Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) went beyond his everyday duties as a congressman to protect his country when he deployed to the southern border with his Air National Guard troop for nearly two weeks, and he says it’s been “awesome.”
Kinzinger, also known as Lt. Col. Kinzinger, announced his deployment to Tucson, Arizona, on Feb. 13, saying he is “humbled to serve his IL-16 community here in the People’s House and equally proud to serve as a reconnaissance pilot in the Air Guard,” according to a statement from Kinzinger’s communications director, Maura Gillespie.
The statement continued by saying the Air Force veteran “fights to make our national security stronger, our border more secure, and our communities safer.”
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) February 13, 2019
After almost two weeks in Arizona serving his country, Kinzinger told Fox News that the experience as he drills with his group is much different than the experiences with the way his colleagues are treated in Washington, D.C.
“When I deploy with these guys, it’s just my old buddies,” Kinzinger said. “They say basically, ‘Hey, you are a lieutenant colonel here. Nobody special.'”
The RC-26 surveillance aircraft that Kinzinger flies while securing the borders can capture illegal activity on the ground through information and high-resolution video.
Lt. Col Kenneth Bruce, a member of the Arizona Air National Guard, told Fox News that the terrain is over 200 miles of unmanned border with no fencing and a lot of traffic.
The Tucson sector’s acting deputy chief Border Patrol agent, Ron Bellavia, also noted the immigrants are crossing in camouflage and “putting carpet on their shoes so we cannot track them through the desert.”
According to Fox News, the Pentagon intends to send 1,000 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border next week, bringing the total to nearly 6,000 troops.
Kinzinger is wrapping up his two-week deployment and is honored to serve and protect Americans, hoping it won’t be his last time deployed on a mission.
“When drugs come into Arizona, they end up in Illinois,” Kinzinger said. “To protect this country from, frankly, all the drugs that are coming over, is awesome.”