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More reserves called up for holiday season homeland duty

A National Guard soldier looks on as a young girl walks through a metal detector at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.  

(CNN) -- President Bush said Friday he is increasing by 25 percent the number of National Guard and reserve troops available to governors to deploy at airports around the nation.

"We're calling up these Guardsmen and women immediately," Bush said during a White House ceremony. "This increase in security will last through the busy holiday period."

The troops could take on a range of duties including monitoring passengers at baggage-screening locations, guarding boarding gates and air traffic control facilities, providing security in parking garages and monitoring curbside traffic, said White House press secretary Ari Fleischer

The call-up will boost the National Guard presence from almost 7,000 troops mobilized at airports since September 11th to more than 9,000.

Bush said the call-up was only temporary and he urged Congress to quickly reconcile the differences between the airline transportation safety bills passed recently by both the House and Senate.

The administration will ask Congress to provide an additional approximately $65 million to states. The money comes from the $40 billion emergency supplemental package already approved by Congress to deal with the September 11 attacks.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says coalition members should give more than rhetoric in support of the antiterrorism effort (November 9)

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