SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – President Bush’s planned deployment of National Guard troops to the Mexican border would last at least two years with no clear end date, according to a Pentagon memo obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

The one-page “initial guidance” memo to National Guard leaders in border states does not address the estimated cost of the mission or when soldiers would be deployed. But high-ranking officials in the California National Guard said they were told Friday that deployments would not begin before early June.

While the military document makes clear the troops would remain under the command of their governors, it also indicates a high degree of federal control over operations. It states that the National Guard Bureau’s Army and Air Directories “will serve as the states’ focal points for force-planning, training, organizing and equipping their forces.”

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he has not yet decided whether to commit troops to the mission because he has serious concerns about how long the mission would last and whether the deployment would hinder the state’s ability to respond to a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

Governors of Arizona and Texas said they would support the deployment of National Guard troops to the border, while New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, has been more critical of the plan.

The president outlined the plan Monday night as part of a national address on curbing illegal immigration, pledging to gain control of the border and give up to 12 million illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship.

He proposed deploying 6,000 troops at a time to the border in a rotation that would be temporary, until enough Border Patrol agents were hired to secure the mission. He asked Congress to add 6,000 more Border Patrol agents by the end of his presidency.

The White House also said the troops would be paid for as part of $1.9 billion requested from Congress this year to supplement border enforcement.

The memo sent Friday to Guard leaders went further, stating that units would remain in a “federally funded” mission for “up to one year, with a force reduction to 3,000 during the second year.”

The document described an “end date” for the mission when the U.S. Border Patrol operation “gains independent operational control of the (southwest border) and National Guard forces are no longer required for this mission.”

The memo from the National Guard Bureau’s Department of the Army and the Air Force said Guard units’ missions will focus on “surveillance, reconnaissance, aviation, intelligence, engineering, training, vehicle dismantling, linguistics … transportation and logistics.”

They will not be asked to perform law-enforcement functions, but rather provide “vetted and pre-coordinated support to law enforcement.”

“The memo was a helpful initial step,” said California National Guard spokesman Jon Siepmann, “but a variety of questions remain for us to be able to provide our governor with the information he needs to make informed decisions about the mission.”

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