US CBP recognizes Arizona Soldiers’ contribution to border security

US CBP recognizes Arizona Soldiers’ contribution to border security

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent Tim York addresses Soldiers of the 2220th Transportation Company at the Valencia Armory in Tucson, Ariz., July 11. The unit was recognized for transporting more than 200 tons of barriers from El Centro, Calif. to Naco, Ariz. The barriers were used to secure a section of the international border between Mexico and the United States. (National Guard photo by Spc. Wes Parrell)

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona Army National Guard’s 2220th Transportation Company received a letter of appreciation and a unit plaque from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, here July 11. 


Earlier this year, more than 50 Soldiers from the 2220th took part in a unique training opportunity which helped secure the Arizona-Mexico border in the process. Using their expertise in convoy operations, Guard members relocated concrete barriers weighing over 200 tons between El Centro, California, to Naco, Arizona.


The barriers were positioned along the fence line to prevent people in vehicles from illegally breaching the border at Naco.


In the letter, the chief patrol agent for the Tucson Sector, Manuel Padilla Jr., said, “To fulfill our mission, we depend on building strong relationships with our federal, state and local partners.  The 2220th Transportation Company has been a valuable partner to the U.S. Border Patrol, Tucson Sector, and represented the Arizona National Guard with the utmost professionalism and patriotism.”


Army Capt. Janek Kaslikowski, commander of the 2220th, said the mission highlighted his unit’s capabilities. 


“Deploying our resources and Soldiers to assist a home front mission and showcase our expertise in transportation was a great unit milestone,” said Kaslikowski. “Our Soldiers train and maintain their proficiencies to be ready whenever a mission is received and are ready for any challenge that comes their way. This award was a great way for our Soldiers to be recognized for that.”


As overseas operations wind down, Soldiers of the Arizona National Guard shift their focus to conducting more domestic support missions.  Real-world training opportunities are helping junior Soldiers, who may never have deployed, to develop and maintain their skills.


“This mission really helped to strengthen our teamwork and build confidence in our abilities,” said Army Pfc. Jose Maldinado. “We used our military training in securing loads, convoy operations, and communications to make this a success.”


Unit leaders said they hope they will be used in future federal, state, and local support missions.