africa.

“While we recognize the service of so many that are back today, we think about those that are away from their families; we keep them and their safety in our thoughts and prayers,” Beshear said.

Beshear also commended the Kentucky National Guard for its assistance during the pandemic, tornadoes in western Kentucky and last year’s record flooding in eastern Kentucky.