RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota Army National Guard helicopter and four-person crew have been sent to perform aerial monitoring and detection along the southwest border.

The South Dakota National Guard said Tuesday that the UH-72 Lakota helicopter and its crew of pilots and an analyst departed this week for Arizona to augment U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s border security operations.

They’ll work with the Arizona National Guard and Customs and Border Protection personnel. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem approved the request for reconnaissance support from the National Guard Bureau.

Noem on Tuesday noted the crew’s departure in her State of the State address, saying: “We must do what we can to secure the southern border and our country.”

South Dakota National Guard aircraft and crews have previously deployed in 2007, 2013 and 2015 to provide southwest border support.

AP-WF-01-09-19 0031GMT

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